2017 360° Sports & Entertainment Camp

Julian Parrott- Associate Dean

julian parrott


  • Ed.D, Higher Education & Administration University of Illinois
  • M.A.  History Western Illinois University
  • B.A. (hons) American Studies University of Manchester, U.K.

Areas of responsibility

  • Associate dean for academic affairs and student services.
  • Supervises the SSC unit.
  • Advises students.
  • MDIA 100 and the occasional MDIA 199 Discovery course

Personal interests

  • Running
  •  soccer, (especially the EPL)
  •   hiking
  •  woodworking
  • reading
  •  movies, James Bond
  •  cooking for friends and family

CL Cole - Media & Cinema Studies Department Head





  • PhD, University of Southern California
  • PhD, University of Iowa


  • Professor of Media and Cinema Studies
  • Professor of Communications
  • Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies
  • Professor in the Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory
  • Faculty affiliate in African American Studies and Research Program; Sociology; and East Asian Studies

Course Specialties

  • New Media Literacy
  • Sport & Documentary
  • Queer Studies

Cole is the co-editor of “Women, Sport & Culture” (with Susan Birrell) and “Sport and Corporate Nationalisms” (with Michael Silk and David Andrews). She is currently completing a book manuscript tentatively titled “Good Sports? The Boundaries of American Democracy.” She is the co-editor of the SUNY book series (with Michael Messner), “Sport, Culture & Social Relations,” and editor of the Journal of Sport & Social Issues. She serves on the editorial boards of Cultural Studies — Critical Methodologies, Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise, and the NYU book series, “Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, & Health in the 21st Century.” She is the recipient of one of the University of Illinois’ Critical Research Initiative Awards and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Research/Creative Endeavor
Professor Cole is currently on sabbatical working with Chicago’s Beyondmedia Education, a non-profit, media-based social justice organization that works with underserved girls and women.

Nancy Benson - Journalism Department Head






  • M.A., Regis University
  • B.S., Moorhead State University


  • Professor of Journalism
  • Interim Department Head
  • Campus Affiliations: 
    • Russian East European 
    • Central Asian Center 
    • European Union Center 
    • Center for Global Studies

Course Specialties

  • Radio journalism
  • Television journalism
  • International reporting
  • Special project reporting

Benson has won awards for her teaching and her reporting. She is a former morning drive anchor and reporter at WMAQ Radio in Chicago. She was a Benton Fellow at the University of Chicago and a Knight International Press Fellow in Eastern Europe. During her more than 30-year career in broadcast journalism at various television and radio stations across the Midwest, Benson has won numerous awards for reporting, including being nominated for a DuPont Columbia award. She is formerly a public affairs consultant with the United Nations World Food Program, Rome. She is listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest.

Research/Creative Endeavor
Since 1998, Benson has done annual journalism training workshops throughout Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, including workshops for journalism faculty. She has worked with radio stations in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic and Bosnia-Herzegovina to develop station identity and news product.

Benson worked with the International Journalism Foundation in New York to start a journalism master’s program in Slovakia and with the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C., to found a journalism school in the Republic of Georgia. She also collaborated with the University of Illinois Human Rights Law Clinic to report on human rights in Kenya.

Related Links

John Paul - Department of Journalism, Lecturer






  • M.S., Journalism, University of Illinois
  • B.S., Radio-TV, University of Illinois


  • Lecturer, Department of Journalism

Course Specialties

  • Television News Reporting 
  • Television Newscast Production 
  • Television Anchoring/Reporting 
  • Broadcast Reporting and Writing 
  • Broadcast Voice and TV Presentation
  • Sports Broadcasting

John Paul is consistently rated among the excellent instructors at the University of Illinois. He is a lecturer in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at the University of Illinois.  He is a veteran Illinois news broadcaster who spent 35 years doing local TV news and public affairs programming. 

John, who goes by “JP,” has taught broadcast journalism at Illinois since 1985.  He currently teaches video storytelling and TV newscast production, beginning reporting for broadcast and sports broadcasting.  He has previously taught courses about broadcast voice and presentation skills and advance television reporting.

For nearly 25 years, John was a TV anchor, reporter, producer and for a while, news director, at WCIA (CBS) in Champaign.  He helped lead that station’s election coverage for two decades.  He was also a producer and TV host at WILL-TV, the PBS station at the University of Illinois.  At WILL, he hosted political debates, campaign coverage and other public affairs programs.  He has also reported from China and Romania.

During his career, he has interviewed U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners, entertainment and sports personalities and plenty of memorable people.  He covered a variety of stories from the execution of serial killer John Wayne Gacy to the Illinois State Barbecuing Championships where he met BBQ legends.

John is a University of Illinois graduate and WPGU alumnus.  He serves on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmys) Mid-America chapter and is a long-time member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Illinois News Broadcasters Association.  John has won a variety of awards including a Telly, Associated Press awards for TV reporting, coverage of spot news, feature reporting and best documentary.

Research/Creative Endeavor
In 2009, John received an Emmy nomination for co-producing a historical TV documentary titled “True Illini Spirit.”  The hour-long television documentary detailed the rich history of Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois.  He was also host and associate producer of “Red Grange Remembers,” another historical documentary about Illini and Bears football legend, Harold “Red” Grange.  These documentaries aired on WILL and other PBS affiliates around the country.

While he was at WILL, he also produced and hosted a series of historical programs called “Illinois Pioneers,” which explored the City of Champaign’s 150 year history.

Related Links

Jean McDonald - Department of Journalism, Lecturer






  • M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Journalism)
  • B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (English Education)


  • Lecturer in Journalism

Course Specialties

  • News Editing
  • Sports Writing
  • The Digital Newsroom

McDonald has 33 years of newspaper experience, including 21 years as a sports editor and sports writer at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Most recently, she was director of information systems and electronic publishing at The News-Gazette.

Shachar Meron - Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, Lecturer





Shachar teaches advertising strategy, creativity and campaigns for the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising at the University of Illinois.

Before life as a lecturer, Shachar worked for 12 years as a creative director, brand strategist and copywriter in Chicago. His clients include Boeing, Cars.com, Nordstrom, TransUnion, Continuum Design, Abbott Labs and CIBA Vision, as well as dozens of startup and early-stage companies.

Along the way Shachar co-founded and ran BatesMeron Design, an indie agency focused on branding and marketing, where he helped grow the business to 30 clients and $1m in billings. He also founded Redacted, which became Chicago’s largest copywriter association in its first year.

Shachar earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Advertising here at U of I. While in school, he published a comic strip in the Daily Illini that (among other things) led to his election as student body president—for one day. Long story.


Kyle Potthast
University of Illinois
College of Media