14046096_10154395564975270_4752972104668954114_nMy name is Mary Cullen and I am currently a senior at Illinois State University working towards a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in Technical Writing. Upon my graduation in May, I aim to obtain a position working at a media outlet where I will further embrace my passion for journalism.

At Illinois State I maintain a busy schedule packed with leadership roles, internships and classes. As News Editor at The Vidette, I am fortunate to spend a year focused on finding the hard-hitting stories central to Bloomington-Normal, Ill. while also refining both my online and print journalism skills. In that time, I took it upon myself to explore in-depth investigative pieces surrounding campus sexual assault and also the lives of immigrant students and faculty members after Donald Trump’s executive orders on travel and immigration.

During the two years I served as a member on the School of Communication Promotion and Development Team (SoC PD), I developed strong public relations and social media skills. In my role as lead, I effectively led a team of interns through multiple hundred-plus attendee events, organizing the annual week-long COM Week event and handling celebrity campus appearances including Jerry Springer. A major component of this role was effectively managing the School of Communication’s Twitter and Facebook pages leading up to, as well as throughout, SoC PD events.

As a student at Illinois State, I was blessed with the opportunity to study communication abroad on two occasions. These experiences taught me more about communication than any classroom could. I met people from all walks of life that truly showed me how fortunate I am, as well as how sheltered I was before seeing more of the world I live in. I came back from my adventures a more well-rounded and educated individual. The ability to adapt to new cultures and use these experiences to benefit both my personal and professional life is a trait I hold true to my heart.