Meet our 2017-18 Board members

Hello everyone! We are excited to announce our board members for the 2017-18 academic year.

We are still looking for a Vice President to fill the position for the Winter and Spring Quarters.

An ideal VP is someone with a strong commitment to ethical journalism, a passion for storytelling and connecting with the community. We hope to find someone who will continue SPJ’s legacy on campus as a resource to other journalism and communication students. Experience is not necessary and everyone on the board is willing to help each other grow. The position is what you make of it but here is a basic outline of what you would do.


  • Works with the president in event planning and organization
  • Promotion and outreach through the chapter’s Facebook page
  • Assists president in all other tasks


  • Gain experience in using social media as a platform for outreach
  • Opportunities to be creative/organizational
  • Communicate directly with professional journalists

Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions! Email

We will also be at the RSO fair September 27th and 28th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. so come say hello!


And without further ado, here are our board members this year!



Taylor McAvoy


Taylor is a Journalism Major pursuing a minor in Law, Societies, and Justice. She writes for the UW student newspaper The Daily, freelances for various community publications like the Seattle Globalist, the International Examiner, and more. She is also a freelance photographer for local publications and her own photo portfolio. Her internship with a new podcast, The Grind solidified her love for both photo and audio. She is an experienced multimedia journalist from photo, audio, and video storytelling.

“I’m excited and honored to be this year’s president of the SPJ UW chapter. Journalism has been and will always be an incredibly important profession. To serve as a watchdog over government and documentation to the greatest events of our time is an honor and I’m humbled to be a part of it. As a student chapter, I hope this year we can instill a similar feeling in others.

In the past year, SPJ has helped me grow as a journalist and connect with professionals in Seattle. I hope to see more journalism students taking advantage of SPJ’s benefits of membership and valuable resources we have to offer. I’m excited to see our membership, resources, and events grow.

I’m looking forward to working with a strong team of committed and ethical individuals as we lead the way in this crazy world of ours. I’m excited to share ideas for panels, workshops, and mentorship events this year and continue to be a resource for young journalists.”


Interim Vice President and Student Liaison

Alex Visser

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Alex Visser is a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in journalism, with a minor in Political Science. Visser writes for the UW’s student newspaper, The Daily, and has also spent time as an editorial intern for Real Change News.

“As another year begins for SPJUW, I am excited to see fresh new faces in positions of leadership, and I look forward to building a foundation for the future of this organization through an expansion of membership. I believe the time is ripe for our humble chapter to spread its wings and fly.

As our chapter’s student liaison, I am personally excited to strengthen our relationship with SPJ’s Western Washington Regional board and draw upon their knowledge and resources. I would also like to further explore our recruitment strategies, as I believe there are many journalism majors who would benefit from the services we have to offer.

I expect more long nights, replete with blood, sweat and covfefe (served with two sugar cubes and milk, please), but it is more than worth it to be a part of SPJUW.”



Hannah Pickering


Hannah Pickering is a senior majoring in journalism. A feminist, writer and amateur photographer, she is a reporter for The Daily at the University of Washington, a staff writer for The Citizen Weekly, a contributing writer to Creed Politico, and was a journalism intern for The Borgen Project. Pickering is interested in sharing diverse stories from both the Seattle and global communities, and will be studying abroad in Rome during the Winter 2018 academic quarter.

“I’m looking forward to spending this year developing my role and connections within the Society of Professional Journalists UW Chapter. As treasurer, I am committed to maintaining an organized system for tracking all chapter expenses and the filing of any statements or relevant documents. This can contribute towards supporting our chapter’s growth and provide student journalists with chances to gain important career skills and connect with industry professionals.”

Josh Kelety
Josh is a senior at the University of Washington and is double majoring in political science and journalism and minoring in comparative Islamic studies. He transferred from Seattle Central College last summer with an associate of arts transfer degree.
Josh brings a variety of professional journalistic experience to the table, ranging from internships at the Jakarta Post in Indonesia, Seattle Met Magazine, and Seattle Weekly to freelancing for the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog.

“I’m very excited to serve as SPJ UW’s new secretary, and I aim to apply my skill set and experience to cultivate a vibrant, active, and impactful SPJ chapter at the UW.

I am very passionate about journalism (especially local journalism) and encouraging and assisting up and coming journalists—particularly given the current political climate, popular negative attitudes towards the media, and the general state of the industry.
Specifically, I am excited to brainstorm ideas of how SPJ UW can best support student journalists. I would like to continue the practice of holding panels featuring professional journalists to discuss both technical aspects of journalism, trends in the journalism industry, and, also, issues and topics relevant to UW journalism students such as housing and land-use politics or regional human trafficking. (These panels also serve as great networking opportunities for students.) Speed networking events,  Similarly, I also hope that we can continue and enhance SPJ’s UW aggregation of internships, fellowships, and other job opportunities by way of emails and blog posts.
Additionally, I’m interested in organizing workshops taught by working professionals for building technical journalism skills such as how to use Microsoft Excel for organizing and analyzing data sets. Ideally, these workshops would be taught by relevant local professionals.
Ultimately, my hope is that our activities can help guide budding UW journalist’s navigate today’s turbulent media landscape.”

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