At Izzy Awards 2015

Maura Stephens

Retired Associate Director, Park Center for Independent Media, Department of Journalism
Staff, Roy H. Park School of Communications
Staff, Park Center for Independent Media


From April 2010 until June 2016 Maura Stephens served as associate director of the Park Center for Independent Media after a career that included mainstream and independent media and other fields.

Maura believes strongly that journalism is a critically important component of any democratic society and that it can and should be a noble profession -- right up there with nursing, teaching, firefighting, and organic farming.

She will always cherish the time she spent working with PCIM director Jeff Cohen, whose observations on and assessments of the media she has long admired and whose progressive outlook she shares, and with Brandy Hawley, the world's best administrative assistant and generous supporter of students, faculty, and staff. She especially enjoyed helping to nurture a new generation of ethical, inquisitive, well-equipped professionals committed to journalism for the common good. Although she has now retired, she continues to work in indy media and looks forward to many collaborations with other committed independent journalists.

Her portfolio in the Park Center for Independent Media included mentoring student journalists toward careers in independent media; tracking highlights and trends in independent media as well as the best national and locally-focused independent media throughout the country; writing and selecting content for the Park Center for Independent Media online sites; writing stories for independent media outlets on media and related topics (isn't everything related to media in some ways?); and helping director Jeff Cohen with internship management and public events.

A generalist and systems thinker, Maura sees the connections among all disciplines, indeed all aspects of life. Besides journalism, independent media, and media reform, Maura's subjects of greatest expertise and interest (at present) are fclimate change,  fracking and fossil fuels and related industrial activities and infrastructure, governance systems, conflict resolution, education, entrepreneurship, human rights, interdisciplinary studies, international relations, intercultural communications, Iraq, Ireland, nongovernmental organizations, organic farming, organizational structure, patient advocacy, sustainability, theater arts -- acting, directing, and playwriting -- torture and its elimination, UN issues, urban lot reclamation, and water rights and protection.

She tries to bring all of these passions to her journalism and education; they inform her efforts to help students become ethical, socially responsible journalists in the rapidly changing and more-than-a-little scary world that is their inheritance.

Read about Maura's work before coming to PCIM here.

Read some of Maura's recent writing here.


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