Ash-har Quraishi, Chicago Correspondent for Al Jazeera America and Former Islamabad Bureau Chief, CNN

“Deciding late in my education to pursue a degree in Broadcast Journalism meant that I had missed out on several opportunities to intern in my chosen field.  Thankfully, it wasn’t too late to apply for and be awarded an IBA Minority Internship my Senior year.  Those few months spent in Quincy, IL at the NBC affiliated WGEM News Channel 10 helped to build the foundation of my career.  It was there that I got my first real world experience in reporting and producing.  It was during this time that I learned how to go into the the field each day and come back with a story for air.  Here, in a little town across the the Mississippi River from Mark Twain’s birthplace I wrote the first chapter of my adventure in journalism.  Since then, I’ve reported from the wild tribal areas of Pakistan for CNN, uncovered corruption and fraud for an award-winning investigative unit and covered everything from politics and government to health and the environment for PBS.  It’s been a fascinating journey – one that began unforgettably with the Illinois Broadcasters Association.”