“We hope from you, as you become part of the Medill community, to try new things unique to you, and powerful enough to make your dreams comes true.”
This message from Medill’s Dean, Bradley Hamm, set the tone for the two-day event welcoming admitted Master of Journalism students into the program. On the morning of April 25, 2014, a group of 77 young and bright individuals gathered to attend the MSJ Admits Days to experience, first hand, what it would be like to spend their time becoming a journalist at Medill.
Amidst a pool of determined and hopeful faces filling the room, the day began with breakfast and an introduction to the curriculum and co-curricular experiences graduate students can expect at the school. Julie Collins, the associate director of graduate admissions and financial aid, introduced the panel of faculty and staff members. Julie Collins continues to remain as an instrumental force in many students’ lives as they complete the program.
The new students, with some beginning their studies the upcoming summer quarter, received details of the program from some of Medill’s beloved and finest: Janice Castro, senior director of graduate education and Kristen Reid Salomon, assistant director of student life, Charles Whitaker on sports journalism, Louise Keirnan on social justice, Mei-Ling Hopgood on global studies, Abigail Foerstner on health and science and Ceci Rogers on business journalism.
As the group winded down from the morning breakfast session, they headed to Medill’s downtown Chicago newsroom in The Clark Adams building where students are taught the tricks of the trade. Breakout sessions with the faculty members were organized to provide them with information about the various areas of concentration in the program. Faculty members spoke on the following topics: reporting with Michael Deas, video and broadcast with Craig Duff, magazine writing/editing with Patti Wolter and interactive publishing with Richard Gordon. The discussions from faculty gave students a chance to learn more about the paths they can pursue at Medill.
Discussions also touched on programs unique to Medill, including global opportunities with a campus in Doha, Qatar, a newsroom in Washington D.C and the various programs offered.
For those interested in the extra-extra-curricular, lunch was a purely Chicago event with deep-dish pizza brought in from two of the most famous joints in town. Some got their first taste of this delicious treat- a taste to remember and cherish and most exclaimed at the “amount of cheese” while they gushed with happiness! Garrett’s popcorn made an afternoon snack appearance. As the evening approached and activities of the first day wound down, the school hosted a relaxing evening at the W Hotel City Center, followed by a show at the city’s renowned improv theater Second City.
Day Two for MSJ days brought students to experience Medill in the Evanston campus. Julie Collins helped them understand the intricacies of financing their education while, Jim O’ Brien, director of career services introduced the various ways in which the strong knit Medill alumni network and career services office helps them with life after school.
An alumni panel opened discussion to speak about career opportunities. Those present were: Bill Healy at WBEZ Chicago Public Media, Bethany Hubbard is publications editor of Science in Society, Todd Johnson is a multimedia correspondent at theGrio.com, Brittany Kaplan a features editor at Luxe Interiors and Design magazine, Melina Kolb a multimedia producer and documentarian and Jordan Schultz who is web editor at RedEye Chicago.
A Taste of Evanston for lunch and a faculty fireside chat were perhaps the best ways to bring the two-day event to a relaxing end. Some of the most accomplished faculty members shared their stories from the field and where the media industry is headed. Moderated by Karen Springen, faculty who joined in the fun were Beth Bennet, Emily Withrow and Charles Whitaker.
Interim Associate Dean of Medill, Craig LaMay bid farewell to the students with hopes to see them soon. For more information on the Medill MSJ program, visit our website.