An award-winning journalist and author for more than 32 years, Michele Weldon is an assistant professor of journalism at her alma mater, the Medill School of Northwestern University, where she has taught since 1996. An expert on issues related to media and also to women, she is a columnist for the Huffington Post and a mentor/editor and seminar trainer with The OpEd Project, an initiative to increase the diversity of voice in public discourse.
Her first critically acclaimed book, I Closed My Eyes, (Hazelden/ HCI, 1999) has had more than a dozen printings, was translated into seven languages and will be available with a new edition as an ebook and app in late 2011. Weldon's second book, Writing to Save Your Life (Hazelden/ HCI, 2001), has been translated into four languages, is the basis of her Writing to Save Your Life Workshops and will also be available with a new edition as an ebook and app in late 2011.
Her third book, Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page (University of Missouri, 2008), won the National Federation of Press Women nonfiction book award in 2009. She recently completed a nonfiction memoir, Escape Points, about raising three sons, all who wrestled competitively or wrestle still in high school, her work as a journalist and professor and her recovery from cancer.
Weldon has written chapters in several other books, including an essay in This I Believe on Fatherhood (Wiley, 2011); "The Changing Nature of News" in the Encyclopedia of 21st Century Media (Sage, 2009); "Making Readers Want Novels is Writer's Hardest Job," in Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates (University Press of Mississippi, 1989).
She began her editorial career after earning a BSJ and MSJ at Medill in 1979 as managing editor at North Shore magazine; then worked as a market editor for ADWEEK magazine and later Fairchild Publications. She was a columnist and feature writer for the Dallas Times Herald, and has been a regular contributor to newspapers, websites, magazines and radio such as Alternet.org, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago magazine, Chicago Parent, Dial, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Parenting, Seventeen, Writer's Digest, West Suburban Living, womensenews, Woman's Day and hundreds more, including academic publications such as Harvard's Nieman Narrative Digest. She has given more than 200 keynotes on issues related to women and media. All of her work can be linked to at www.micheleweldon.com.
Catherine Richardson, Assistant Professor
Cathy Richardson has been with the School of Social Work since September 2007. Her areas of specialization include Indigenous resistance, decolonizing approaches to social work, response-based practice, safety-oriented and dignity-based child protection work, recovery from violence, and Indigenous approaches to research and scholarship centered around cultural, ecological and spiritual integrity. Dr. Richardson is interested in the intersections between family therapy, child protection, language-use and social responses to families.