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EIU Department of Journalism

Faculty, Staff and Student Ambassadors

Joe Gisondi, Professor of Journalism

Office: 2546 - Buzzard Hall
Phone: 217-581-6003

Joe Gisondi's Vita
I worked at several newspapers across Florida for more than 20 years, mostly in sports – Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today, Clearwater Sun, Fort Myers News-Press – before coming to Eastern in 2002, I taught for six years at Valencia Community College where the student newspaper earned three national Pacemaker Awards, four regional awards, and several state awards. At Eastern, I advised the Daily Eastern News from 2004-08 during which it also earned several national Pacemaker Award nominations for its print and online editions, winning the online category once. Currently, I teach primarily reporting and sports media courses. My new book, Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot, was released by the University of Nebraska Press in December 2015. I'm just completed a second edition for my sports journalism book, Field Guide To Covering Sports.  And I co-host a sports media podcast for WEIU-FM. Check out my sports media website as well.

Frequently Taught Courses

Writing for Sports Media
Sports and the Media
Advanced Reporting
Feature Writing
Investigative Reporting


Master of Fine Arts, Creative Non-Fiction, Spalding University
Master of Arts, Literature, University of Central Florida
Bachelor of Arts, English, University of South Florida

Professional Organizations

Illinois Community College Journalism Association – Executive Director
Illinois Press Foundation/Dow Jones Newspaper Fund summer journalism workshop – director
National College Sports Journalism Conference, co-founder/ asst. director
College Media Association – board member and former chair of several committees
Illinois College Press Association – former president and vice president
Investigative Reporters and Editors – member

Speakers Bureau

For more information, please visit the Speakers Bureau Webpage.

Sports media, Cryptozoology/paranormal


sports media, Title IX, historical fiction, paranormal

Selected Publications

Wrote Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot (University of Nebraska Press), published December 2015.

Wrote The Field Guide to Covering Sports (Congressional Quarterly Press/Sage Publications).

Developed interactive webinar for the Poynter Institute's News University entitled “Introduction to Sports Reporting.”

Wrote chapter published in The Tiger Woods Phenomenon: Essays on the Cultural Impact of Golf's Infallible Superman.

Wrote essay entitled "Title IX Needed Now More Than Ever," published in The Contemporary Reader, 11th edition, by Pearson.

Wrote series of stories on Illinois Route 1 that were published in the Decatur Herald & Review (summer 2013) – "Danville stadium and its team part of rich baseball heritage," "Ferry shuttles commuters, and a few Asian carp, from Illinois to Kentucky," "A storeowner and a biker continue to navigate life's obstacles," "Story seekers visit final resting place of accused witch and killer," "Proud veteran helps care for courthouse in deflated downtown," "Bill Cobb offers up produce and wisdom from his roadside stand."

Co-wrote chapter entitled "Relating To Student Media" published in The Resource Handbook for Academic Deans, third edition.

Selected Conference Presentations

Have presented more than 50 sessions at the following national, state or regional conferences – Journalism Educators Association National High School Journalism Convention, College Media Advisers, JEA regional conference, Illinois College Press Association, Texas Center for Community Journalism, and Illinois Community College Journalism Association. Here are some of the session titles – “Writing Sports Profiles,” “How To Write Visually,” “Covering Games for Print and Online,” "How To Ask Questions That Relly Count," “Covering & Blogging Prep Sports,” "Lead Writing," “Invigorating Your Sports Section,” “Keeping Score: Developing A Game Plan,” “Writing Second-Day Game Stories,” “Writing Sports Profiles,” “Blogging Sports,” “‘Virtual’ Football Coverage,” “So You Want To Write A Textbook,” and “How to Invigorate Your Sports Section,” "How To Critique Your Publication," "Writing Game Stories Worth Reading."

Funding & Grants

Achievement and Contribution Award, Research, Eastern Illinois University (2010)
Redden Grant for the Improvement of Undergraduate Instruction, Eastern Illinois University Foundation (2011)

Achievement and Contribution Award, Balanced, Eastern Illinois University (2016)


former board member, Charleston Futbol Club

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Contact Information

Journalism Department

2521 Buzzard Hall
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6003

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