3 graduate students in the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield – Rebecca O’Halloran, Crystal Lindell and Ann Sanner – have been named recipients of the James E. Armstrong Scholarships for 2005.

Patrick Coburn, publisher of the State Journal-Register, presented the scholarships at a lunch held Nov. 14 at the SJ-R offices. The scholarships are awarded in memory of Armstrong, who was publisher of the Illinois State Register and the Illinois State Journal predecessors of the State Journal-Register, from 1964 until his death in 1967. They are awarded to students in the PAR program who have demonstrated strong interest and potential in the field of political reporting and government.

Lindell, daughter of David Lindell, of Geneseo and Maxine Lindell, of Bryron received a B.A. in Political Science from Western Illinois University in 2005. While at WIU, she was a assistant news editor, news section writer, assistant editor-in-chief, and editor-in-chief for the student newspaper, the Western Courier. She also served as president of the WIU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The summer before enrolling at the school, she covered the Knox County Board for the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Sanner, daughter of Karen and Marc Sanner of Illiopolis, received a B.S. in Journalism from the UI at Urbana-Champaign in 2005. While at UIUC, she was a in-depth editor and staff writer for the student newspaper The Daily Illini. She was also a research assistant for William Gaines, Knight Chair Professor for Investigative and Enterprise Journalism, working on a project that focused on identifying and uncovering the identity of Watergate figure Deep Throat. Before enrolling at UIS, she worked for the SJ-R, both as a freelance reporter and as an intern covering police beat and writing features.

O’Halloran is the daughter of Mark and Rose DeMeo, of Burr Ridge, and Nina and Will O’Halloran, of Elmhurst. She received a B.A. in Print Journalism from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, in 2005. While at Hofstra, she was managing editor of the student newspaper, The Chronicle.

She has also been a news reporting intern at Newsday in Melville, New York, and interned with and was a stringer for Liberty Publishing Group in Oak Brook. She is currently a morning news anchor with WDZQ in Decatur.

The Public Affairs Reporting program at UIS, directed by Charles Wheeler, is a 1-year master’s degree program focusing on coverage of state government news. In addition to academic work, students serve 6-month internships with magazine, radio, newspaper, television, wire service, or audio news service bureaus in the Statehouse pressroom in Springfield.

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