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EIU Department of Journalism

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why major in journalism at EIU?

What careers will I be prepared for?

What is the department's Vision Statement?

Can I get practical experience in addition to what I learn in the classroom?

Can a major in journalism help me prepare for graduate or professional school?

What scholarships and financial assistance opportunities are available?

What are the course requirements for a major in journalism?

What minors and other academic programs are offered in journalism?

Where are graduates employed?

How can I obtain more information?

Why major in journalism at EIU?

  • Offers a bachelor of arts degree
  • Combines professional and liberal arts education
  • Strong, flexible, well-rounded program of study
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Co-curricular experiences and professional internships that supplement classroom work
  • Eleven tenured or tenure-track faculty positions
  • Classes taught by tenured and tenure track professors
  • Average journalism class size is 15
  • Preparation for careers requiring strong communication, writing, and critical thinking skills
  • Cooperative relationships with university's student publications and radio/TV departments
  • Numerous scholarships, grants and work opportunities
  • Learn on state-of-the-art technology
  • Full-time faculty serve as academic advisers
  • Placement assistance
  • Strong job market for graduates, excellent career opportunities
  • Journalism program encourages students seeking a second major
  • Service and research/creative activities are encouraged
  • Collegial governance structure
  • Demand for graduates exceeds supply
  • Strong alumni support and involvement
  • Faculty actively involved as members and leaders of college and university committees
  • Faculty active in professional and academic organizations as members and officers
  • Co-curricular experiences and professional internships supplement classroom work
  • Serves as headquarters for Mid-America Press Institute, Illinois Journalism Education Association and Eastern Illinois High School Press Association
  • Committed to offering off-campus classes and non-traditional learning opportunities
  • Participates in Illinois Articulation Initiative

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What careers will I be prepared for?

  • Reporters, editors, designers, photojournalists, producers, publishers for print, broadcast, and online media
  • Public relations writers, editors, and counselors
  • Advertising sales and design
  • Management positions for which strong communication, research and critical skills and a liberal arts background are essential qualifications

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What is the department's Vision Statement?

(Revised by the faculty: March 7, 2011)

(Revised by the faculty: Dec. 8, 2010)

(Approved by the faculty: April 22, 2005)

The Department of Journalism is committed to excellence in teaching, in professional and creative activity, and in service to journalism and public relations.
The department will promote excellence in learning by encouraging students to become skillful communicators, critical thinkers, knowledgeable media consumers and users, and ethical leaders capable of understanding and protecting the democratic process. An enriched professional environment will encourage students to gain the experience and skills essential to life-long learning. The faculty will assure excellence in teaching that reflects the diverse heritage that enriches a free and democratic society and prepares students for an ever-changing world.
The faculty will set an example of their commitment to life-long learning through their continuing scholarly, creative and professional activities.
The faculty will demonstrate excellence in service through a commitment: (1) to develop a media-literate society through cultural and educational enrichment for journalism consumers, educators and students in Illinois, for Eastern students and for journalism majors, (2) to broaden the practice and understanding of the communication of public information so crucial to the preservation of a free and democratic society, (3) to provide opportunities for continuing intellectual development for journalism and public relations professionals, and (4) to contribute to department, college and university committees, activities, programs and service.
The Department of Journalism will provide education that is (1) durable enough to weather changes in the careers of our alumni, (2) flexible and broad enough to span the time and space of their lives and careers, (3) responsive to the changes in the discipline, and (4) practical and successful in teaching students how to communicate knowledgeably, critically, ethically and effectively.


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Can I get practical experience in addition to what I learn in the classroom?

A strength of Eastern's Journalism program is the number and variety of co-curricular learning opportunities. These include:

  • The Daily Eastern News,the campus daily newspaper (print and online editions)
  • The Warbler yearbook
  • Fresh, a bi-monthly newspaper
  • Vehicle, the student literary magazine
  • MPI Reporter, newsletter of Mid-America Press Institute Foundation
  • Reporter, a newsletter serving high school journalists
  • WEIU-TV, including Newscan, a daily live 30-minute newscast.
  • The Agency, a student-run public relations organization
  • Internships in professional media and agencies

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Can a major in journalism help me prepare for graduate or professional school?

Journalism is an excellent major for students planning to continue their studies in graduate and professional schools, such as law, in which a broad background in the humanities, arts and science is desirable.

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What scholarships and financial assistance opportunities are available?

  • Scholarships for freshmen, continuing, and transfer students
  • Talented Student Awards and Grants-in-Aid
  • Part-time jobs in Student Publications, departmental office, computer labs
  • Go to the Journalism Dept. scholarships page for more info

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What are the course requirements for a major in journalism?

