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Melissa Isaacson

Melissa Isaacson

Assistant Professor

Phone:847-491-2187Office: MFC 2-117

Melissa Isaacson is an assistant professor at Medill, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, reporting and sports reporting. She was the chairperson of “Title IX at 50: Past. Present. Future,” an all-university series of panel discussions and events scheduled in October 2022, and is the faculty advisor for the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM) Northwestern chapter.

A sportswriter for more than 30 years, Isaacson was named among the 20 “Most Influential Women in Chicago sports media” by the Chicago Tribune in 2022. She worked most recently for ESPN in its international division, covering a variety of beats from the Olympic Games to professional tennis. In 19 years at the Tribune, she was the principal beat writer covering the Michael-Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the 90s and later the Chicago Bears for seven seasons, the first woman in both of those roles.

Isaacson was also on the staffs of Florida Today, USA Today and the Orlando Sentinel, where she received AP Sports Editors awards for beat writing, investigative and feature reporting. She was awarded the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award for top feature story of 2008 for her Tribune Magazine story on her parents’ struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Isaacson is the author of three books, her most recent, "State: A Team, A Triumph, A Transformation," which recounts her experience on her state championship-winning high school basketball team and the transformational journey that occurred shortly after the passage of Title IX. It was named one of the top sports books of 2019 by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Forbes, and featured on the TODAY Show. The book is in high school classrooms throughout the Chicago area.