SPJ Annual Lecture Series Kicks is underway

The 2015-2016 Society of Professional Journalist Series began Thursday with a presentation from Bulldog Creative Services’ account coordinator and Marshall University alumni, Jen Tucker.

“I think of my job as being like lion taming,” Tucker said. “In the field there is always some sort of emergency and it’s your job to solve it. It’s lion taming and the sideshow all at once.”

Clients of Bulldog Creative include the West Virginia Lottery, the City of Huntington and Big Green.

“It’s been really cool to stay local and in the community and to be able to have clients that are local,” Tucker said. “So being able to come back to Marshall and speak in the same classroom that I left a year ago knowing what I know now is pretty great.”

“SPJ is a combination of all journalism majors,” Marshall chapter president, Lexi Browning, said. “We focus on promoting ethical obligations, creating networking opportunities while improving and protecting our field.”

“Having an annual Lecture Series allows our students to make connections with recent graduates and veterans of the trade,” Browning said. “We choose a variety of speakers each semester to visit and this gives our students an opportunity to bond and create relationships with professionals in their career path.”

While a Marshall student Tucker was a member of the American Advertising Federation, the advertising major equivalent of the Society for Professional Journalists

“We were able to do a lot of agency tours and have speaker series come in for advertising and that definitely helped me think about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.”

“SPJ is a combination of all journalism majors.””

— Lexi Browning

Tucker has one piece of advice that she considers useful to every student, no matter the field of study.

“Figure out what makes you valuable outside just what your degree tells you. So where can you be really good at something that the person next to you might not be as good at?”

“Our members left with insight of the broad and collaborative world of creative services and an understanding that a multi-skillset will benefit them in their future endeavors,” Browning said.

Upcoming speakers for the SPJ Lecture Series include Sam Speciale, the Charleston Gazette-Mail higher education reporter and veteran Gazette-Mail photographer Tom Hindman.

“Sam’s the best features writer I’ve ever encountered,” Browning said. “And Tom is my photo role model and what I aspire to be.”

Dates for those lectures have yet to be announced.

Nathan Thomas can be contacted at [email protected].