  • 39-40 hours of Journalism courses
  • 18 hours of Liberal Arts (Block A)
  • 12 hours of General Electives
  • non-Journalism Specialty (Block B)

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What minors and other academic programs are offered in journalism?

  • Minor in Public Relations
  • Minor in Journalism
  • Concentration in Writing and Reporting
  • Concentration in Editing
  • Concentration in Design
  • Concentration in Photojournalism
  • Concentration in Public Relations
  • Concentration in Broadcast News
  • Concentration in New and Emerging Media

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Where are graduates employed?

The Eastern Illinois University journalism program has produced more than 1,375 graduates since the first bachelor’s degrees in journalism were conferred in 1975. Our alums work as newspaper and magazine reporters, designers and editors, as television reporters and producers, and as company public relations specialists. We also have graduates who are elementary and high school teachers, who are college professors, and others who have become lawyers. Many have established careers in a multitude of fields outside journalism. (updated October 2013). Here is a sampling of what our graduates are doing:


2012, 2013 Graduates

• Colleen Harrigan, graphic designer, Calamos Investments, Chicago

• Kristin Jording, associate yearbook specialist, Jostens Publishing, Bloomington, Ill.

• Daniel Damiani, photographer, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

• Rachel Morris, marketing coordinator, Widmer Interiors, Peoria, Ill.

• Robyn Dexter, reporter, Republic Times, Waterloo, Ill.

• Samantha Bilharz, reporter, Journal-Gazette/Times Courier, Mattoon/Charleston, Ill.

• Alex McNamee, sports writer, Effingham (Ill.) Daily News

• Elizabeth Edwards, publicity/promotions specialist, Eastern Illinois University

• Chris O’Driscoll, design associate, Talking Points Memo, New York, N.Y.

• Olunike Ogunbodede, designer, Daily Herald, Kileen, Tex.

• Vickie Zeal, producer, WZEC-TV (ABC), Norfolk, Va.

• Emily Steele, copy editor, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

• David Balson, vice president and principal editor, Berwick Court Publishing Co., Northfield, Ill.


2009, 2010, 2011 Graduates

• John Twork, assistant athletics communications director, Illinois State University

• Juliette Beaulieu, copy editor, Northwest Herald, Crystal Lake, Ill.

• Kristina Peters, page designer, Northwest Herald, Crystal Lake, Ill.

• Chris Essig, online editor, Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier

• Matt Hopf, staff writer, Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig

• Zach Nugent, reporter, KEVN-TV (Fox-7), Rapid City, S.D.

• Tyler Angelo, community manager, Leo Burnett Advertising, Chicago

• Jane Ruppert, page designer and copy editor, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

• Joe Astrouski, field producer/reporter, Wisconsin Public Television, Madison, Wisc.

• LaMar Holliday, reporter, WANE-TV (CBS-15), Ft. Wayne, Ind.

• Barbara Harrington, reporter, WNDU-TV (NBC-16), South Bend, Ind.

• Brittney Ferris, graphic designer and yearbook representative, Walsworth Publishing, Chicago

• Colin Whitchurch, designer, Gatehouse Media, Rockford, Ill.

• Chris Lee, graphic designer, Perma-Bound, Jacksonville, Ill.

• Jessica Leggin, apprentice development/communications coordinator, Sierra Club of Illinois, Chicago

• Stephen DiBenedetto, reporter, Northwest Herald, Crystal Lake, Ill.

• Krista Henery, multi-platform journalist, WLFI-TV (CBS-18), West Lafayette, Ind.

• Marine Glisovic, reporter, KATV (ABC-7), Little Rock, Ark.

• Alicia Rockey, associate photo editor, Prevention magazine, New York, N.Y.

• Megan Tkacy, page designer, Lee Enterprises, Munster, Ind.

• Samantha Wilmes, copy editor/page designer, The Dispatch-Argus, Rock Island, Ill.


2006, 2007, 2008 Graduates

• Whitney Self Keyser, writer/producer, Country Music, Nashville, Tenn.

• Laura Griffith, web designer, Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, Ill.

• Sara Wagoner, development officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Ga.

• Tim Martin, reporter, Wall Street Journal, Atlanta, Ga.

• Adam Testa, reporter, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale

• Jessica Cantarelli, marketing representative, Capri’s Pizza, Chicago

• Amanda Dugan, audience development, Bloomberg News, New York, N.Y.

• Ashley Rueff, communications coordinator, YMCA, Chicago

• Dan Woike, sports writer, Orange County (Calif.) Register.

