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NU/Medill Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the African American Studies Department

by Julianne Sun (BSJ24)

Northwestern’s African American Studies Department (AFAM) will be hosting and celebrating its 50th anniversary on May 20, 2022. The event will celebrate all that the department has achieved to date since its inception, as well as map out what they hope the next 50 years will look like. The anniversary celebration will be available both in-person at the Block Museum of Art and virtually over Zoom. Current students and faculty are welcome to attend, as well as alumni and anyone else who might be interested.

AFAM finds its roots in the Bursar’s Office Takeover in 1968, according to Northwestern’s commemorative web page of the historical event. Otherwise known as the May 4th Agreement, it marks the 38-hour peaceful occupation of the Bursar’s Office by 120 Black Northwestern students. The occupation protested the issues of racism Black students encountered on campus, but presented a list of demands for the university. These included increasing the percentage of Black students in the incoming student population, providing more and greater scholarships for Black students, designating separate living spaces for Black students, and creating a separate Black student union. The Black House on Sheridan is a direct result of the occupier’s efforts, and functions as the Black student union to this day.

“It is important to celebrate this 50-year milestone to give honor and respect to all of the people who did the work and made the sacrifices for us to exist today,” said Mary Pattillo, the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies and chair of AFAM, “and to celebrate the people who have been educated by this department over the years.” The research done by AFAM alumni – from law to medicine to journalism to education to social justice – is all encompassing, and AFAM’s overarching goal is to “address that research to the aims of Black liberation.”

Despite the progress made by the May 4th Agreement and AFAM’s 50 years of work, the goals expressed during the Bursar’s Office Takeover remain unchanged. AFAM faculty have published hundreds of scholarly books and academic articles challenging the boundaries of studying race, gender, sexuality, and culture, but they have also led and participated in countless struggles, from increasing Black enrollment and faculty to the anti-apartheid movement.

“Our impact on our students,” said Pattillo, “on Northwestern, on academic fields, and on Evanston and Chicago and beyond, will continue to be our work in the years to come.”

Raedell Boateng, a Northwestern alum who graduated from her undergrad in 2007 with a major in journalism and a minor in AFAM, said “My decision to minor in AFAM studies was 100 percent grounded in how much my Black femininity was not seen/valued and [that was] why the telling of our stories became very important to me during my undergrad. I found that the promoting of objectivity in journalism wasn’t going to work for me, but how to craft a story—the visuals, the words, the sources of information—is the most important thing I learned in Medill.”

Realizing in her senior year that she didn’t want to be a journalist, Boateng went on to become a teacher through Teaching for America, a nonprofit organization that trains teachers to expand opportunities for low-income students. She is now an educator and liberation life coach and uses Black women’s stories and experiences as a launching point across all of her work.

“I can’t imagine not being an educator,” she said, “and my experiences in Medill and AFAM studies play a huge role in how I approached teaching and in what I do now. I also entered into teaching wanting students to see the world through windows and mirrors—to value others and value who they are—and to understand how privilege creates barriers to holding such values, but literature, storytelling, and justice will help us overcome.”

Regarding this momentous anniversary, Pattillo said, “We decided to make this like a reunion and to celebrate the students who have come through the classrooms over the last half-century. Come to see old classmates. Come to see former professors. Come to see old colleagues. Come to find out what people have done since you last saw them. Come to see how strong the department is because of the people who make it up. Come to hear how African American Studies acts in the world to make it better.”

Registration for the in person anniversary can be found here, and the virtual event registration can be found here.

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Medill inducts six alumni into 2022 Hall of Achievement class

Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications welcomes six inductees into its Hall of Achievement for 2022. The distinction honors alumni whose careers have had positive effects on their fields.

“The Medill Hall of Achievement class this year reflects the breadth of Medill’s influence through many industries including media but also well beyond it,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “These exemplary alumni demonstrate that a Medill education can take you anywhere and give you the opportunity to do anything.”

 

Juan Cappello (MSJ66)

juan-cappello150x200.jpgJuan C. Cappello’s work as a journalist and strategic communications executive has been recognized by professional and civic organizations in the U.S. and overseas. Early in his career, Cappello received the Inter American Press Association Award for Young Journalists. In the field of strategic communications, he was the senior vice president, corporate affairs/marketing for ITT Corporation for almost two decades – the first Latin-born top corporate officer at a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company. Before founding his own strategic communications consulting firm in 2009, Cappello was president and partner of Hill & Knowlton in Latin America. He has been recognized by nongovernmental organizations and international groups, and he has also received official decorations from the governments of Austria, France and Chile, after its return to democracy in the 1990s, for his participation in human rights and cultural initiatives.

Melissa Grady Dias (IMC98)

melissa-grady-dias150x200.jpgMelissa Grady Dias was appointed global chief marketing officer of Cadillac in September 2019. As CMO, Grady Dias leads strategic marketing for the Cadillac brand around the world. Recently, Grady Dias was recognized by Forbes as one of “The 50 Most Influential CMOs in the World.” Prior to joining Cadillac, she was senior vice president of performance marketing, digital and e-commerce of Jackson Hewitt, where she was responsible for all demand driving activities including television and jacksonhewitt.com as well as the implementation of a hyper-local digital media program across several thousand locations. Before Jackson Hewitt, Grady Dias led digital acquisition on the global marketing team at MetLife where she led digital strategy for the U.S. market and acquisition programs for several lines of business, resulting in large year-over-year growth, and managed metrics plans and insights across all key global markets. Prior to MetLife, Grady Dias led the global analytics, e-commerce marketing, and CRM teams at Motorola.

 

Clinton Kelly (MSJ93)

clinton-kelly150x200.jpgClinton Kelly co-hosted TLC’s wildly popular makeover show “What Not to Wear” for 10 years, and for seven he moderated ABC’s daytime talk show “The Chew,” for which he won an Emmy. He has also been regularly featured on HGTV and Food Network. A former magazine editor (Marie Claire, Mademoiselle and others) and freelance writer, Kelly has authored several books, including the critically acclaimed “I Hate Everyone, Except You,” a collection of humorous personal essays. In 2020 Kelly took a break from television to focus on his writing, working with personal styling clients and hosting regular Style Esteem workshops, through which he helps people evaluate their wardrobes to fine tune their nonverbal messaging.

Mike McGrew (IMC97)

mike-mcgrew150x200.jpgMike McGrew assumed the role of executive vice president, chief communications, CSR & diversity officer for Constellation Brands in April 2020. In this role, he leads a team responsible for developing and executing the company’s corporate communications, investor relations, corporate social responsibility, and diversity, equity and inclusion strategies designed to enhance the company’s reputation with key stakeholders and advance the company’s business strategy. Prior to joining Constellation Brands, McGrew held various roles with increasing responsibility at Grainger, then a $9B global provider of industrial supplies and equipment. Prior to joining Grainger, he worked in corporate communications for Alliant Foodservice (one of the nation’s largest, privately held broad-line foodservice distributors) and Morton International (a leading manufacturer of salt and specialty chemical products). McGrew received his bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern.

 

Stephanie Mehta (MSJ92)

stephanie-mehta150x200.jpgStephanie Mehta is CEO and chief content officer of Mansueto Ventures, the business media company that publishes Fast Company and Inc. She previously spent nearly four years as editor-in-chief of Fast Company, overseeing its print, digital and live journalism. Mehta has held senior writing and editing positions at Vanity Fair, Fortune, Bloomberg Media and The Wall Street Journal. She received a BA in English from Northwestern and her MSJ from Medill. A Chicago-area native, she now lives with her husband and two daughters in Scarsdale, New York.

 

Michael Paul Williams (MSJ81)

michael-paul-williams150x200.jpgMichael Paul Williams is a Pulitzer Prize-winning metro columnist whose opinion pieces appear on the Op-Ed page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In 2021, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary “for penetrating and historically insightful columns that guided Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, through the painful and complicated process of dismantling the city’s monuments to white supremacy.” Williams, a Richmond native, is a graduate of Virginia Union University and Medill. He won Virginia Press Association awards for column writing in 1992, 1994, 2007 and 2014. During 1999-2000, he was one of 24 U.S. and international journalists awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

Medill will honor the 2022 Hall of Achievement classes on May 19 in Chicago.

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Medill announces new leadership for programs in Washington, adds new lecturer

The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications announced today new leaders for its programs in Washington, D.C., as well as a new faculty member to work with Chicago high school teachers and students.

Elizabeth Shogren will join Medill this spring as an associate professor and will lead the graduate journalism Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs specialization in Washington, D.C. Shogren was a senior reporter and producer for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting with her primary focus on climate change. Before that, she was an on-air environment correspondent for NPR’s national and science desks. Early in her career, she covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, as a freelance reporter, before joining the Los Angeles Times’ Moscow bureau. She also covered the White House, Congress, poverty and the environment as a Washington correspondent for the LA Times and was the Washington Correspondent for High Country News.

Recognition for her work has included a nomination for a Peabody Award for “Silencing Science,” her hour-long Reveal episode about censorship of climate change science at the National Park Service. While at NPR, she was a lead reporter for Poisoned Places, a data-driven series about the toxic air pollution that plagues some communities because of the government’s failure to implement a decades-old federal law. The series received several honors, including a Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers.

Ivan Meyers been promoted to senior lecturer and will serve as director of operations at Medill D.C. Meyers helped launch Medill’s new campus in Washington and will support programs for both undergraduate and graduate journalism students.

Michael Spikes will join Medill as a lecturer and curriculum specialist for the Teach for Chicago Journalism Program. This program engages teachers and students in Chicago Public Schools. He also will teach at Medill. Spikes is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy, where his focus is on news media literacy education. Prior to his time at Northwestern, he served as the Director of Illinois Civic News Literacy Educator Training & Digital Resources at the Center for News Literacy, and has also taught Mass Media Studies & Production in Washington D.C. area high schools.

“Medill has a rich tradition of giving our students an unparalleled experience in Washington, gaining significant reporting skills and Elizabeth and Ivan will ensure that mission continues,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “And we’re delighted Mike will help us engage with our community on one of our newest programs, highlighting the concept of media literacy which is a critical element of a healthy democracy.”

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Gayle Kerr honored with Inaugural Don Schultz Award for Innovation in Teaching, Theory and Practice of Integrated Marketing Communication

A committee of Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communication faculty and industry experts have selected Gayle Kerr as the inaugural recipient of the Don Schultz Award for Innovation in Teaching, Theory and Practice of Integrated Marketing Communication.

Kerr is a professor at the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations at Queensland University of Technology. This international award recognizes university faculty and marketing professionals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching the principles of integrated marketing communications (IMC) and bridging the gap between the academic and commercial arenas. Kerr will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

“We considered several candidates who have made great contributions as scholars, as practitioners, or as educators,” said Medill Assistant Professor Judy Franks, who sat on the selection committee. “Like Don himself, Gayle Kerr embodies all three qualities. We celebrate her body of scholarship, her collaboration on important work in both the academy and industry and her tireless efforts to inspire the next generation.”

The award is named for long-time Medill Professor Don Schultz. Schultz played a pivotal role in creating the field of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and establishing the IMC department at Medill in the early 1990s. Medill was the first school to offer a graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications in the United States. Schultz is regarded internationally as the “father of IMC.” He died in 2020.

“Don loved teaching more than any other aspect of academic life,” said Heidi Schultz, Don’s wife. “He wanted this award to celebrate those who make a classroom come alive, ignite passion in their students, and challenge them to think beyond the accepted theories and practices of the moment. Gayle Kerr carries on Don’s legacy with her dynamic, innovative, and forward-looking teaching approach and well deserves to be the first recipient of the Schultz award.”

