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The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Three new faculty members to join WVU School of Journalism

Three new faculty members will join the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism (SOJ) this fall, filling the Shott Chair of Journalism, the newly established Harrison/Omnicom Professorship in Advertising and the role of director of Graduate Studies.

Former reporter Toni Locy brings a wealth of national reporting experience to the School as the latest Shott Chair of Journalism. As a 1981SOJ alumna, Locy returns to her alma mater to give back to the school that sent her on the road to success 26 years ago.

Locy has worked for the nation’s biggest and best news organizations, covering beats ranging from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Mafia to state and city government. Beginning her career at the former Pittsburgh Press, Locy later reported for the Philadelphia Daily News, Boston Globe, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today and The Associated Press.

“I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with WVU students with the hope that they will learn to love reporting the news as much as I do,” said Locy.

Locy’s specialty was covering federal courts and law enforcement. Editors at the Boston Globe nominated her for a Pulitzer Prize for a four-part series she reported and wrote on the Boston Police Department’s inability to solve serious crimes. She was one of three reporters at the Washington Post who wrote the first published story about the investigation of President Clinton’s relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Locy also was a member of a national investigative team at U.S. News & World Report.

At USA Today, she covered the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack and its aftermath, including the Bush administration’s policies regarding terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and elsewhere. As an AP reporter, Locy covered the U.S. Supreme Court and national legal issues.

She left the AP in 2006 to attend the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law, where she was awarded a master’s degree in the studies of constitutional and criminal law in May 2007.

Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam brings her advertising and marketing expertise to the school as the Harrison/Omnicom Professor of Advertising. Quilliam comes from Michigan State University, where she is completing her doctorate degree in mass media from in the department of advertising, public relations and retailing.

At Michigan State, Quilliam was awarded a University Distinguished Fellowship, a Dissertation Completion Fellowship and a Food, Nutrition and Chronic Disease Research Award. The University Distinguished Fellowship is offered by the MSU Graduate School to recognize academic achievement, research goals, demonstrated leadership potential and contribution to a diverse educational community.

Quilliam has been involved in several research projects including programs funded by the National Science Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the American Academy of Advertising and Microsoft. Her research focuses on marketing and social responsibility.

She brings to the classroom more than 20 years of professional experience in strategic communications, primarily in the financial services sector. She has held executive positions and directed award-winning campaigns at national firms, including Equifax Card Services and the New York Cash Exchange ATM and debit card network. As a consultant, her work experience ranges from copywriting to directing promotional campaigns to developing complete marketing programs for start-up technology companies. She received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and her MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Being offered the Harrison/Omnicom Professorship is a tremendous honor and the fulfillment of a long-time dream,” said Quilliam. “With the support of the SOJ and Tom Harrison, I will have the opportunity to work in an exciting, innovative educational environment. I look forward to teaching and learning with the students and faculty here.”

Steve Urbanski, also an alumnus of the School of Journalism (1978), will be the new director of graduate studies. An award-winning newspaper design editor and experienced journalism teacher, Urbanski holds his doctorate in rhetoric from Duquesne University. In addition to running the School of Journalism’s on-campus graduate program, Urbanski will teach design and journalism courses.

“I’m excited and honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the journalism school’s continued rise toward excellence,” said Urbanski. “The faculty and staff at the J-School are among the most professional and helpful people I’ve ever worked with.”

A page design editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 1993, he has designed feature, sports, news and business pages, as well as special sections for the 240,000-circulation daily. Urbanski has received many regional and national awards for his design work, including most recently, the 2006 Society of Newspaper Design Award of Excellence for Individual Design Portfolio.

Before coming to Pittsburgh, Urbanski worked at several other newspapers, including the Mountain-Statesman in Grafton, W.Va., The Sun Tattler in Hollywood, Fla., the Dallas Times Herald and the Herald Standard in Uniontown, Pa.

He also taught as an adjunct professor for 10 years at Duquesne University and served as advisor to the Duquesne Duke student newspaper since 1999. Under his leadership, the student newspaper won more than 50 regional, state and national awards for design, photography and writing. He also has taught undergraduate and graduate journalism courses at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

Urbanski is co-author of the article, “What Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke say about the press and the erosion of public trust,” published in 2006 by Journalism Studies. His dissertation topic focused on the development of a free press in the African nation of Benin.