Shelby Spears

shelby-spearsCurrent Location: Camas, WA
Hometown: Warrensburg, IL

UIS Degree: M.A. 2005 (Public Affairs Reporting)
Other Degree: B.A. 2004, Illinois State University

Current Positions
Co-owner Spears Strong; Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Clark College, Vancouver, WA; Freelance Writer

Career Highlights
“Though I love journalism and it will always hold a place in my heart, opening a fitness company with my husband has undoubtedly been the highlight of my career. I also really enjoyed my time writing for the Star News in Wilmington for five years from 2007-2012 and freelancing for Reuters in Portland, Oregon. Reuters was an exciting job and I got to write about everything from marijuana legalization to a feature about a man who turned a Boeing 727 plane into his home in the woods of Oregon. I also love teaching journalism and the interaction with the students. Without young people who are passionate about the foundation of journalism -accuracy and fairness – the future would be bleak. I feel inspired by them on a regular basis.”

Memories of SSU/UIS
“I loved everything about the PAR experience, from working in the statehouse to spending time outside classes with our very close group of classmates.”

How did UIS change or prepare you?
“The Public Affairs Reporting program and UIS was essential for my career. It landed me my first newspaper job which not only put me in a position to catapult my career as a writer but also put me in the location where I met my husband while working that first job. I not only learned a lot but I also gained the confidence I needed to make it in the professional world. All of the skills I learned through journalism are proving very helpful in my work with Spears Strong, from communicating with clients to social media posting to video shooting and editing.”

Interesting Fact
“I love everything about being active outdoors, from trail running to snowshoeing. I also love hanging out with my two cats and cooking, mostly vegetables.”

Posted on January 12, 2017