2010s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Christiana Stewart (IMC15)

It’s been just over 5 years since Christiana graduated from Medill and she continues to lean into her consumer centric focus that she took away from the program. Now starting at Nike as the North America Email Director, she still appreciates all she learned from the IMC program as it plays into her work everyday!

1990s Class Notes

Britta Waller Melton (BSJ91)

Britta Waller Melton  presented the content marketing keynote address at the 2021 ASJA Writers Conference, held virtually in April. The talk, entitled “No-Stress Success: Browse, Read and Binge in 2021 to Fuel Your Creativity,” focused on how to cultivate an ‎omnivorous media diet and how to use that to generate ideas and grow your freelance business. Melton is a group creative director at Pace (, which is based in Greensboro, NC.

2020s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Colin Boyle (BSJ20, MSJ20)

Colin Boyle was selected as a finalist for two Peter Lisagor Awards. The nominations are for Best Photography (all media) and Best Deadline Reporting (online) for his visual reporting during summer 2020 for Block Club Chicago. The winners are announced on May 14, 2021.

1990s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Susan Howe (BSJ91)

In April, Susan Howe was named to the PR Week “Hall of Femme,” along with 27 other women leaders in the public relations industry. The award recognizes female leaders who demonstrate commitment to mentorship and the advancement of women in the field. Howe is currently Chief Growth Officer at Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications agency. She serves as Chair of Northwestern’s Council of 100, a group dedicated to supporting Northwestern women in their careers.


Seven Springs: A Memoir

By Ellen Blum Barish (MSJ94)

One afternoon in the spring of 1972, a Mack truck sped through a residential intersection of Philadelphia and collided with a station wagon carrying a young girl and her friend on a ride home from school. The accident shattered the girl’s realities and a blanket of silence fell over them until they reconnected at their 20th high school reunion. That conversation set Ellen Blum Barish on a 20-year journey, reflected in seven springs, that reunited her to her past, her self, and what she now understands as faith.


Pulitzer’s Gold: A Century of Public Service Journalism

By Roy Harris (BSJ68, MSJ71)

Pulitzer’s Gold: A Century of Public Service Journalism (Columbia U. Press, 2016) tells “the real inside story of the most serious journalism of the last century,” as Bob Woodward puts it, in a way that creates “a brilliant portrait of America.” Its fascinating backstories of how Pulitzer Prize-winning stories were unearthed and produced include not only well-know cases like the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and the Washington Post’s Watergate disclosures, but lesser-known exposes over 100 years of great reportiing.


The Nirvana Effect

By Brian Pinkerton (MSJ89)

Society is sheltered indoors. The economy is in ruins. People spend their lives addicted to a breakthrough virtual reality technology, desperate for escapism in a troubled world. The Nirvana Effect has taken over.

Aaron and Clarissa are members of a subculture of realists who resist the lure of a fake utopia. They watch in horror as the technology spreads across the country with willing participants who easily forgo their freedoms for false pleasures. When the young couple discovers a plot to enforce compliance for mind control, the battle for free will begins. What started as a playful diversion turns deadly. The future of the human race is at stake.

The Nirvana Effect is a 2021 release from Flame Tree Press/Simon & Schuster. Brian Pinkerton is the author of 10 novels in the thriller, science-fiction and horror genres, including the USA Today bestseller Abducted. He lives in Wilmette, Illinois.


THE HASIDIC REBBE’S SON – A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery

By Joan Lipinsky Cochran (BSJ75)

Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is surprised when her son, Gabe, brings a frightened young man home from college and asks her to hide him. Menachem left his Hasidic community under mysterious circumstances and fears being kidnapped. Grateful to the young man for befriending her son, whose Asperger’s makes friendships difficult, Becks takes in the boy. Six days later, he’s found floating in a canal.

Police insist Menachem’s drowning was an accident but Becks isn’t buying. Her investigation takes her from the gritty underworld of the South Beach night club scene to secretive Hasidic communities in Miami and New York. With the help of her ex-gangster father and a nosy Hasidic shopkeeper, Becks discovers the leader of a cult-like religious community is subverting rabbinic law to conceal ugly truths. As she uncovers layer upon layer of lies and deceptions, Becks discovers her son’s life may depend on her ability to unearth these secrets.


Gospelbound: Living with Resolute Hope in an Anxious Age

By Collin Hansen BSJ03

As the pressures of health warnings, economic turmoil, and partisan politics continue to rise, Christians aren’t widely known as living for the common good. But there’s another story unfolding too—if you know where to look. In Gospelbound: Living with Resolute Hope in an Anxious Age (Multnomah), veteran journalists Collin Hansen (BSJ ’03) and Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra (MSJ ’05) counter these growing fears with a robust message of resolute hope for anyone hungry for good news. Join these leaders from The Gospel Coalition—one of the largest religion websites in the world—in exploring profound stories of Christians who are quietly changing the world in the name of Jesus, from the wild world of digital media to the stories of ancient saints and unsung contemporary activists on the frontiers of justice and mercy. You haven’t heard the whole story. And that’s good news.

Events Home

May 5: 2021 Hall of Achievement 2020 Inductees – Women in IMC Leadership – on Zoom

Medill honors HOA 2020 Inductees Jeanie Caggiano (COMM82, MSA83) and Kary McIlwain (MSA86) and talks with them about their careers in advertising and marketing and their journeys to executive leadership.

Medill Assistant Professor Danielle Bell will moderate the conversation.

Zoom link: