Susan Schueler (Journalism) has spent the last year producing NewsWatch 12 This Morning in Medford, Ore. We asked Susan to write about her experience and you can read about it by clicking on "NewsWatch 12 This Morning." Here's a little piece of her story: "If you’ve been interested in the field of broadcasting for more than five seconds, I’m sure you have already heard the standard warnings: you will make no money, you will work crazy hours, and you will be forced to relocate. And it’s all true. I make less money than I did during my work study, work from 11pm to 7am, and live over 2,000 miles away from home. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything."
Kamil Zawadzki (Journalism) found his way to Garden City, Kansas, where he is the Web Editor for The Garden City Telegram. Garden City is a small town of 30,000 people in southwestern part of the state. Kamil produces and shoots video pieces to go along with print story posted on the paper's website. He recently won two awards for his work from the Kansas Press Association: 1st place for Best News Web Video: Garden City Soldiers Homecoming and 1st place for Best Feature Web Video: Model Train Show. (Read about Kamil's experience: After Graduation: Reporting From Kansas)
Alicia Ramirez (Journalism) stopped by SOC to drop off copies of the two weekly papers she's working for in Castroville, Texas. Alicia, a general news reporter, writes 12 to 14 stories a week for the Medina Valley Times and the Castroville, La Costa News Bulletin. The big daily newspapers may be having a hard time, but Alicia says the weeklies are alive and well in Texas.(Read about Alicia's experience working in Texas: What Comes After Graduation?)
Liz Durkin (Advertising/ Public Relations) is currently the healthcare public relations intern at Zeno Group, working on a variety of accounts, specifically pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. (F09)
Julie Hilgendorf (Communication) stopped by SOC in her role as group sales manager at the Sax Chicago Hotel on Dearborn. Her first job out of college was as assistant in a hotel sales department, a good place to start because Jill is interested in event planning and hotels host many events. Jill was promoted and is now a group sales manager, selling event space, keeping her eyes on her goal to move into planning events. "I not only love where I ended up, but I have so much more to grow in my career and many paths I can take next. My communication degree prepared me for a job I didn’t even know I wanted and I know it will guide me in my career in whichever direction it may take.”
Mandy Holcomb (Communication, French Language & Literature) is director of development and Communications at Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts in Chicago. Mandy priviously managed the national events program at LUNGevity, a nonprofit orgnization that funds lung cancer research. As the events manager, she worked with volunteers across the nation on a variety of fundraisers.
Mandy worked with classmate Elizabeth Peters (Advertising/Public Relations) at LUNGevity, who was the assistant manager of all marketing and public relations fororganization. Elizabeth is currently Ticket Services coordinator for the Chicago Bears organizaton.
Sara Koehler (Communication) chose the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after graduation and is currently in New Orleans working with the Innocence Project, a non-profit law firm dedicated to the release of the wrongfully convicted in Mississippi and Louisiana. Sara wrote, “The work is hard and the issues are frustrating but I'm surrounded by dedicated and inspiring people who are passionate about reforming the criminal justice system through work at the ground level as well as the political level.” (F'07)
Hilary Shaffer (Journalism) and Jennifer Al‑Dosari (Journalism) were hired as full‑time researchers at Crain's Chicago Business, where they are responsible for researching and creating Crain's highly popular business facts and lists. (F'07)
Janelle Mascaranes (Journalism) has been working at 780 WBBM Radio as an assistant producer. Janelle won the Department of Communication Jim Gibbons Memorial Scholarship for the field of broadcast journalism in 2006 and the Loyola Mellon Humanities Award for her work with WLUW in 2007. (F'07)
Whitney Woodward (Journalism) attended the Family Secrets event sponsored by the Journalism program and SPJ on September 18. She had just finished an internship with the Chicago Sun-Times in Springfield, Ill., and was starting three-month paid internship at the Chicago Tribune. A couple days later we saw her byline on the front page of the Tribune. The headline: State tiff delays tax bills in Cook —The byline: Mickey Ciokajlo and Whitney Woodward, Tribune staff reporters. (F'07)
After working for a year as a news assistant at Reuters, Dianna Heitz (Communication) went back to school in June to get her Master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dianna, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2005, was the recipient of scholarships from the Kettle Moraine Press Association and the garnered several awards from the Illinois Press Association for her work at the Phoenix while at Loyola. (F'07)
Felix Piñeiro (Communication), who double majored in film, is currently in his second year of film studies for a Masters in Film Directing in Paris at EICAR: The International Film School of Paris. Felix is working on his first screenplay, which he hopes make into a full length feature film once he graduates. (F'07)
Anastasia Kwit (Communication) was an entrepreneur during her senior year at Loyola with her own electronic media design company called Seven10. After two years as an entrepreneur she joined E.R. Moore Co. Inc., Chicago, and was promoted to the position of corporate trainer after a year. When the company was sold Anastasia set her sites on grad school and is currently enrolled at DePaul University’s MBA program. Starting out in marketing, she has added a concentration in sports management and after graduation in 2009, hopes to find a customer relations position.