As a teacher, Kerr has introduced many innovations including the first postgraduate Advertising and IMC courses in Australia and the first advertising digital units at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In 2017, Gayle was awarded Australia’s highest university teaching Award, the AAUT Teaching Excellence Award. She is also the only non-US teacher to win the prestigious American Academy of Advertising Billy I. Ross Award for Education.

“Don has always been a part of my academic life,” said Kerr. “From examining my Ph.D. thesis to working on research together, to presenting at conferences, to inspiring my students. I learned so much from Don and tried my best because of him. Winning an award from such a prestigious institution as Northwestern Medill is an honor in itself. Winning an award in the name of someone who set the trajectory of my career feels like Don’s final endorsement.”

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Sports journalist Mike Greenberg to address 2022 graduates at Medill’s convocation

Medill will welcome Mike Greenberg (BSJ89) to speak with 2022 graduates and families as Medill’s convocation speaker.

“We are honored to have Mike Greenberg come back to Medill to share his valuable experiences and lessons with our community,” said Dean Charles Whitaker (BSJ80, MSJ81). “Mike’s career in sports journalism equips him with a distinct perspective to inspire and influence the Class of 2022 as their careers begin.”

Greenberg is a member of the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the National Radio Hall of Fame and Medill’s Hall of Achievement.

Sports fans listened to Greenberg as one of the hosts on “Mike & Mike” for almost two decades on ESPN Radio. He started his career with ESPN as an anchor in September 1996 with the launch of ESPNEWS. He also anchored ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Recently, Greenberg became host of “NBA Countdown.” He continues to host “Get Up,” ESPN’s morning show, which he began in 2018. He returned to ESPN Radio in August 2020 hosting “#Greeny,” where he shares his take on the trending topics featured from that morning’s “Get Up.” He’s also been host of “Bettor Days with Mike Greenberg” since September 2020, a show on ESPN+ where true stories of gambling adventures are told through character-driven reenactment.

In addition to his radio and broadcast milestones, Greenberg has authored multiple books. His first book, “Why My Wife Thinks I’m An Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad,” was released in 2007 and spent five weeks on The New York Times’ Best Sellers List and received a nomination for a Quill Award. When celebrating 10 years on air with co-anchor Mike Golic in 2010, “Mike and Mike’s Rules for Sports and Life” was released and reached number three on the New York Times’ Best Sellers List. Greenberg wrote the novel “All You Can Ask For” in 2013 and co-wrote the children’s book “MVP: Most Valuable Puppy” with his wife Stacy Steponate Greenberg in 2018. They donated all of the author proceeds from both books to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Greenberg released the novel “My Father’s Wives” in 2015.

Before joining ESPN in 1996, Greenberg was a sports columnist for the Copley News Service in California. He also reported for SportsChannel Chicago and was a sports anchor for the regional cable news network CLTV. He reported on events including the Word Series and the Super Bowl for Chicago’s WSCR-Radio and was a sports anchor/reporter for Chicago’s WMAQ-Radio.

Greenberg’s wife Stacy (IMC95) is a Medill alumna. Their children Nikki (WCAS23) and Stephen (COMM25) are current students at Northwestern. In 2017, the Stacy Steponate and Mike Greenberg Scholarship was created to support undergraduate Medill students with financial need.

Greenberg will address Medill undergraduate and graduate journalism students and their families during Medill’s convocation on June 12.

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Virtual Memorial Scheduled for Alumnus Darran Simon (MSJ04) – RSVP Link

Darran A. Simon (MSJ04) was in awe of the human spirit’s ability to persevere and endure. He was always drawn to writing about the suffering and trauma of all people, especially those who were often marginalized, overlooked, and not compassionately covered in the news.

Simon took seriously his duty to contribute to the first draft of history, methodically preserving the emotional tenor of people’s stories. He was a phenomenal journalist, colleague, friend, son and brother. He mentored high school and college students, championed volunteerism and blazed a path of excellence for all who knew him.

In celebration of a life well lived, a virtual memorial will be held on March 19, 2022 from 1 PM to 3 PM (EST). To RSVP, visit RememberingDarranSimon.com for more information.

Medill has created a new endowed scholarship in Simon’s memory. 

Simon’s career included roles reporting on minority affairs at the Miami Herald, covering education for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, as a crime reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, as a general assignment reporter for Newsday and as a senior writer with CNN Digital in Atlanta. His most recent role was with the Washington Post, where he covered District politics and government.

“Darran was thoughtful, curious and always went out of his way for others. It’s what made him a dear friend and phenomenal person to learn alongside. He took the role of being a reporter seriously and pushed himself to be great at it,” said Jessica Rodriguez Falcon (MSJ04), a friend and classmate of Simon’s. “It’s just not something you see every day.”

Simon was unafraid to tackle difficult topics in his reporting, including covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and profiling the spiritual leader of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, after a brutal terrorist attack by white supremacists.

“The essence of his whole career is not forgetting about the people that news trucks have driven by after the big story has left,” said Allissa Richardson (MSJ04), another friend and classmate. “I think that it’s beautiful that he was able to do exactly what he set out to do.”

Once the scholarship fund reaches $100,000, it will provide a generous award to a talented and deserving student, each and every year, in perpetuity. Northwestern will continue to accept additional gifts to grow the scholarship in the years to come. In tribute to Simon’s commitment to thoughtful and sensitive trauma reporting, the scholarship will support students with a focus in social justice reporting.

The Darran Simon Memorial Scholarship will help address one of Medill’s greatest needs in offering support for graduate students. “Graduate scholarships are essential if we are to continue attracting top candidates to Medill,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker (BSJ80, MSJ81). “Darran was a supremely talented and compassionate journalist, and I can think of no better tribute to his life and work.”

Richardson said she thinks Simon would be honored and humbled by the scholarship dedication. “He would probably suggest it be named after someone else. For his incredible love of history and reading, he probably would have cited a historic person. But he is history. He is Medill history. He’s American history. He’s Black history. And I’m just so glad that he wrote down all that he cared about, and he wrote down to really speak up for other people. And that kind of thing will always outlive you, you know — the arts, our words, what’s written down, is immortal,” she said.

Gifts to the Darran Simon Memorial Scholarship may be made online (explore “Search School and Program Funds”).

Alternately, those wishing to support the fund may send a check to:
Northwestern University
Alumni Relations and Development
1201 Davis Street, Suite 1-400
Evanston, IL 60208-4410

Please make check out to Northwestern University and note the Darran Simon Memorial Scholarship in the memo or enclosure.

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Multidisciplinary artist and former Northwestern football player chosen as IMC graduation speaker

Dwight White II (IMC17), artist and creative consultant, will address integrated marketing communications master’s graduates and their families at Medill’s convocation ceremony on Saturday, December 11.

White is a multidisciplinary creative and his art comes to life through paintings on canvas, large scale murals and public communications to share authentic stories. With his background in integrated marketing communications, he has continued a career path that allows for creative expression that connects with consumers.

“We are eager to welcome Dwight back to campus to speak to our newest IMC graduates,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “As we continue with Medill’s Centennial celebration, it is important to showcase the different and pioneering successes Medill alumni can achieve. Dwight’s career represents the unlimited futures open to Medill graduates.”

After graduation, White pursued his marketing career with Sky Zone Franchise Group as a marketing and program development graduate intern in Los Angeles. He collaborated with team members to analyze customer feedback and transactional data to provide actionable program recommendations to implement across the international franchise network in six countries. He then went to San Francisco, working at Patreon as a consumer research and brand strategy analyst.

White came to Chicago as a senior consumer insights analyst at The Kraft Heinz Company. However, he came to realize during the pandemic he wanted to pursue art as his full-time profession. White’s vast experiences have led him to live as a full-time business and artist professional.

“I am excited to share my story with the new graduates and their families,” White said. “It is a time to reflect on the possibilities of a Medill degree.”

During his time at Northwestern, he played football as the team’s cornerback. However, he left the team in 2014 due to an injury he received during practice before the season opener.

White’s career as an artist has led him to large projects with the Chicago Loop Alliance as he painted a mural recognizing Loop workers on Ida B. Wells Drive. He also has done work on the West and North side of Chicago honoring medical workers during the pandemic and recognizing the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

“The Integrated Marketing Communications program enhanced my ability to gather insights and conceptualize and build strategy as a creative marketer,” White said. “I joined the program to amplify my career and it has brought me to a full-time career in art.”

In addition to murals, White works with businesses on consumer-related art projects in the Chicago area. He also has his artwork in gallery shows across the city where he directly sells his canvas paintings. White has been able to connect with corporate clients as well, such as the Chicago Fire Football Club, for whom he designed special cleats.

Prior to attending Medill, White earned a bachelor of science degree at Northwestern in corporate communications and sociology. He has maintained contact with Northwestern’s football program and painted a mural inside the Northwestern players’ lounge in 2019. Recently, he painted a mural titled “Undivided Legacy” for the newly renovated Black House showcased during homecoming weekend.

The convocation ceremony will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 11 and will be livestreamed and recorded for later viewing.

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Medill announces new international award to recognize innovation in teaching integrated marketing communications

Nominations are being accepted for the inaugural Don Schultz Award for Innovation in Teaching, Theory and Practice of Integrated Marketing Communication, presented by Medill. 
Don Schultz
Long-time Medill Professor Don Schultz played a pivotal role in creating the field of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and establishing the IMC department at Medill in the early 1990s.

This international award is open to university faculty and marketing professionals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching the principles of IMC and bridging the gap between the academic and commercial arenas.

Nominations and applications for the award are being accepted now through Oct. 29.

A committee of Medill faculty and industry experts will review nominations this fall. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and give a presentation on their work in Spring 2022.

The award is named for long-time Medill Professor Don Schultz. Schultz played a pivotal role in creating the field of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and establishing the IMC department at Medill in the early 1990s. Medill was the first school to offer a graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications in the United States. Schultz is regarded internationally as the “father of IMC.” He died in 2020.

“Marketing scholars from all over the world who are developing new customer-centric frameworks and using novel technologies to communicate with customers, society and even whole markets to drive financial performance are encouraged to apply for this award,” said Vijay Viswanathan, Medill professor and associate dean of IMC. “We believe the award will help bring together IMC teachers, scholars and practitioners from around the world, and it will highlight the best practices in IMC and serve as an authoritative learning forum for the global IMC community.”

Schultz advocated for a marketing communication strategy that began with the customer’s perspective, that adopted a holistic view of media and communications planning across various channels and which could be linked to performance in the marketplace. This was a significant change from the dominant communication paradigms at that time where public relations, direct marketing and brand management efforts were disjointed and often with little or no accountability.

Marketers all over the world heeded his call and agencies and companies set up whole IMC departments.

While IMC like other fields has evolved, the core principles that Schultz espoused remain fundamental to the study and practice of IMC even today. Those principles include:

  • An unwavering focus on providing solutions and value to customers.
  • Achieving synergy and integration across all communication activities.
  • Media neutral planning and effective use of all relevant brand touchpoints.
  • Reliance on behavioral data to understand customer motivation, guide strategy development and measure outcomes.
  • Understanding how brand perceptions shape customer behaviors.
  • Executing communication activities for specific markets in meaningful ways while staying true to an overall integrated brand strategy.
  • Interactivity and ongoing customer-marketer relationships.
  • Emphasis on financial outcomes measured in terms of customer response, repeat purchases and brand asset value.

