The Society of Professional Journalists ushered in a new year of leaders for the 2016-17 year at the end of the 2016 national Excellence in Journalism conference in New Orleans.
All SPJ members were allowed to vote on the six open positions. While several roles, including the new at-large director and campus adviser at-large, included multiple candidates, both the positions of president-elect and secretary-treasurer ran unchallenged.
According to the SPJ board, the year brought a record turnout, with 1,016 votes — roughly 16 percent of all SPJ members.
Rebecca Baker, the new president-elect, will fill the place of Lynn Walsh, who was sworn in as president of the SPJ Tuesday evening.
The voting app launched to choose the new SPJ members closed on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. Central Time.
President-elect: Rebecca Baker (926 votes)
Baker, currently the Secretary/Treasurer for the SPJ, was voted in as the new president-elect, shadowing incoming president Lynn Walsh.
She currently serves as the managing editor of the New York Law Journal and held multiple positions with the Connecticut Pro chapter and SPJ Region 1 prior to serving on the national board.
After serving as the president-elect, Baker will be voted in as the president of the SPJ for the 2017-18 year.
Baker plans to increase partnerships between the SPJ and journalists, champion press freedom and encourage news literacy.
Secretary-Treasurer: Alex Tarquinio (919 votes)
Tarquinio, the at-large director for the SPJ board, will now move one step up to secretary-treasurer.
Tarquinio is an editor for The Real Deal and has served in The Deadline Club, the Awards Dinner, the SPJ Membership Committee and the Project Watchdog Committee.
She is a chairwoman of the New York Journalism Hall of Fame and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest and a number of other large media outlets.
At-large director: Rachel Wedding McClelland (444 votes)
McClelland, the director of student media at the University of Tennessee, was one of four members running for the seat.
She has a varied academic background, having advised the Indiana Statesman newspaper at Indiana State University.
McClelland is on the board of directors for the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists.
Campus adviser at-large: Leticia Lee Steffen (522 votes)
Steffen was one of two members running for the position. Steffen, a chairwoman and professor at the Colorado State University-Pueblo department of mass communications, studied mass communications and journalism at the University of Denver.
She has been part of the SPJ national Journalism Education Committee since October 2011.
Student representative (two selected): Keem O. Muhammad, Maggie Gottlieb
The two student representatives were selected out of five candidates.
Muhammad is a consultant for the AP with extensive background in freelance and on-campus writing and multiple writing awards. He attended Louisiana State University for English.
Gottlieb was the former president of the University of Maryland SPJ, and has worked and interned everywhere from NBC’s “Meet the Press” to the Cox Media Group Washington Bureau. She is pursuing a bachelor’s in journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.