On this page you'll find the digital version of Sharon's CV. If you'd like a PDF of this, please feel free to use the contact form here


University of Virginia, Charlottesville

MA in English Literature, 1986

University of Chicago

BA in General Studies in the Humanities, 1984

Academic Employment

Associate Professor, Journalism Department, Columbia College Chicago, 2009-present 

Assistant Professor, Journalism Department, Columbia College Chicago, 2002-2009

Adjunct faculty, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 2000-2002

Academic Awards and Fellowships

Innovation Fellowship 2014

Excellence in Teaching Award 2013

Cross-Curricular Collaboration Fellowship 2013

Faculty Development Grant 2012

Critical Encounters Fellowship 2010-2011

Courses Taught

Advanced Interviewing

Advanced Magazine Article Writing

Art Activism Studio Project 

Blogging: Beyond the Basics

College Magazine Workshop

Critical Encounters Seminar

Food and Travel Writing

Grammar for Journalists

Interpretive Reporting

Intro to Journalism

Investigative Reporting Project 

Magazine Article Writing

Magazine Editing

Master Class: Learning on the Lake 

Place, Process, Portfolio: Travel Stories

Travel Writing: Honduras

Selected College Service

Acting Director, Magazine Program 2003-2005, 2013 and 2017

Creative Nonfiction Week co-chair 2002-2012

Excellence in Teaching Award Committee chair 2014-2016 

Faculty Development Grant Committee 2008-2012

Faculty Implementation Task Force 2014-present

Journalism Department Curriculum Committee 2004-present

Journalism Department Curriculum Committee chair 2004-2010 and 2017-present

New Faculty Orientation Facilitator 2010-2014

Scholarship Committees (Fischetti, Kupcinet and Presidential) – various years

School of Media Arts Curriculum Committee 2007-2009 and 2017-present.

Search Committee 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017

Sabbatical Leave Committee 2017-present

All-College Tenure Committee 2017-present

Selected Presentations (2003 - present)

"On Johnson's Shoulders: The Lessons and Legacy of John H. Johnson." Mapping the Magazine 5, Chicago, IL. July 2018

"Descriptive Writing: Bringing Stories to Life." Illinois College Press Association, Chicago IL. February 2017

“Where do Facts Matter? The Digital Paradox in Magazines’ Fact-checking Practices.” Mapping the Magazine 4, Sydney, Australia. December 2016

“Let’s Make ‘They’ a Singular Pronoun. Here’s Why and How” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 92st Annual Convention, New York. March 2016

“How to Come Up with Awesome Story Ideas” and “Blogging Your Way to Better Journalism.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 91st Annual Convention, New York. March 2015

“Blogging Best Practices” and “Coaching Better Blogs.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 89th Annual Convention, New York. March 2013

“Taking Notes and Catching Great Quotes.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 88th Annual Convention, New York. March 2012

“Blending Traditional and Technological Approaches in the Classroom.” Creative Nonfiction Week, Chicago. October 2011

“Enhancing Interview Techniques Through the Use of Actors and Video.” Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference, St. Louis. August 2011

“Critical Encounters: A Successful College-wide Collaborative Civic Engagement.” Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility Conference, Long beach, CA. October 2011

“Tips for Student Journalists: How to Take Notes” and “Primer on Journalism: Ledes, Nut Grafs, Quotes, Structure.” Environmental Journalism Conference, Chicago. February 2011

“Asking Questions: Curiosity is the Key to Being a Good Reporter.” Summer Bridge Program, Chicago. August 2010

“Compelling ledes and satisfying kickers.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s 86th Annual Convention, New York. March 2010

“(Re)visiting Honduras: Reflections on Poverty and Wealth.” Virtual Symposium, Chicago. April 2009

“Finding and telling the story.” Columbia Chronicle critique session. March 2009

“Seven Habits of Highly Effective Interviewers.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 85th Annual Convention, New York. March 2009

“How to make practically anything interesting” and “Effective Interviewing.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 83rd Annual Convention, New York. March 2007

“How to write how-to articles.” American Society for Business Publications Editors, Chicago. April 2007

“Raising Outdoorsy Kids in an Urban Environment.” Dinner Conversations with Leading Educators; Chicago Children’s Museum. January 2007

“Do We Need a Mission Statement?” and “From Idea to Story Idea.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 82nd Annual Convention, New York. March 2006

“Editing for Excellence.” Parenting Publications of America annual convention, Philadelphia. March 2006

“Organizing the long-form feature story.” Medill School of Journalism, Evanston. November 2005

