Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Leadership lived: Maura Freeman heads campus newspaper, while making sure students feel at home on campus


Maura Freeman has two major leadership roles at the University of Illinois Springfield. The senior communication and English major is editor-in-chief of The Journal, the student newspaper on campus, and is a resident assistant (RA) for the Department of Residence Life.

“What's really cool about our newspaper is that we are editorially independent,” she said. “That means that we get to choose what's in our paper. It is student-led, student-operated. We do have a faculty adviser, but otherwise we're kind of on our own and that means that we're a platform for students to have their voices heard.”

As editor-in-chief, Freeman helps decide what stories the paper covers. She also helps proofread stories and makes decisions about the layout of the paper.

“I've always been really interested in writing and I think that my studies really lent toward me working for the paper,” said Freeman, who started working at The Journal as a columnist.

As a resident assistant, Freeman currently oversees Sunflower Court, a family housing complex. In the past three years, as an RA, she says she’s interacted with more than 150 students and still stays in touch with many of her past residents.

“I love being an RA,” she said. “It was my job before I become editor-in-chief and it's been really rewarding to be able to talk to residents and kind of be there for them.”

Freeman, a Plainfield, Illinois native, says she chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the small class sizes, quality academic programs and leadership opportunities.

“All of the roles that I've had on campus so far have really challenged me to be a better person and to be a better leader and through it all I've learned so much about myself,” she said.

Following graduation from UIS, she plans to attend graduate school and start her future career in political communication.

“For me that looks like ideally speech writing, preferably at the national level. My dream goal is to write part of the State of the Union address one day,” she said.