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UW-Eau Claire Grad Receives Society of Professional Journalists Honor

RELEASED: Aug. 25, 2009

Megan Peterson
Megan Peterson

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recent graduate Megan Peterson, Plum City, has been named the 2009 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists national organization.

Peterson is being honored for excellence in academics and involvement at UW-Eau Claire and in her community as a journalist and active SPJ member.

"Participating in SPJ at UW-Eau Claire really kept me motivated and excited about becoming a broadcast journalist," Peterson said."It helped me network with journalists around the Eau Claire community and beyond."

Peterson was a leader in re-energizing UW-Eau Claires SPJ chapter, recruiting members as well as encouraging active participation. After serving as chapter secretary and then vice president for broadcast journalism, Peterson became chapter president. Her leadership and efforts influenced students to get involved on campus, attend regional events and continue their membership.

In May Peterson completed a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in music. While at UW-Eau Claire, she balanced her studies with a position as both reporter and anchor with the campus TV channel, TV-10. Peterson was also honored with the 2009 Henry Lippold Fellowship, which allowed her to participate in a three-week newsroom internship at KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minn. Peterson also interned at WEAU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, where she now works full time producing the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

"I am very happy with the work I get to do at WEAU and am looking forward to what's ahead in my journalism career," Peterson said, adding that her long-term goal is to become a reporter and news anchor.

Peterson's community involvement has included creating a Web site for a local church and volunteering at the Community Table, an Eau Claire organization that provides meals to community members in need.

"Ms. Peterson is by far the outstanding graduating senior among UW-Eau Claire SPJ members this year," said Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism Jack Kapfer and Professor Emeritus David Gordon, SPJ chapter co-advisers, in a nomination letter.

The award is named in memory of Julie Galvan, a former president of the SPJ San Jose State University campus chapter, who was killed in a car accident while on her way to an internship in 1996. At the close of the academic year, each collegiate chapter of SPJ selects one graduate in journalism who is outstanding in his or her class on the basis of character, community service, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to the chapter. From this group, the societys leadership selects one graduate who is considered most outstanding for national recognition.

Peterson will be recognized Aug. 28 at the Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon during the 2009 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Indianapolis.

"I am very honored to receive this award," Peterson said."I have great respect for all of my journalism professors and other professional journalists involved in the SPJ organization. The journalists I have had the opportunity to meet and work with have inspired me to continue working hard and staying positive about the future of journalism."

For more information, contact Kapfer at kapferja@uwec.edu.

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LB/JP

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