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EIU Journalism



• AY 2019-20: 2013 First-Time Freshman Cohort.  Twenty-six (26) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major.  Eight (8) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years.  Eight (8) graduated with a non-journalism degree within 6 years.  Ten (10) have left the University.

2013 six-year Graduation Rate: 30.77%
Freshman (FA18) to Sophomore (FA19) Retention Rate: 88%

• AY 2018-19: 2012 First-Time Freshman Cohort.  Nineteen (19) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major.  Seven (7) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years.  Four (4) graduated with a non-journalism degree within 6 years.  Eight (8) have left the University.

2012 six-year Graduation Rate: 37%
Freshman (FA17) to Sophomore (FA18) Retention Rate: 78%

• AY 2017-18: 2011 First-Time Freshman Cohort. Twenty (20) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major. Four (4) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years. Seven (7) graduated with a non-journalism degree within 6 years. Nine (9) have left the university.
2011 six-year Graduation Rate: 20% Freshman (FA16) to Sophomore (FA17) Retention Rate: 75%

• AY 2015-16: 2009 First-Time Freshman Cohort. Thirty (30) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major. Fourteen (14) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years. Seven (7) graduated with a non-journalism degree. Nine (9) have left the university. 

2009 six-year Graduation Rate: 46.67% Freshman (FA14) to Sophomore (FA15) Retention Rate: 71%

• AY 2014-15: 2008 First-Time Freshman Cohort. Twenty-three (23) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major. Eleven (11) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years. Five (5) graduated with a non-journalism degree. Seven (7) have left the university.

2008 six-year Graduation Rate: 47.83%

Freshman (FA13) to Sophomore (FA14) Retention Rate: 81%

• AY 2013-14: 2007 First-Time Freshman Cohort. Twenty-four (24) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major. Eight (8) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years. Seven (7) graduated with a non-journalism degree. Nine (9) have left the university. 2007 six-year Graduation Rate: 33.33% Freshman (FA12) to Sophomore (FA13) Retention Rate: 71%

• AY 2012-13: 2006 First-Time Freshman Cohort. Thirty-five (35) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major. Seventeen (17) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years. Eight (8) graduated with a non-journalism degree. Ten (10) have left the university. 2006 six-year Graduation Rate: 48.57% Freshman (FA11) to Sophomore (FA12) Retention Rate: 75%

• AY 2011-12: 2005 First-Time Freshman Cohort. Twenty-six (26) students entered the University declaring journalism as their major. Sixteen (16) of those graduated with a journalism degree within six years. One (1) graduated with a non-journalism degree. Nine (9) have left the university. 2005 six-year Graduation Rate: 61.54% Freshman (FA10) to Sophomore (FA11) Retention Rate: 88%


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, Nicarauga


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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