Julie Wurth is a Communications Specialist at iSEE.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the U of I, specializing in news-editorial. Julie worked at the Daily Illini for all four years of her undergraduate career, including her role as Editor in Chief during her senior year. During this time, she also held an internship at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington D.C., where she focused heavily on First Amendment issues.
After graduation, Julie worked as a journalist at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She soon returned to Champaign-Urbana to work at The News-Gazette, where she remained for many years.
“As a reporter I primarily covered higher education and the U of I, including research, and hosted a podcast on campus issues,” she said. “I also wrote about primary/secondary education, social services, city government and myriad other topics, and authored a lifestyle column that I hope to continue.”
After so many years as a journalist, Julie found communications work both familiar and challenging.
“I always knew that if I ever left journalism it would be to work on something that I was passionate about, and the Institute’s mission spoke to me,” she said. “I wanted to lend whatever talents I could as a writer and journalist to help educate the public about these important issues. I feel like I’m doing something positive to promote a more sustainable way of life and preserve our planet.”
Julie’s role at iSEE involves writing and editing content for the website, newsletter, social media, and scientific materials. Her ultimate goal is to publicize iSEE’s research, educational, and campus sustainability efforts.
Her newfound dedication to environmental communications perhaps isn’t so newfound, as she has always had a love for the natural world.
“I’ve been interested in ‘green’ issues since I was a fifth-grader standing knee-deep in muddy water to clean up a filthy creek near our house for a school project,” she said. “Sustainability — recycling, clean energy, environmental protections — just always made sense to me. Today, obviously, it’s more critical than ever.
“Education is a huge part of this effort, both on campus and in the broader community, as we still have those who don’t buy in to the idea. Tapping into the innovation and enthusiasm of the next generation will be key, which is why it’s exciting to work on these issues on a college campus.”
Julie has a lot of ambitions for her future at iSEE: “I’m looking forward to learning more about research being done on alternative energy sources, developing multimedia projects to promote iSEE’s work, and working with student interns who are full of energy and good ideas! Overall, I’m excited to help shine a light on the work here and make it accessible to the public.”
In her free time, Julie enjoys spending time with her kids, traveling to visit friends and family, and “taking long walks in the fresh air or devouring a good book.”
— Article by iSEE Communications Intern Maria Maring