Anastasia said of her education at Loyola, “I find that having a Communication undergrad degree has really given me a foundation of understanding how people interact and how to leverage that knowledge when dealing with consumers and business partners.” (Sp'08)
In January 2006 Brooke Kelley (Communication) joined television news team at station WTOC, Savannah, Ga., as a general assignment reporter. According to the bio posted on the WTOC Website Brooke had having previously worked at their sister station WPBN, Traverse City, Mich., “where she covered everything from blizzards to murders as a bureau reporter covering ten counties on her own.” At Loyola, Brooke spent a lot of time at WLUW, where she was news director for three years. She also interned at WMAQ and spent a semester working at WSBT in South Bend, Ind. (F'07)
While at Tower Productions, Lara Suleiman (Communication) was involved in a six-month documentary project for MSNBC. The documentary about wrongful convictions based on forensic evidence, When Forensics Fail: Fingered by Prints, premiered on October. Lara and her husband Ahmad also celebrated the birth of their daughter Raya Nour Suleiman, 6lbs 9 oz., and almost 21 inches long, in November. The happy occasion coincided with the couple’s wedding anniversary. (F'07)
Loyola graduate and Livingston Award winner, Abbie Boudreau (Communication) is joining ABC News as a correspondent in the Los Angeles Bureau according to ABC News President David Westin. She joins David Wright and Mike Von Fremd as bureau correspondents and will report for all broadcasts and platforms, including “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” ABC News NOW, and ABCNews.com.
In June as a CNN investigative reporter, Boudreau was awarded the Livingston Award, in the category of international reporting. She was honored for her special four-part series, Killings in the Canal: The Army Tapes. According to Poynter Online, Boudreau's investigation of the court marshal of three soldiers convicted of killing four Iraquis also revealed suppressed video tapes of a confesssion to an execution-style killing and unearthed unearthed a secret prisoner detainee policy.
The Livingston Awards are given for excellence by professionals under the age of 35 are the largest all-media, general reporting prizes in American journalism.
After graduating for Loyola in the spring of 2000, Abbie went on to earn her masters at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. According to the profile posted on the CNN Website, Abbie has had a busy career as an investigative reporter at television stations in Iowa, Michigan and Arizona, before joining CNN last October an investigative correspondent based in Atlanta, Ga.
Involved in several national and state investigations Abbie has been recognized with two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, seven regional Emmy’s, and a national Emmy nomination, all for investigative reporting, and as a reporter for KNXV-TV in Arizona she was honored by the Arizona AP Broadcasters Association Awards and received the First Amendment Award from Society of Professional Journalists. (Sp'08)
Alumnus Joe Blaney (Communication) recently contacted the department about a performance by his band the Knights of Crisis. The band was scheduled to play at the Heartland Café in Rogers Park on December 14. Since leaving Loyola in 1988 Joe worked in commercial radio for several years in the suburbs, then Providence, R.I.; Boston, and St. Louis, Mo. He went on to earn an MA from Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., in 1995 and a PhD from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., in 1998. He is currently teaching a variety of courses ranging from Mass Communications Theory to Rhetorical Criticism at Illinois State University, Normal, Ill., where he is part of the tenured faculty. Joe and Lauri have been married for 16 years and have three kids. (F'07)
Catching Up on Communication Alumni at Loyola:
Alumnus Kondrat Joins Alumni Relations
When she first applied for college Beth Kondrat (Communication 2006) was focused on a career as a broadcast journalist, but quickly found some unexpected possibilities in other Communication classes. Beth took Intro to Cinema her freshman year. “After that class I was hooked on film! I took a total of eight production or film classes, both at Loyola and while I was studying abroad in London,” Beth said.
