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Donna McCracken


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This Year



UIS announces Armstrong scholarship recipients

November 14, 2005

SPRINGFIELD – Three graduate students in the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield – Crystal Lindell, Rebecca O’Halloran, and Ann Sanner – have been named recipients of the James E. Armstrong Scholarships for 2005.

Patrick Coburn, publisher of the State Journal-Register, presented the scholarships at a luncheon held November 14 at the SJ-R offices. The scholarships are given in memory of Armstrong, who was publisher of the Illinois State Journal and the Illinois State Register, predecessors of the State Journal-Register, from 1964 until his death in 1967. They are awarded to students in the PAR program who have demonstrated strong interest and potential in the field of government and political reporting.

Lindell, daughter of Maxine Lindell, of Bryron, and David Lindell, of Geneseo, received a B.A. in Political Science from Western Illinois University in 2005.  While at WIU, she was a news section writer, assistant news editor, assistant editor-in-chief, and editor-in-chief for the student newspaper, the Western Courier.  She also served as president of the WIU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The summer before enrolling at UIS, she covered the Knox County Board for the Galesburg Register-Mail

O’Halloran is the daughter of Mark and Rose DeMeo, of Burr Ridge, and Nina and Will O'Halloran, of Elmhurst. She received a B.A. in Print Journalism from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, in 2005.  While at Hofstra, she was managing editor of the student newspaper, The Chronicle.  She has also been a news reporting intern at Newsday in Melville, New York, and interned with and was a stringer for Liberty Publishing Group in Oak Brook. She is currently a morning news anchor with WDZQ in Decatur.

Sanner, daughter of Karen and Marc Sanner of Illiopolis, received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005.  While at UIUC, she was a staff writer and in-depth editor for student newspaper The Daily Illini.  She also served as a research assistant for William Gaines, Knight Chair Professor for Investigative and Enterprise Journalism, working on a project that focused on uncovering the identity of Watergate figure Deep Throat.  Before enrolling at UIS, she worked for the SJ-R, both as a freelance reporter and as an intern covering police beat and writing features.

The Public Affairs Reporting program at UIS, directed by Charles Wheeler, is a one-year master’s degree program focusing on coverage of state government news.  In addition to academic work, students serve six-month internships with newspaper, magazine, radio, television, wire service, or audio news service bureaus in the Statehouse pressroom in Springfield.


    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.