Jeff Williams - Alumni | CMCMA | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Jeff Williams

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B.S., Radio and Television, 1990

News and Public Affairs Director

WSIU Broadcasting Services

I was born and raised in Salem, Illinois.  I was originally a Civil Engineering major.  Having participated in radio club in high school I started volunteering after class at the college’s radio station.  It didn’t take long to figure out that radio was in my blood and it was time to move on from Differential Equations and Linear Algebra!  I moved back home, started working part time at our local radio station (WJBD) and transferred to SIUC.   I chose SIU’s R-TV program because of its dedication to hands on learning and its excellent reputation in the industry.  Then faculty members Ken Keller and Mike Murrie along with WSIU’s Jak Tichenor were invaluable in forging the foundation for my career in broadcast journalism.  The opportunity to put classroom learning into practical application allowed me, as a junior, to cover a major murder trial.  My stories were carried on stations across the region including KMOX in St. Louis. I graduated in 1990 with a News major and a minor in Political Science. The lessons learned and the experience gained as an R-TV student still serve me to this day. 

After graduation I moved to Washington, D.C. to take part in a political reporting seminar at the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism.  In late 1990 and early 1991 Operation Desert Shield quickly escalated into Operation Desert Storm and the first Gulf War.   The experience I gained at SIU allowed me to walk off the street and into a production position at NPR.  I was assigned to Morning Edition as it was gearing up for its Gulf War coverage. It was an incredible experience working alongside Corey Flintoff, Carl Kasell and Nina Totenberg; one I would not have had were it not for the training I received at SIU.  The production job at NPR lead to reporting positions at radio and TV news operations in Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia.  While in West Virginia, I had the opportunity to work as a state house reporter covering the West Virginia legislature and the state Supreme Court as well as the coal industry.

In 1997 I had the privilege of returning to SIUC and WSIU Radio as Morning Edition anchor. Since then I’ve had the pleasure to work with many great students who are today’s news leaders.  I’m deeply honored to continue serving WSIU and Southern Illinois University.