It doesn’t take long to see that Karin Schwanbeck loves her profession.
Schwanbeck, an assistant professor of journalism in the school of communications at Quinnipiac University, oozes enthusiasm.
On a typical day, she stands at the front of the classroom and energetically preaches a disciplined style of broadcast journalism to a class of undergraduates.
“Professor Schwanbeck taught me everything there is to know about journalism,” sophomore business major Sean O’Dowd said.
O’Dowd successfully completed Schwanbeck’s Journalism 160 class during the spring 2005 semester and now has a worn out Associated Press Stylebook and various clips from The Chronicle lying around his room to prove it.
“Her liveliness during class really allowed me to develop an interest in journalism, something which didn’t really interest me that much at first. Her class featured both print and broadcast style journalism. It was the best of both worlds,” O’Dowd said.
For Schwanbeck, it’s an opportunity to introduce students to the world of professional journalism. This is a world in which she has flourished.
Schwanbeck is also a freelance journalist, who recently wrapped up a 2,200-word piece for the November 2005 issue of News Photographer Magazine, which is published in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in various sources, including the Kokomo Tribune published in Kokomo, Ind.
Though it was her first love, print journalism was not what she concentrated her career on.
“I knew that I wanted to be a journalist at 16,” Schwanbeck said.
She grew up in Indiana and graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington, which is widely recognized for its journalism program.
“I wanted to make a difference. I wasn’t good enough at math or science to get into medicine, so I thought being a journalist would be my way of helping to make the world a better place,” she said. “We journalists comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
During her stay at IU, Schwanbeck became involved in radio work for the NPR affiliate on campus. She eventually became the news director of the station.
After taking the one and only television course the university offered, Schwanbeck instantly developed a passion for shooting, writing, and editing packages.
It was an abrupt change in her career path.
“I loved the immediacy of broadcasting,” the slender, blonde-haired Schwanbeck said. “I could get my stories on the air right away. I didn’t have to wait for my story to appear the next day.”
On the road to becoming a broadcaster, Schwanbeck opted to attend graduate school. She decided that it was in her best interest to receive more hands-on training in television news, where the salaries are slightly better.
Schwanbeck was accepted into the prestigious Northwestern
University graduate school in Evanston, Ill. Nearly four months after graduating,
Schwanbeck learned of a reporter opening at WICD-TV (NBC) in Champaign, Ill.
She jumped at the opportunity, quickly landing the job.
After leaving WICD-TV, Schwanbeck worked at the WEEK-TV (NBC) in Peoria, Ill. She stayed active at WFMY (CBS) in Greensboro, N.C. From there, she received a job with WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tenn.
But it’s not about her long and impressive resume. Her commitment to teaching journalism has and always will be of highest priority.
“My goal as a professor is to continue to carry the torch for journalism