Drake University (via Picture Des Moines/Flickr)
By Lauren Whan
Each month, Lauren Whan, Region 7 assistant for campus affairs, will take a look at a university chapter from across the region.
Tours, resume critiques and discussions are all in store for Society of Professional Journalists members at Drake University this year.
“It’s been the best recruitment that I’ve been a part of since becoming president,” said chapter president Stephanie Kocer.
The Drake University SPJ chapter has nearly 30 members recently inducted 20 new members.
Drake SPJ goes on tours, brings in speakers to its meetings and hold professional development sessions, such as resume workshops and activity fairs.
The chapter said Des Moines, Iowa, is a hub for media businesses and it has been fortunate to be able to tour a lot of news corporations.
“We’ve been to The Des Moines Register, Meredith Corporation and Iowa Public Radio just to name a few,” Kocer said. “Our members are always excited about the tours. We are also very lucky to have professionals from the Des Moines community come into our meetings to talk with us.”
Chapter members have had everyone from newspaper reporters to PR professionals come and talk with their members.
Kocer said the SPJ members benefit from the networking they do with the journalism community in Des Moines.
“Our chapter is always striving to give members opportunities and I think we succeed really well at it,” Kocer said. “For the last two or three years we have been awarded with a best chapter award.”
Drake SPJ said it hopes to start setting up tours for the rest of the semester and figure out who they might want to talk to in the community. One of its goals for this semester is to put together a resume workshop. Drake’s journalism school usually hosts Journalism Days, which is a week-long event.
“I’m also hoping to get some new T-shirts ordered this semester, because who doesn’t love that?” Kocer said.
Kocer has been president for one year. She said she joined SPJ as a freshman because she wanted to get more involved with the J-school.
“I joined the executive board my sophomore year as a recruitment chair and really fell in love with how much people enjoy SPJ and how much networking and professionalism we get to practice,” Kocer said. “Being president of SPJ is one of my proudest accomplishments. Not just because it goes on my resume, but more importantly because I’ve been able to help fellow members connect with their community and become better journalists.”
As a senior, Kocer said she hopes to enjoy her last year at Drake to the fullest and continue to connect and form SPJ friendships.
To keep up with what’s happening at Drake University, follow Stephanie Kocer on Twitter at @StephKocer and Drake SPJ at @DrakeSPJ.