The winner will be selected by a committee that includes Jeanie Caggiano, EVP/executive creative director at Leo Burnett; Judy Franks, Medill assistant professor; Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and digital experience officer at McDonald’s; and Shekar Swamy, group CEO of RK Swamy BBDO.

To nominate someone for the Schultz Award, please visit this application. Additionally, individuals may nominate themselves for the award and submit letters of support from colleagues. The winner and finalists will be announced in January.

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Prof. Joe Matthewson Publishes Fifth Book “Ethical Journalism: Adopting the Ethics of Care”

Joe Matthewson published his fifth book, “Ethical Journalism: Adopting the Ethics of Care,” published by Routledge (August 31, 2021)

In the book, Matthewson argues that that our democracy’s continuing pernicious shortcomings of racial inequity, economic disparity and climate change are simply unacceptable and must be more actively addressed by journalism, to mobilize public opinion to in turn persuade government and business leaders and other thought leaders to take effective action to ameliorate these shortcomings and eventually overcome them.

The template for this new initiative would be a distinctly American philosophy called the Ethics of Care, first formulated by feminist academic philosophers in the 1980s; it holds that emotions, not reason, actually govern human relationships (first postulated by Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume) and expects all people to actively assist family, friends, neighbors and perhaps a broader population when they’re in need. Empathy v. reason. These writers emphatically (and very persuasively) reject the thinking of the rational moral philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and his categorical imperative.

Joe Matthewson head shot.
Prof. Joe Matthewson

“When I encountered the philosophy of ethics of care, I was taken by the very humane approach to people’s relationships with each other, based on emotion rather than reasoning,” Matthewson said. “This philosophy, first articulated by feminist philosophers in the 1980s, postulates—quite correctly, in my view—that we human beings reach out to help family, friends and neighbors in need because of our feelings for them, not because we stop and apply the reason-based moral phi

losophy of what’s right and what can be universally applied to others in the same situation.”

Further, he added, “At the same time, when I ask my students what their aspirations are (as I always do in a little personal information questionnaire), many if not most of them reply that they want to make a difference, change the world, tackle problems like race discrimination. Don’t most practicing journalists today feel the same? They’re not in it for the money; they want to make an impact, and they’re in a position to do so. Even in the face of dishonest, corrupting “news” and social media, our public discourse is still driven by ethical journalism. No big societal problem like racial inequity, economic disparity or climate change can be successfully addressed without truthful, fact-based public information. So I sat down to write.”

Mathewson is a former Supreme Court correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and a practicing lawyer in Chicago. Mathewson also covered business for The Journal, was a reporter for WBBM-TV in Chicago, press secretary to Illinois Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie. He was a Cook County commissioner and a director of several community banks, was an officer of a minority-owned broker-dealer, and was a securities arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers. He also served ten years as a trustee of Dartmouth College.

To purchase the book, please visit: https://www.routledge.com/Ethical-Journalism-Adopting-the-Ethics-of-Care/Mathewson/p/book/9780367690779

20% Discount Available – enter the code FLY21 at
checkout!

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Journalists Katherine Lewis and Chandra Thomas Whitfield awarded Medill Garage Media Entrepreneur Fellowship

Medill, in partnership with The Garage, Northwestern’s entrepreneurial incubator, has awarded the 2021 Medill and The Garage Media Entrepreneur Fellowship to Katherine Lewis and Chandra Thomas Whitfield.

Lewis and Whitfield are long-time journalists, having written for and worked with organizations such as Atlanta Magazine, In These Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post and The New York Times. They plan to use the fellowship to launch The Center for Independent Journalists (CIJ), an education, professional development, support and advocacy organization for independent journalists of color.

“BIPOC freelance journalists produce outstanding work and often struggle to make a living, with few resources centering on our needs,” said Lewis. “Journalists of color and women are more likely to build careers independently, and are frequently exploited and underpaid. The pandemic exacerbated this trend. CIJ will provide education in business development, cash flow, contracts, negotiation, prioritization and time management, as well as community support and mentorship.”

