From One Cherub to Another

– Medill School of Journalism July 27, 2000
By Deborah Cassell, MSJ00

Other than advances in technology, not much has changed in 15 years, according to 1985 graduates of Medill’s portion of Northwestern’s “Cherub” program.

Students are still writing news and trend stories. They’re still “rotating rewrites” — editing each others’ work until it is flawless. And they’re still listening to speakers’ advice on the future.

Former Cherubs Matt Baron, Kathleen Glynn, Audrey (Finkel) Esposito and Jeff Bouley shared their memories and experiences on Monday night with the 86 students participating in the Journalism Division of this summer’s National High School Institute.

Baron, who went on to college at Medill (BSJ90), said he didn’t know Northwestern from Northeastern when he came to Evanston in the summer of 1985. He did know that he wanted to be a writer, and the Cherubs program gave him many of the skills he uses today. After eight years as a newspaper reporter and columnist, Baron now freelances for the likes of USA Today, Time magazine and the Chicago Tribune.

Glynn said it doesn’t seem that long since she was a Cherub. Following that summer, she ended up a communications major at Northwestern. “I’m a ‘multi-sensory’ communication person now,” she said. After working on a political campaign for two years and then earning her master’s in architecture, Glynn now consults for a multimedia software imaging firm.

Esposito said she was a terrible Cherub, “but I was a darn good broadcasting editor.” After her summer at Medill, she fell in love with radio for its brevity of language. Esposito spent eight years as a writer and then producer at WBBM News Radio. Today, she does public relations work for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“I’m a sellout,” said Bouley, who wrote for several publications before joining the corporate world as a proposal writer. But Bouley, who went on to get two degrees at Medill (BSJ90, MSJ91), added that his experience with the Cherub program was an asset to every one of his “itty-bitty” careers.

The former Cherubs joked with students about dorm life at NU, and they also offered thoughts on how to spend the rest of the week and the not-so-distant future.

“Try to preserve as much of what you did as possible,” Baron told students, as he pulled out a folder containing his own “wretched” stories from 1985.

“Enjoy the time you’ve got here,” Bouley said, after recounting his own favorite moments as a Cherub.

“There’s always the necessity to write,” Glynn asserted, offering her own experiences both inside and outside the field of journalism as proof.

The skills you are learning now are just as valuable today as they were 15 years ago, Esposito told students, adding that the only thing that has changed is the technology.

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