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Donna McCracken


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This Year



UIS announces Armstrong scholarship recipients

November 29, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – Three graduate students in the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield – Laura Camper, Christine Magbanua, and Erik Potter – have been named recipients of the James E. Armstrong Scholarships for 2006.

Sue Schmitt, publisher of the State Journal-Register, presented the scholarships at a luncheon held November 29 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.

Camper is the wife of Mark Camper, of Virden, and the daughter of Carolyn and Jay Conniff, of Chesterfield, Missouri.  She received a B.A. in Communication, with honors, from UIS in 2006.  While an undergraduate at UIS, she was a reporter for the student newspaper, The Journal.  She also served an internship with Illinois Country Living, the monthly magazine published by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives.

Related sites

Public Affairs Reporting at UIS
State Journal-Register

Magbanua, daughter of Melita and Oscar Magbanua, of Streamwood, received a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006.  While at UIUC, she was a senior reporter, producer, and newscast editor for WPGU-FM, the student-run radio station.  She has served internships with WFLD-TV in Chicago and WILL-TV in Urbana and is currently interning with WCFN-TV, Springfield. 

Potter, the son of Carol and Richard Potter, of Rockford, also received a B.S. in Journalism from UIUC in 2006.  At Urbana-Champaign, he was news editor of The Leader, a weekly newspaper covering 12 communities in Champaign and Vermilion counties, and served two years on the student advisory committee to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.  Before coming to the U of I, he was editor of the student newspaper at Rock Valley College, Rockford. 

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.