Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
Jenny Schouppe made a decision to move states away.
She didn’t go for a job or a change of pace, but for someone she had fallen in love with. She left her hometown and college friends in Pennsylvania in order to settle down states away, here in Illinois.
Schouppe grew up in Beaver, Pa., a town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, where everyone knew everyone. She attended Beaver Area High School and worked on the journalism staff for three years as well as yearbook. Her love for photography led her to become photo editor her senior year.
She then attended Waynesburg University, located about an hour south of her hometown, and focused primarily on Journalism and Electronic Media. Schouppe served in many roles for the college newspaper, everything from staff reporter to chief photographer. She worked her way to the top of the ladder as she made chief photographer senior year. Schouppe also worked as the program director of the Society for Student Journalists and on the yearbook.
College was a time that Schouppe remembers fondly, specifically the professors she had that left an indent in her career.
One professor, Brandon Szuminsky, was one in particular, she recalls, that cared about his students.
“He was a big influence on my writing,” says Schouppe. She also talks about Eli Saslow, who she wishes she could write at least a portion of how good he did.
Along with influential professors and an invigorating set of classes, college gave a great foundation, teaching Schouppe the fundamentals of photography and giving quality story ideas.
A large portion of Schouppe’s life was changed after she had met her boyfriend, Jordan. They had met a year and a half ago, in a bar.
After Schouppe graduated college at the beginning of May, she made the decision to move away from Beaver. “It’s time to move to Illinois,” Schouppe had said, due to the fact that both her and Jordan had been in a long distance relationship for awhile. She left Beaver and settled in Effingham, living with his family.
Schouppes’ family is a important portion of her life. While distance separates both her and her parents, they were always extremely supportive of Schouppe regardless of her decisions. They were apprehensive about her picking up and moving for one person but are going to visit in August; plus, Schouppe states that the things she misses the most is her mother’s cooking.
Once Schouppe settled in, she applied for the position at the News Report and three weeks later, she was employed as a reporter.
“Photography is more of my passion,” Schouppe said, currently working at the Effingham & Teutopolis News Report, a small town newspaper with a lot of personality.
She is satisfied with her job as a reporter and a photographer and in the future she has big ambitions. Her goal one day is to settle down in Montana in a log cabin. “If we did make it to Montana,” Schouppe said, “I want to work at one of the national parks.”