After graduation Beth, who has always been involved in music, found a position in development at the Merit School of Music, Chicago. The Merit School is a non‑profit music school offering music classes in over 70 sites in the city to students whose music programs have lost their funding. “Most of their classes are either free or heavily underwritten so children, no matter their financial status, can take music lessons. So coming to this school right after college was a dream come true! I truly believed in the mission,” Beth added.
In May 2007 Beth joined the Loyola staff as assistant director of the alumni association. She said that she’s finding her writing, editing and other communication skills handy as she handles the alumni electronic newsletter and updates the Website. She also talks to a lot of Loyola alumni. She said, “The one piece of wisdom that I take over and over is that there are so many paths in life. The jobs you take out of college don't necessarily end up being what you do forever. "
She hasn’t given up on either of other loves. Beth is a member of Apollo Chorus of Chicago, which performs around the city and through her choir connections got small singing part in the film Fred Claus, which was released in 2007. The good news is her scene, though shortened, was in the final release and she’s listed in the credits.
Alumnus Slania Leads Journalism Program
In 2006 Loyola alumnus John Slania (Communication 1979) was appointed program director of the Department of Communication's growing Journalism program. That program continues to grow in the School of Communication and in Spring 2010 will offer broadcast production courses in it's new broadcast studio on Water Tower Campus.
John, who graduated with a double major in English and Communication from Loyola University Chicago, went on to earn his Masters in Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. After 10 years at the Daily Herald, a stint as business writer for the Milwaukee Journal, and five years at the Chicago Tribune, John started teaching in part-time positions at Loyola, Northwestern and Roosevelt University.
In 2002 he took on a full-time teaching position in the department. “I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to teach full time at Loyola. I feel very comfortable on campus because of my undergraduate experience. And the Loyola students are nice, hard-working and respectful, something you don’t run into at other schools,” John said. He continues to do free lance work for Crain’s Chicago Business and book reviews for BookPage while leading the Journalism program.
Communication Alumnus Murphy Director of Ministry
Chris Murphy (Communication 1980)describes himself as Loyola educated through and through. Currently Associate Vice President of Mission and Ministry and Director of Ministry at Loyola, he graduated from Niles College (now St. Joseph’s Seminary) and earned his BA in communication at Loyola University in 1980. Chris went on to complete his Master in Social Work in 1987 and a Masters in Divinity in 2001. He served as chaplain at the Rome Center, as well as chaplain to the School of Business and coordinator of ministry at Lake Shore Campus before being named director in 2002.
Chris wrote, “I have spent my professional life working in ministry. My wife and I are committed to the Jesuit tradition and I see my ministry as a means of passing on this living tradition.” Bren Murphy is an associate professor in the School of Communication and in the Department of Women's & Gender Studies.
Magdziarz Takes on New Role
Loyola's vice president of Capital Planning, Wayne Magdziarz (Communication 1982), was named to the newly created position of chief of staff for President Father Michael Garanzini, S.J. in 2007.
As a freshman at Loyola, Wayne joined the then fledgling WLUW-FM, which was housed in Lewis Towers. He took on the position of student general manager and was operations manager of WLUW shortly after graduation. In March of that year Wayne moved to WLOO, in Palatine, Ill., though he continued to help with technical matters at WLUW.
When the radio station’s first full operations director, Holly Garland, left to take a position at WGN, Professor Sam Danna asked him to take over the position. Wayne helped WLUW grow into a student-staffed 24/7 operation.
Collins Pursues Film Projects
Damen Hall 437, on Lake Shore Campus, was a pretty busy place for Communication and IFMS majors, it was the video and audio lab for the Department of Communication and Loyola alumnus Jim Collins (Communication 1985)oversaw it. Jim joined the Loyola staff in 1988.
All the production facilities moved to the new School of Communication building on Water Tower Campus in Spring 2009 and Jim has a new office in SoC 004, the Owl lab. With three new labs and a broadcast studio ready to open in Spring 2010 it's a still busy place for Communication, Journalism and IFMS majors and Jim.
Jim continues to pursue his own interest in filmmaking, working on several independent projects. In 1991 he directed and edited a documentary short for the Chicago Association of Retarded Citizens, which won him the Helen Cody Baker Award for Social Service Communicators. Collins and co-producer David Schmidt have since added: Doppelganger, 1998; Invocation: End Game, 1999; Sword of Hearts, Grave Invitation, The Lovecraft Syndrome, 2005. The co-producers are working on their next feature film House of Black Wings.
Are you an alumnus of the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago? Let us know what you’ve been up to. You can contact us at LoyolaSOC@luc.edu, or check out Loyola's Alumni Association.