• Marco Santana, technology/entrepreneurship reporter, Des Moines (Iowa) Register

• Matt Kelly, senior community manager, Social@Ogilvy, Chicago

• Mike McGlothlin, feature editor, DieselPower magazine, Los Angeles

• Matt Daniels, sports reporter, News-Gazette, Champaign, Ill.

• Scott Richey, sports reporter, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

• Jessica Perillo, senior associate producer, “Judge Mathis” TV show, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Chicago

• Evan Bernier, account executive, ConsultNet, Boston, Mass.

• Matt Stevens, Mississippi State beat sports writer, Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss.

• Rob Siebert, associate editor, Specialty Publishing, Chicago

• Evan Hill, designer, St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch

• Brandon Campbell, news anchor/reporter, WGN, Chicago

• Kristy Mellendorf, communication coordinator, Health Alliance, Champaign, Ill.


2003, 2004, 2005 Graduates

• Nate Bloomquist, front page designer, Quad City Times, Davenport, Iowa

• Sarah B. Marten, community relations manager, Fresno Grizzlies Baseball Club, Fresno, Calif.

• Michelle Jones, reporter, Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

• Shauna Gustafson, attorney, Rockford, Ill.

• Jessica Youngs, attorney, Hanks Brooks LLC, Atlanta, Ga.

• Tremaine Williams, photojournalist, WGN-TV, Chicago

• Lauren Brody, marketing manager, American Medical Association, Chicago

• Matt Williams, copy editor, Rockford (Ill.) Register-Star

• Holly Myers, copy editor, Beloit (Wis.) Daily News

• April McLaren, public relations, Illinois National Guard

• Nora Mayberry, editor, The Leader, St. Joseph, Ill.

• Ben Turner, assistant sports information director, Purdue University

• Maura Possley, press secretary, Illinois Attorney General, Chicago office


2000, 2001, 2002 Graduates

• Deana Poole, reporter, State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.

• Luke Ryan, executive vice president of production, Disruption Entertainment/Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles

• Joe Collins, assignment editor and producer, Comcast Sports, Chicago

• Chris Sievers, marketing director, SIU Credit Union, Carbondale, Ill.

• Joseph B. Ryan, reporter, Chicago Tribune

• Bill Ruthhart, reporter, Chicago Tribune

• Melissa S. Nielsen, manager of print, online & new media communications, The Society of Critical Care Medicine, Des Plaines, Ill.

• Christy Kilgore-Hadley, graphic designer, Eastern Illinois University

* Heather Cygan, vice president of news/managing editor, Gannett Healthcare Group, Chicago


1997, 1998, 1999 Graduates

• Amy Sciaccotta Brannigan, hiring coordinator, RPh on the Go, Skokie, Ill.

• Reagan Branham, marketing director, HOK, global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, St. Louis, Mo.

• Katie Vana Manker, picture editor, Chicago Tribune

• Chuck Burke, manager of creative design, Chicago Tribune

• Jessica Sedgewick, feature designer, Chicago Sun-Times

• Sarah Gover, sports copy editor, Ft. Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram

• Cristy Melvin Meredith, communications manager, State Farm Insurance, Bloomington, Ill.

• Tammie Sloup, associate editor, The Times, Ottawa, Ill.

• Justin Kmitch, reporter, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill.

• Janice Hunt, editor, publisher and owner. Oakland (Ill.) Independent News


1994, 1995, 1996 Graduates

• Heidi Keibler, designer, Chicago Tribune

• Tim McCann, sports editor, Bradenton (Fla.) Herald

• Jeffrey Ormond, senior communications consultant, Allstate Insurance, Detroit, Mich.

• John Ferak, investigative team editor, Gannett Wisconsin Media, Green Bay, Wis.

• Ryan Giusti, community content manager, Coxnet, Atlanta, Ga.

• David Putney, web producer, Boston Globe

• Chris Sundheim, a national news editor, The Associated Press, Chicago

• Patty Culhane, White House correspondent, Al Jazeera English, Washington, D.C.,

• Anita Maiella, associate publisher, advertising, Self magazine, New York, N.Y.

• Amy Kaiser Card, director, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation, Mattoon, Ill.


1991, 1992, 1993 Graduates

• Kelly Seifert, systems director of communication, Resurrection Health Care, Chicago

• Don O’Brien, reporter, Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig

• Scott Dean, account executive, Area-Wide Technologies, Danville, Ill.

• Kyla Farroll, senior business analyst, Corinthian Colleges, St. Louis, Mo.

