Kansas State University’s SPJ chapter bolsters membership one year after relaunching

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Image via Jimmy Emerson, DVM/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.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Near the heart of the Midwest there is a university that has one official color: royal purple.

Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, displays a wide variety of school spirit and importance of student progression. Among Division I sports, clubs and other organizations, the Society of Professional Journalists has found a home among the student culture.

Kansas State has 12 SPJ members, which is higher than the previous year. The chapter successfully reopened in 2013 and has been slowly growing during the past year.

The Kansas State SPJ chapter has held different workshops to train students on important software such as Adobe Premier and Adobe Photoshop. Chapter President Morgan Huelsman said the group also held an open event in the spring for journalism students to visit with professionals where they could show their resumes and portfolios while getting one-on-one experience with potential employers.

During the fall of 2014, the chapter held an event featuring Jeffrey Townsend — a designer who works in Hollywood. The event had personal sessions with different organizations on campus as well as some journalism classes.

“We then featured him as a lecture speaker for the entire campus,” Huelsman said. “For this upcoming spring, we are planning on creating at least four more workshops featuring different softwares. We are also heavily helping with a Networking Night for the entire K-State journalism school to have an opportunity to meet employers for internships and job opportunities.”

Huelsman has been president of K-State’s chapter since May. She is graduating in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications, while also earning a minor in leadership studies. She is graduating a year ahead of schedule, she said, as this is her last but third year as a wildcat.

“My two main goals are to move to Nashville and work for Country Music Television as an entertainment reporter. My other goal is to work for a large-market television station as a traveling reporter.” Huelsman said.

She joined SPJ to gain more knowledge about journalism — specifically the legal aspects of being a reporter. She also joined to make more connections and network with her peers and potential employers.

“I, alongside some of the other SPJ members, really enjoyed having an opportunity to attend the Fort Riley’s live-firing exercise where we watched soldiers execute practice missions with weapons, military vehicles and live ammunition. We watched what they would be doing during combat,” Huelsman said.

Morgan said the most rewarding thing for her is to see within her organization is that they are always working as a team from scratch.

“We started this organization back up again and every single member has contributed different things to be able to get us to where we are right now,” she said.

Although the chapter is fairly new, Morgan said helping each other and allowing for there to be room for improvement has really made a difference in the chapter’s learning experience together.


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