“Their Ideas, Your Standards.” Columbia Scholastic Press Association 82nd Annual Convention, New York. March 2005

"Publication Cover Design.” (Moderator)Independent Press Association, Chicago. April 2003

"Striving and Thriving as a Freelance Magazine Writer." (Panelist) Association for Women Journalists, Chicago. March 2003

"Does Size Matter: What are the Industry Trends for Story Length and What Does it Mean for Telling a Good Story?" (Panelist) Folio: Midwest, Chicago. March 2003

"The Nuts and Bolts of Service Journalism." Parenting Publications of America annual convention, Ft. Worth, TX. February 2003

"Interviewing."  PR Newswire/Chicago Headline Club Media Education Series, Chicago. February 2003

Selected Articles and Book Chapters (2003 - present)

“Where Do Facts Matter? The Digital Paradox in Magazines’ Fact-Checking Practices” (Journalism Practice, May 15, 2017)

“Magazines Find There’s Little Time to Fact-Check Online” (Columbia Journalism Review, March 23, 2017)

“’A Trillion Trillion’: Recent Notable Corrections from Major Publications” (Columbia Journalism Review, March 23, 2017)

“All Sales Final:  The Closing of Chicago’s Clark & Barlow Hardware” (Belt magazine, June 16, 2016)

“You Have to do One Thing Well: Lessons for Magazine Professors from Four San Francisco Magazines” (Magazine Matter, Winter 2016, vol. 36 no. 1)

“Errors, Apologies, and the Need for Community Newspapers” (Wednesday Journal, Dec, 22, 2015 with Suzanne McBride)

“Whose Business is Anyone’s Gender, Anyway?” (In These Times magazine, September 29, 2015)

“The Tricky Matter of Gender Identification.” (Huffington Post, September 29, 2015

“Dirty Jobs; Beautiful Boats” In Adventure Kayak magazine, Summer/Fall 2014

“Discriminating Divas” In Adventure Kayak magazine, Spring 2014

“Is Sustainability a Realistic Objective for Society?” book chapter in Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Sustainability, McGraw-Hill, 2013

“Paddling Pukaskwa: A 195-Kilometer Journey into the Past” in Ocean Kayak magazine, October 2012

“Critical Encounters of the J-Session Kind” Coauthored with Lott Hill in @LAS, Spring 2012

“My Week of Reading Neurotically” in The Common Review, November 2011

“The Right Stuff: Finding a Balance between Preparedness and Bulk isn’t Easy. What are the Essentials?” in Adventure Kayak, October 2011

“Don’t be Afraid of a Dip in the Water” in Chicago Tribune, September 2011

“The Things They Carry” in Adventure Kayak magazine, August 2011

“Learning to See Things a Different Way” in Open Classroom, May 2011

“Built to Trash: Is Heirloom Design the Cure for Consumption?” in In These Times, October 2009

“Professional Development Tour of Chicago Magazines 2008” in Magazine Matter, Winter 2009 

“Join the Evolution: Conference Attendees Describe New Challenges in a Digital Market” in Magazine Matter, Winter 2008

“A Professor’s Diary of the 2008 American Magazine Conference” in Journal of Magazine and New Media Research, Fall 2008, Vol. 10, No. 1

“What gives?” in Chicago Tribune Magazine, December 16, 2007

“Professional Development Tour of New York Magazines 2007” on http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/NY07/

“Appreciating nature’s less adorable sides” in Wednesday Journal, July 25, 2007

“Float your boat?” in Chicago Tribune Magazine, July 15, 2007

“The essential role of today’s PTOs” in Wednesday Journal, June 13, 2007

“Lake Effect: Paddling Lake Michigan had long been a dream for two Chicago kayakers. But last fall’s attempt to make a 50-mile crossing brought them face to face with the perils of adventure” Chicago magazine, April 2007

“Weekend Retreat” in Chicago Sun-Times, March 4, 2007

“Desperately Seeking Old Florida” in Chicago Sun-Times, March 4, 2007

“Break a leg” in Chicago Tribune Tempo section, Aug. 3, 2006

“Professional Development Tour of New York Magazines 2006” on http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/NY06/

“The myth of equity in our schools” in Wednesday Journal, Feb. 15, 2006

“Michigan slopes polish skiing skills” in Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 5, 2006

“The Harbor Master” in Chicago Tribune Tempo section, Nov. 22, 2005

“Down to our last rutabaga” in Wednesday Journal, Nov. 16, 2005

“It Came from Under the Lawn Chair:  If you think you’re safe from Lyme Disease in your own back yard, think again” in Chicago Tribune Magazine, August 21, 2005 

