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Michele Weldon

Michele Weldon

Assistant Professor Emeritus

An award-winning journalist and author for more than 32 years, Michele Weldon is an assistant professor emeritus at her alma mater, Medill, 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.

Weldon began her editorial career as managing editor at North Shore magazine. She 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, 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 Massachusetts
  • Queen of Peace High School
  • Family Shelters of Naples, Florida
  • 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: First 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

Weldon's 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).


Weldon earned BSJ and MSJ degrees from Medill in 1979.