SPJ Board Elections 2023-24

Here are the candidates’ statements for DePaul SPJ board elections for the 2023-24 school year.


Juliana Pelaez

Positions Interested In:

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Secretary/Treasurer

I am reapplying to be on the Society of Professional Journalists board because I would like to continue working with a team of leaders. While the team has been through various changes this year, we have moved ahead in making our name well heard. I loved the team I have worked with thus far and would love to continue working with everyone. I want to continue being a part of this team and being a leader within our organization as a journalist who fights for ethics and the first amendment. I chose President as my first option because while I didn’t choose any positions the first time running, I still feel like there are things I need to work and learn. Being the President this past year has given me opportunities of being a voice within the classroom and a voice within our team. I want to continue using my voice and experience to engage everyone and continue to. While I may not be here for the spring term, I want to have the chance to continue to lead our team and leave with something for others to look forward to.

For the next school year, I would like to bring workshops with reporters from our alumni. Giving chances from people to hear how to handle work in their day to day lives. I would also like to see if we can have a collaborative event with the SPJ Chicago chapter. While this year we focused on highlighting our student media organizations, I think it would also be great to bring media people from within Chicago. I think having something like how we had at the regional conference would also be fun. I would also like to find a way to incorporate ethics into our meetings- besides workshops. And I would like to continue with our podcast we will be working on. 

So I really hope you will consider me for this position or a position again.

Kiersten Riedford

I am applying for the SPJ president position for the 2023-2024 academic year. This year I have spent a lot of time not only doing my job, but I have also spent a lot of time filling every role on the board at one point or another. I have taken care of our finances, our written logs, our social media pages and lead when the president could not. 

I have done a great job this year to fill in the cracks and build our club from the ground up. I have attended and helped create every event. I know what it takes to build a successful organization.

Because I know this, my goal for next year as president is to make our organization an award-winning organization. 

I want us to excel in the projects we make, to boost attendance and membership and even host larger events. My main theme I am running with is ‘unity.’ While the achievements will be amazing, we cannot have any of those wins without having unity. As of now, I feel our department is separated by our media organizations or lack thereof. I want our organization to flush that mindset.

Next year, I will make our members, and even ourselves, feel like we are one while achieving great things. 

I look forward to serving you as SPJ’s 2023-2024 president.

Social Media Coordinator

Lauren Sheperd

Over the past few months, my experience on the Board of SPJ has been incredible. I have been lucky enough to make connections not only with alumni and other people we have talked to, but I have been able to work with an incredible group of journalists. I am reapplying for the Social Media Manager position because I have a vision for the direction our social media can go, and with more time, I believe I can execute this vision.

One project I hope to work on if I were to get this position again is adjusting our social media to be a news outlet for journalists by journalists. DePaul already has plenty of excellent student media organizations that cover general news, so I think by taking more of a specific angle on coverage we do we can gain more readership and interest.

I also want to focus on getting more attendance for our events, and perhaps even do different events than what we have done from the past. I also want to continue to co-sponsor other event put on by the journalism department, such as what we are doing later this month with the documentary event.

Thanks to my involvement with SPJ this year and in other past experiences, I have knowledge of how to use social media in a productive way. I will continue to grow and bring these skills to SPJ next year.

Membership/Online News Association Coordinator

Ellie Shelton

I am interested in the Membership/Online News Association Coordinator position. Having completed nearly two semesters as the Membership Coordinator, I have gotten a strong understanding of what SPJ needs to be successful. In the following year, I’d like to find new creative ways to promote SPJ around campus to aspiring journalists. Additionally, I’d like to better help members understand the benefit of SPJ to their professional career. 

Published by spjonadepaul

Official website for DePaul University's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.

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