Jeremy Steele steps in for Cheryl Pell

Jeremy Steele

Jeremy Steele was named MIPA’s executive director in May.

When MIPA executive director Cheryl Pell retired this spring, there were some big shoes to fill. After a national search, MIPA and the Michigan State University School of Journalism turned to an alumnus of both organizations, Jeremy Steele.

Steele is an award-winning journalist who has also worked in newspapers and public relations. He’s a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest organization of journalists, where he served on the national board and continues to be a local chapter leader.

He’s been a speaker at MIPA conferences and a contest judge. He’s also a graduate of the MIPA’s Summer Workshop and was a member of MIPA’s 1998 Student Journalist Staff. He graduated with bachelor’s in journalism from MSU in 2003.

Steele, who began transitioning into his new role in May, was interviewed by another new face at MIPA, conferences and workshops assistant Kelsey Parkinson. Parkinson is a MSU journalism freshman from Novi.

Kelsey Parkinson: What drew you to the position at MIPA?

Jeremy Steele: Ever since I got started with journalism in high school I’ve been involved with MIPA. When I became a professional journalist, I still came back and would help with judging day and did some sessions at conferences. So I’ve always been involved with and been a supporter of what MIPA does. In a lot of ways, this job at MIPA is kind of a perfect fit and a dream job for me. It’s everything that I love to do all wrapped up into one job.

KP: What are you looking forward to most being in this position?

JS: I love to be around people who are excited about journalism. And I think from what I’ve found you don’t find anybody who’s more excited to do journalism and to be a journalist than student journalists. I’m really looking forward to being around all of that positive energy, and to be able to hopefully help some of those students to reach their goals.

KP: What are some goals for your first year at MIPA?

JS: For the first year, my focus is to just learn about the organization, learn about how it works, listen to teachers and to students about what they need from us and really just get a feel for everything that the job takes. For now, I’m just very much in a learning mode. And also hopefully maintaining the really strong organization that Cheryl [Pell] built over 25 years.

KP: What do you like to do in your free time?

JS: I don’t have free time. People in journalism don’t have free time. I’m busy with MIPA, I teach two classes in the school of journalism (at Michigan State University). I have an old house that constantly needs work. But like other people, I just like to sit back and take a break now and then.