“We need to continually innovate to overcome the obstacles facing contemporary media, particularly on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “That is why talented entrepreneurs like Katherine and Chandra are so important and why Medill is proud to support them in their efforts.”

The one-year fellowship supports entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups—with an emphasis on women and people of color—who are working on innovation in the media industry. As part of the fellowship, Lewis and Whitfield will receive an $80,000 stipend for the year, and access to a variety of resources across Northwestern at Medill, The Garage, the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the University at-large to help them to continue to expand their work.

“I know it sounds cliché but words cannot adequately express what it means to me as a veteran journalist to not only be acknowledged by — but to also be affiliated with — the Medill School and The Garage at Northwestern University,” said Whitfield. “It is an honor, a privilege and definitely a highlight of my career. This is more than just a professional development opportunity for Katherine and me; it is also an opportunity for us to channel our passion, concerns and many years of journalism experience into creating an organization that we firmly believe can fill a huge void and address a long unaddressed need in our industry.”

Throughout its journalism and integrated marketing communications programs, Medill emphasizes the importance of technological innovation and telling the stories of diverse audiences.

The Garage at Northwestern is a community and physical space for every Northwestern student interested in entrepreneurship to learn, iterate and grow. The 11,000 square foot space, carved out of the North Campus parking structure, is currently home to more than 60 student-founded startups and projects.

“Katherine and Chandra are accomplished, seasoned journalists and promising entrepreneurs,” said Melissa Kaufman, founding executive director of The Garage. “We look forward to helping them launch their venture and welcoming them as a resource to our student-founders.”

“Out of an impressive field of candidates, Katherine and Chandra stood out not only for their accomplishments, but for their focus on supporting journalists in the evolving media ecosystem through The Center for Independent Journalists,” said Mike Raab, associate director at The Garage, who helped to select Lewis and Whitfield.

Katherine Lewis

Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an award-winning journalist and author based in the Washington, D.C. area who writes about education, equity, mental health, parenting, science and social justice for publications including The Atlantic, The New York Times, Parents and The Washington Post. Her 2015 story on the school-to-prison pipeline became Mother Jones’ most-read article ever, and led to her bestselling 2018 book, “The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever — And What to Do About It.” Her current long-form narrative project on racial justice in education is supported by the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism and the MIT Knight Science Journalism fellowship. As a biracial journalist (Asian American and White), she’s been active in the Asian American Journalists Association for more than 20 years. Before becoming a freelancer in 2008, she worked as a national correspondent for Newhouse News Service and Bloomberg News.

Chandra Thomas Whitfield

Chandra Thomas Whitfield is a multiple award-winning multimedia journalist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of media outlets, including NBCNews.com, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Undefeated, Essence, Ebony, People, Newsweek, The Root, The Grio, TIME.com, NPR.org and the Atlanta affiliate of NPR. As a 2019-2020 Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Journalism Fellow, she served as host and producer of “In The Gap,” a podcast for In These Times magazine about how the gender pay gap affects the lives — and livelihoods — of Black women in America. Whitfield has also been named “Journalist of the Year” by both the Atlanta Press Club and the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists and received honors from the Association for Women in Communications, the Colorado Association of Black Journalists and Mental Health America. A proud New Orleans native and Clark Atlanta University graduate, she is also an alum of a diverse mix of  other journalism fellowship programs, including with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, the Education Writers Association, Ted Scripps Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder, Soros Justice Media, Kiplinger Public Affairs at the Ohio State University, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism programs, respectively. A feature story that she penned for Atlanta Magazine made the Atlanta Press Club’s “Atlanta’s Top 10 Favorite Stories of the Past 50 Years” list and it is also widely credited with contributing to a change in Georgia law and a teen’s early release from a 10-year prison sentence.