• Dana Phelps Hughens, chief operating officer, Clairemont Communications, Raleigh, N.C.

• Robert Sanchez, reporter, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill.

• Pete Laven, general manager, Arkansas Travelers baseball team, Little Rock, Ark.

• David Lindquist, music critic, Indianapolis Star

• Lori Higgins, reporter, Detroit Free-Press

• Chris Selfridge, supervising news producer, WBBM-TV (CBS-2), Chicago

• Cam Simpson, European correspondent, Bloomberg News, London, England

• Kelly Cress Ruynon, news director, WEIU-TV, Charleston, Ill.

• Chris Boghossian, weekend sports editor, Chicago Tribune


1988, 1989, 1990 Graduates

• Susan Duncan, assistant news/photo editor, Tribune Star, Terre Haute, Ind.

• Jeff Britt, copy editor, Chicago Sun-Times

• Jean Wright Medina, senior vice-president, communications, Air Transport Association of America, Wash., D.C.

• Amy Carr Burke, development editor, Chicago Tribune

• Matt Mansfield, executive editor/digital, National Geographic, Washington, D.C.

• Rob Montgomery, international media consultant and executive director,


1985, 1986, 1987 Graduates

• Denise Zimmerman, managing editor, Vision Monday, New York City

• Madeleine Doubek, chief operations officer, Reboot Illinois

• John Humenik, publisher, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

• Fred Zwicky, photographer, Peoria (Ill.) Journal-Star

• Lisa Green Newhouse, assistant business editor, Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette

• David McKinney, Springfield (Ill.) Bureau chief, Chicago Sun-Times

• Ronald Yoakum, copy editor, The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.

• Jeff Long, Sunday columnist, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill.

• Kevin McDermott, political editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

• Mike Lynch, vice president, external communications, American Medical Association, Chicago

• Audrey Dumentat, public affairs counselor, U.S. Embassy, Managua, Nicaragua


1982, 1983, 1984 Graduates

• Tim Broderick, news presentation editor, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill.

• Matt Krasnowski, assistant director, Bureau of Community Relations, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

• Daniel Brannon, managing editor, Alton (Ill.) Telegraph

• Robin Scholz Roberts, photographer, The News-Gazette, Champaign, Ill.

• Dru Sefton, senior editor, Current newspaper, Washington, D.C.

• **David Kidwell, reporter, Chicago Tribune

• Denise Skowren Power, agenda production director, IR Events Group, White Plaines, N.Y.

**As a Miami Herald reporter, he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2001


1979, 1980, 1981 Graduates

• Christine Goerlich, promotion manager, Aurora (Ill.) Beacon-News

• *Ted Gregory, reporter, Chicago Tribune

• John Plevka, general manager, Daily Vidette, Illinois State University

• Marcel Bright, director of public relations, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago

• Dr. Norm Lewis, associate professor of journalism, University of Florida

• Phil Vettel, food critic, Chicago Tribune

• Bonita Gower Tillman, manager, corporate communications, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, Mo.

• Kathy Klisares Spitznagel, graphics designer, Converse Marketing, Peoria, Ill.

• Gwen Paglia, attorney, Zurich/American Insurance Co., Chicago

*Part of a team of Tribune reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2008


1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 Graduates

• David Shanks, supervisor, Caterpillar’s Cat Logistics, Mesa, Ariz.

• Susan Nasenbeny Byrne, editor, Reader’s Digest Co.

• Ed Cobau, director of state association services and communications, Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, Springfield

• Mike Cowling, chair, department of journalism, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

• Bill Flick, columnist, Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph

• Tim Yonke, copy editor, The Daily Journal, Kankakee, Ill.

• Robert Fallstrom, sports writer, The Associated Press, St. Louis, Mo.

• Barry Smith, executive director, Nevada Press Association

• Mark Turk, president, International Label & Printing Co., Wooddale, Ill.

• Dr. John Ryan, professor of journalism, Eastern Illinois University

• Robert Corn-Revere, partner in the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, Washington, D.C. Specializes in First Amendment litigation


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How can I obtain more information?

Spend a day with a student who is majoring in journalism, call to make arrangements.

Ask your teacher to invite a journalism faculty member and student majors to come to your high school or community college and speak to classes and meet with interested students.

Come to the journalism offices, 2521 Buzzard Hall (located on 7th Street)

Call 217-581-6003 or fax 217-581-7188

Email Sally Renaud, interim chair of the journalism department, at

Write to:

Eastern Illinois University
Department of Journalism
2521 Buzzard Hall
Charleston, IL 61920-3099

Related Pages

Contact Information

Journalism Department

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

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