February 15, 2006

Alumnus, reporter Jackie Spinner to speak at SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Jackie Spinner, an award-winning staff writer for the Washington Post and author of a new book detailing her personal observations while covering the war in Iraq, will deliver the Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale later this month.

Her lecture begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the SIUC Student Center Ballroom D.

The lecture is open to the public, and admission is free.

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend a media availability with Jackie Spinner at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, SIUC School of Journalism, political science department, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts and Women's Studies are sponsoring Spinner's lecture.

"Walter Rodgers' insights on the Iraqi war drew rave reviews in the fall, and I fully expect Jackie Spinner to be equally as stimulating as she offers a perspective – gained by risking life and limb – on this complicated and controversial conflict," said institute Director Mike Lawrence.

Spinner is the second SIUC alum and journalist to return to campus within the last six months to provide perspective on the war and situations facing Iraqis. Walter C. Rodgers, one of the nation's most respected journalists and a two-degree SIUC graduate, spoke on campus in October.

A staff writer at the Washington Post since 1995, Spinner earned a bachelor's degree with honors in journalism from SIUC in 1992.

She covered the war in Iraq for the Washington Post – even surviving a kidnapping attempt. A contributor to many programs, including MSNBC, PBS, CNN, ABC and National Public Radio, Spinner has recently spoken on the plight of American journalist Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor abducted in early January in Baghdad.

Spinner's book on her own experiences in Iraq, "Tell Them I Didn't Cry: A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss and Survival in Iraq" was released late last month. She will hold a book signing following her lecture.

She delivered the SIUC College of Mass Communication and Media Arts' May 2005 commencement address, and received the Alumni Achievement Award.

The lecture series brings speakers to campus in the spring and fall of each year. SIUC alumnus Jerome M. Mileur, a native of Murphysboro, established the series in 1995 in honor of two of his political science professors – Ward Morton and David Kenney – who inspired him as a student. Mileur earned a bachelor's degree in speech in 1955 and a doctorate in political science in 1971 from SIUC. He became a professor emeritus in political science at the University of Massachusetts in 2004.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Jackie Spinner

Jackie Spinner
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