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Michele Weldon

Michele Weldon

Assistant Professor Emerita

An award-winning journalist and author for more than 32 years, Michele Weldon is an assistant professor emerita at her alma mater, the Medill School of Northwestern University, where she has taught since 1996. An expert on issues related to media and also to women, she is a columnist for the Huffington Post and a mentor/editor and seminar trainer with The OpEd Project, an initiative to increase the diversity of voice in public discourse.

She began her editorial career after earning a BSJ and MSJ at Medill in 1979 as managing editor at North Shore magazine; then worked as a market editor for ADWEEK magazine and later Fairchild Publications. She was a columnist and feature writer for the Dallas Times Herald, and has been a regular contributor to newspapers, websites, magazines and radio such as Alternet.org, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago magazine, Chicago Parent, Dial, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Parenting, Seventeen, Writer’s Digest, West Suburban Living, womensenews, Woman’s Day and hundreds more, including academic publications such as Harvard’s Nieman Narrative Digest. She has given more than 200 keynotes on issues related to women and media.

Areas of Research

Select Presentations and Keynotes
American Association of University Women
National Association of Women Writers
American Bar Association Women
Association of Area Business Publications
Association of Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications
Northwestern University Alumni Association
Northwestern University Women's Center
Chicago Foundation for Women
North Suburban Library Systems
City of Fargo, N.D.
Off-Campus Writer's Workshop
Community Policing Institute, Minneapolis
Oak Brook Women's Club
Evanston Hospital
Family Services, DuPage County
Family Shelter Services, Washington, D.C.
Portland Domestic Violence Conference
Family Services, State of Mass.
Queen of Peace High School
Family Shelters of Naples, Fla.
Rainbow House
Family Violence Council of Cook County
Robert Crown Center Women's Club
Fort Wayne Women's Bureau, Indiana
Quill Society
Hazelden Publishing Women's Wellness Conference
Hunterdon County Shelter Services
The National Library Association
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
U.S. Department of Justice
Journalism & Women Symposium
Lake Austin Spa "Wise Women Series"
March of Dimes Annual Conference, Chicago Women's Peacepower Conference, Florida
Midwest Business Writers Association
Writers & Editors Conference
Mount Sinai Hospital
Writers of Oak Park Public Library
2005: International Conference on Violence, Canada

Awards And Honors

Illinois Women's Press Association, First Place, column writing, 2007
Illinois Women's Press Association, Runner-up, Speech writing, 2007
20 Years, 20 Heroes Award from Between Friends for Advocacy for Women, 2006Association for Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications, Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy, 2005
Best Faculty Member, Kappa Delta Sorority, March and June 2003
Sarah's Inn Visionary Award, May, 2003
Chicago Women In Publishing, Excellence Award, Nonfiction Book, 2002
International Women's Peacepower Media Award, Nonfiction Book, 2000
Bread and Roses Individual Courage Award in Publishing, 2000
Finalist, Association for Women Journalists, Commentary Writing, 1999
Finalist, Nonfiction Book Contest, National Writers Association, 1997
First Place, National League of American Pen Women, Essay Contest, 1997
First Place, Writer's Digest 1996 Writing Competition, Personal Essay, 1996
Finalist, Writer's Digest 1995 Writing Competition, Personal Essay, 1995
Best Newspaper Columnist, Dallas Psychological Association, 1987

Professional Organizations

2004-2006: 1st Vice president, Board of Directors, Journalism & Women Symposium
2004-Present: Program committee, Association for Women Journalists
2004-Present: Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communications
1999- Present: Society of Midland Authors
2002- Present: Mom-Bo Radio Board of Directors, Pacifica Radio Network

Authored Works

Her first critically acclaimed book, I Closed My Eyes, (Hazelden/ HCI, 1999) has had more than a dozen printings, was translated into seven languages and will be available with a new edition as an ebook and app in late 2011. Weldon’s second book, Writing to Save Your Life (Hazelden/HCI, 2001), has been translated into four languages, is the basis of her Writing to Save Your Life Workshops and will also be available with a new edition as an ebook and app in late 2011.

Her third book, “Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page” (University of Missouri, 2008), won the National Federation of Press Women nonfiction book award in 2009. She recently completed a nonfiction memoir, Escape Points, about raising three sons, all who wrestled competitively or wrestle still in high school, her work as a journalist and professor and her recovery from cancer.

Weldon has written chapters in several other books, including an essay in This I Believe on Fatherhood (Wiley, 2011); “The Changing Nature of News” in the Encyclopedia of 21st Century Media (Sage, 2009); “Making Readers Want Novels is Writer’s Hardest Job,” in Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates (University Press of Mississippi, 1989).