Faculty & Staff
Carolyn Dale, 1977
Associate Professor. B.A., M.C., University of Washington. Dale has been teaching at Western for more than 25 years. During that time, she has chaired the department, led university re-accreditation efforts and taught abroad. Her journalism experience includes being a reporter and editor with The Bellingham Herald and The Tacoma News Tribune. She is co-author, with Tim Pilgrim, of “Fearless Editing: Crafting Words and Images for Print, Web and Public Relations,” Allyn & Bacon, 2005. A vita and information on current courses are available on her Web page.
Home page: http://hope.journ.wwu.edu/cdale/
John M. Harris, 2000
Associate Professor. B.A., American Studies, Wittenberg (Ohio) University; M.A., University of Oregon; Ph.D., University of Washington. Worked for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer for The Bellingham Herald, Skagit Valley Herald, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Spokesman Review in Spokane. Also researched three books with the late Jack Olsen, "Son: A Psychopath and his Victims," "Give a Boy a Gun" and "Cold Kill."
Stephen S. Howie, 2005
Senior Instructor. B.S., Beloit ( Wisc.) College; M.F.A., Creative Nonfiction writing, University of Pittsburgh. He worked 15 years as a professional journalist and teacher. He worked for the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Preservation magazine. His first book was, "The Bluffton Charge: One Preacher's Struggle for Civil Rights." Before coming to Western, Steve worked for three years as an education reporter, assistant city editor and features editor at the Skagit Valley Herald.
Jennifer Keller, 2007
Associate Professor. B.A., Kenyon College; M.A., Syracuse University; M.A., Salisbury University. She worked for more than 15 years in public relations for a variety of nonprofits, corporations and PR firms in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Seattle. She also worked as a media buyer for the 1992 Clinton campaign. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, she taught public relations at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.
Jack Keith, 2006
Senior Instructor. B.A. (double major in economics and journalism), Ohio Wesleyan University. He worked more than 30 years as a daily newspaper editor, including serving as managing editor of The Bellingham Herald from 1980-1996, where he wrote a weekly column. He was elected to the national Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors during that period. More recently, Keith held a variety of editing roles for The News Tribune in Tacoma for 10 years, including serving as the business editor from 2002-2006.
Maria McLeod, 2012
Assistant Professor. B.S., Eastern Michigan University; MFA, University of Pittsburgh. She has worked as a PR consultant, writer, and media specialist for more than 25 years, focusing on governmental institutions, nonprofits, and the private sector. She is author of "Washington State Department of Ecology, Historically Speaking 1970-2005," a collection of in-depth interviews. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, McLeod directed the July Program at Bennington College, taught writing at Southern Illinois University, and served as an academic advisor for the University of Pittsburgh.
Carolyn Nielsen, 2005
Associate Professor. B.S., Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; M.S., Northwestern University. She worked as a newspaper reporter for The Bellingham Herald, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, The San Francisco Examiner (correspondent) and other daily newspapers in California and Nevada; Editorial page editor of The Bellingham Herald until 2004.
Peggy Watt, 2004
Associate Professor. B.A., Journalism and Political Science, Western Washington University; M.L.A., Stanford University, with research in online journalism. Newspaper reporter in Washington and California, and covered the high-tech industry for PC World for 20 years while based in Silicon Valley.
Sheila Webb, 2008
Associate Professor. B.A., English, University of Michigan; M.F.A., University of Wisconsin; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin. Her research area is the cultural role of the media, particularly the role and rhetoric of news narratives in magazines. She served as Project Manager of ONline@UW, and has worked in museums as an educator, curator, and public information coordinator. She previously taught at the University of South Dakota, the University of Wisconsin, and Marquette University.
Karen Smith, Journalism Department Manager.
Alexis Tahiri, 2010. BA, Western Washington University (2009). Assistant Department Manager.
Alethea Macomber, 2002. Business Manager for Student Publications.
Emeritus Faculty / In Memoriam
These are faculty who founded our department and shaped it into what it is today. We would like to honor their legacy here.