Current Location: Mahomet, IL
Hometown: Athens, IL
UIS Degree: M.A. 2016 (Communication)
Other Degrees: B.A. 2012, Lincoln Christian University
Current Position: Editor of the Mahomet Citizen
“I am only a few months into my new career as editor; however, what I enjoy most is the opportunity to meet people who are passionate about this community. A few eye-opening experiences include interviewing gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss, Sen. Chapin Rose and Champaign County treasurer candidate Laurel Prussing, who was also a former state representative and the former mayor of Urbana.
One of my favorite aspects of the job is feature writing. It is a rewarding experience to be able to champion the accomplishments of this community and the people of Mahomet. I also enjoy providing the latest news, whether it be about the village of Mahomet, the Mahomet-Seymour School District or the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce. The ever-growing village of Mahomet is a wonderful bedroom community of Champaign-Urbana.”
Memories of UIS
“When I started my graduate degree I felt stuck. I wanted to pursue a career in journalism and I was unsure how to make the jump from the classroom to the newsroom. UIS quickly became not only a place to learn but also a place to mold me into becoming an eager young professional.
I credit two outstanding UIS faculty members for helping me get to where I am today. Dr. Kathy Novak was a mentor to me during my graduate school career in the communication department. She was my academic adviser, thesis adviser and someone who provided recommendations to help get my start as a freelance writer, which eventually provided a freelance writing opportunity with the Springfield Business Journal.
Rance Carpenter, former director of the Graduate Public Service Intern program, also advised me on how best to prepare for my career. I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a Graduate Public Service Intern for two different state agencies during my UIS career.
I worked as an education and outreach coordinator for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Bureau of Air from October 2014 to May 2016 under the guidance of supervisor Deirdre McQuillen. Here I learned public relations strategies as I assisted in improving air quality awareness efforts for the Northeastern Illinois region with the IEPA’s nonprofit organization, Illinois Partners for Clean Air. I was in charge of the organization’s daily social media content, event coordination, website promotions and much more.
I also served as editor of curriculum development for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ Office of Professional Development from July 2016 through December 2016 under the supervision of Kim Sharp. Here I helped assisted with the development of state-provided curriculum that assisted professionals in their ongoing training.”