Roger Ebert

By Molly Leahy, Communications and Marketing Intern

In honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and University of Illinois journalism graduate Roger Ebert, three undergraduate students have been named as this year’s Roger Ebert Fellows. In addition to a stipend, the fellows will be mentored by Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, who will help develop their arts journalism and media criticism skills. The fellows will also write for outlets like The Daily Illini, Illinois Public Media, and other outlets. Congratulations to Eunice Alpasan, Pari Apostolakos, and Curtis Cook!

Eunice AlpasanEunice Alpasan is a journalism major with a passion for culture and multimedia reporting. If she’s not in the newsroom for Buzz Magazine or writing for the Collective Magazine, Alpasan enjoys going to concerts and museums. Alpasan is excited to improve her reporting and storytelling skills while focusing on her love for the arts. “Being an Ebert Fellow brings me a step closer to pursuing a potential career in arts and culture reporting,” Alpasan said. “I am very eager to take advantage of this experience and learn everything I can as I continue on my journey of becoming a better reporter.” Her favorite movie: A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Pari ApostolakosPari Apostolakos is a journalism major with minors in both Spanish and theatre who is honored to carry on Roger Ebert’s legacy. In addition to wanting to pursue broadcast journalism after graduation, Apostolakos currently serves as an assistant features editor for The Daily Illini and has a passion for entertainment journalism. “I am honored and elated to be an Ebert Fellow, and I am so enthusiastic to gain experience in the field of arts and entertainment journalism while meeting interesting people along the way,” Apostolakos said. When not in The Daily Illini's newsroom, Apostolakos loves to act in theatrical productions by the Penny Dreadful Players. Her favorite movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Curtis CookCurtis Cook is a media and cinema studies major who hopes to pursue film production or write about film after graduation. “I enjoy movies so much because I believe that film transcends entertainment like no other medium,” Cook said. When he’s not in class working on his latest project, Cook is involved in Illini Film and Video and enjoys rooting for the Illini at sporting events. Cook also attended Roger Ebert’s high school in Urbana, and credits the critic for inspiring him to pursue a career in media. His favorite movies: Tied between 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Tree of Life.

The Roger Ebert Fellowships were established in 2015. The fellowships, created in conjunction with the forthcoming Roger Ebert Center at the College of Media, are designed to help College of Media students prepare for an increasingly competitive arts media job market.