St. Francis Writers’ Conference Welcomes Maudlyne Ihejirika

roger-reeves_1Nov. 6, 2017 | Joliet, Ill.

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for this year’s St. Francis Writers’ Conference at University of St. Francis is Maudlyne Ihejirika.

Maudlyne Ihejirika is an award-winning, Chicago Sun-Times Urban Affairs reporter/columnist with nearly 30 years experience in newspaper journalism, public relations and government. She currently pens the Sun-Times’ “Chicago Chronicles” column, long-form stories on “people and places that make Chicago tick,” with particular focus on African-American and Hispanic communities. She is the author of the recently published “Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War,” a riveting tale of her family’s survival of the brutal Nigerian-Biafran War and miracles that brought them to the U.S. as refugees on June 9, 1969.

A Sun-Times staffer for 24 years, she has served as assistant city editor and covered beats from crime and inner city issues to housing and education, politics and philanthropy. Ms. Ihejirika left the Sun-Times in 1997 to serve as Gov. Jim Edgar’s press secretary for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and in 1999, left state government to launch the Ihejirika Media & Communications Group. Her niche public relations firm managed the successful re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush in 2000, when he was challenged by a then little-known politician by the name of Barack Obama. It would be the only race Obama would lose on his upward trajectory to U.S. president.

Returning to the Sun-Times in 2003, Ms. Ihejirika’s numerous awards include the 2016 Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award; the prestigious 2015 Studs Terkel Award, and 2015 NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for best newspaper series nationally. She also earned NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards for best newspaper features in 2014 and 2011; the Vernon C. Jarrett Par Excellence in Journalism Award in 2013; and two Society of Professional Journalists Lisagor Awards in 2008. A frequent guest contributor on WTTW-11’s “Chicago Tonight: Week In Review” and FOX-32’s “Good Day Chicago,” she has appeared as a political analyst on CNN, TV One, ABC- and CBS-TV; as well as on NPR-, WBEZ-, WVON- and V103-radio stations.

Find more on Ms. Ihejirika here:

More on her Chicago Sun-Times work here:

And more on her book here:

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 3,900 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 48,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.