Discovering what media major is right for you can be a difficult decision when there are so many facets to what makes up our digital world. Exploring what higher education programs have to offer can help you find the right fit!

This panel discussion was for high school students who are interested in pursuing their passions in media. Watch this virtual event and learn more about the types of college and university programs there are for journalism, broadcast news, film, documentary, and television.

This virtual event was organized and sponsored by the Chapter’s Junior Board Outreach Committee. The panel will be moderated by Ronan Morrissey, 2021 DePaul University graduate and Office Production Assistant for NBC’s Chicago Fire, and Lauren Yaccino, 2021 DePaul University graduate and Flame Assistant at Carbon.

During this 90-minute event, the Junior Board also debuted a resource guide that walks students through ways they can determine what career in media and area of study are best for them, and what colleges and universities in the Midwest offer programs in media and broadcasting. The resource guide also provides a list of websites, free software, and other valuable resources to help strengthen skills in TV and news writing, filmmaking, editing, cinematography, and media literacy.


Lee Hood joined Loyola University’s School of Communication as an Associate Professor in Broadcast Journalism in Fall 2009. Hood has won two Emmy Awards for her work as a television news producer and a faculty teaching award at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a published author and has worked at numerous television stations around the country. Hood has also been a radio and newspaper reporter. ​

Gary Novak has been at DePaul since 2002 and is one of the founding members of the Cinema Program. He has worked as a producer, writer, and director. Novak’s projects have included commercials, documentaries, television series, and independent feature films. Gary has a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute.

Kristin Pichaske is an associate professor of cinema and television at Columbia College Chicago. She has 20 years of experience producing and directing award-winning documentary films and digital series’ for industry leaders including Lucasfilm, ITVS, PBS, and the Center for Public Broadcasting.

Larry Stuelpnagel is an Emmy award-winning reporter who teaches broadcast and multimedia reporting at Northwestern University. He is also the faculty adviser for Northwestern News Network, an award-winning student produced newscast for the web and TV. Stuelpnagel has worked as a senior correspondent/ anchor, new director, and reporter for PBS, CBS, and ABC affiliates.

Lisa Traut worked in the television industry for 18-19 years at KWQC-TV, CLTV, and ESPN and freelanced for a number of networks, including ESPN, Fox Sports, ABC Sports, and CBS Sports. In those positions, Traut had a number of roles, from Master Control operator to Technical Director to Graphics Operator to Infinit Operator and many more. Traut has taught media for 26 years and is currently a teacher at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL. She is the current Secretary for the Midwest Media Educators Association and was a Past President of the organization.