“Professional Development Tour of New York Magazines 2005” on http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/NY05/

“Sugar Blues: As the sweetener’s high price drives candy makers from Chicago, the 5,000 idled workers face a sour job market” in Chicago Tribune Magazine, June, 2005

“Taking an education on the road" in Wednesday Journal, March 2, 2005

“Is there a perfect metaphor for parenting?” Chicago Parent, December, 2004

“Learning to love the holiday sing” Wednesday Journal, December 8, 2004

“Going with the Grain” Chicago Home, Fall/Winter 2004

Reviews of Alice & Friends, Gioco, Khyber Pass, Papaspiros, Pegasus, Phoenix Restaurant, and Szechuan Garden. In Veg Out Chicago, Gibbs Smith, 2005

"The lost change theory of economic assessment (and other musings of an early morning runner)” Wednesday Journal, November 3, 2004

"Kids in college in a swing state? Send them this column" Wednesday Journal, Sept. 29, 2004

“House of Muse: More than a century after becoming a haven for creative talents, the Fine Arts Building remains a cultural hub” Chicago magazine, August 2004

“The sweetest of suites” Chicago Journal, July 1, 2004

“Kid Time: O is for Oak Park” Chicago magazine, April 2004

“Teaching Tip” Magazine Matters, Spring 2004

“For these companies, bathroom humor is a marketing strategy” Chicago Tribune, Tempo section, Feb. 18, 2004

“Mr. Barney’s Place” Chicago Tribune, Tempo section, Jan. 13, 2004

"Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to de-standardize writing" Wednesday Journal. August 11, 2004

"Job switch at Irving was secretive, sudden and deeply flawed" Wednesday Journal, June 16, 2004

"A tale of two schools: What Brooks can learn from Irving" in Wednesday Journal, May 12, 2004

"Suing won’t solve obesity—try changing school lunches instead" Wednesday Journal, March 17, 2004

"NASA’s rover has kindred spirits here on Earth: adolescents" Wednesday Journal, Feb. 4. 2004

“Let’s educate and inspire our kids, not just affirm them” Wednesday Journal, Jan. 7, 2004"Multicultural education’s pleasant side-effect: broader minds" Wednesday Journal, Nov. 12, 2004

"What can you do about District 97's financial woes? Plenty" in Wednesday Journal, October 8, 2003

“Meatless wonders” in Chicago Tribune Magazine, Oct. 5, 2003

"Art to live by: Serene screens, Glorious glasswork, Rare rugs" in Chicago Home, Fall 2003

"Salt in an already open wound" in Wednesday Journal, Feb. 5. 2003

"The hidden value of babysitters: showing their best sides" in Wednesday Journal, Jan. 8, 2003

Selected Editing

Baffled by Love: Stories of the Lasting Impact of Childhood Trauma Inflicted by Loved Ones. 2012-2017. Author: Laurie Kahn. She Writes Press, June 2017.

In These Times. Pro bono copy editing. 2009-present.

Previous Professional Experiences

Editor. Chicago Parent magazine. February 1996 – August 2002

Responsible for determining editorial direction, hiring and supervising staff, overseeing all aspects of editorial content and working with design and production staff for this award-winning monthly magazine (circ. 125,000) in the Chicago metropolitan area. Implemented an editorial overhaul in 1997 and a redesign in 2002. Launched Healthy Child, an annual publication, in 1998. 

Executive Editor. School Age magazine. 1994 – 1995 

Proposed the launch of a national magazine on education issues for parents of elementary school children. Created the prototype and participated in the development of the circulation plan. Cowles Media decided not to launch the magazine. 

Senior Editor. Vegetarian Times magazine. August 1990 – February 1996

Responsible for writing and editing feature stories for this monthly magazine (circ. 340,000) on food, nutrition, ethics, health, animals and the environment. Promoted from Associate Editor in 1992

Professional Awards

Excellence in Teaching Award. Columbia College Chicago 2013

Peter Lisagor Award for Magazine Reporting, General Circulation, for “Criminal Injustice” (as editor) 2000

James Beard Foundation Award for Magazine Article on Diet, Nutrition and Health for “Scientific Studies: How to Handle the Hype” (as editor) 1996

Professional Memberships

Head, AEJMC Magazine Media Division

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Chicago Headline Club (Society of Professional Journalists, local chapter)

Association for Women Journalists

Journalism and Women Symposium

Secretary and Board member, Paddlesports North America