Laia Meseguer Corbatón, WC Reporter
MACOMB, IL – Darcie Shinberger is retiring from her job as Assistant Vice President for Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations at Western Illinois University (WIU). Shinberger studied Mass Communications and Journalism as a Minor at WIU, so Western has been a part of her life for decades. “After 30 years of this intense and beautiful job, now it is time to go,” said Shinberger.
Shinberger is in charge of helping WIU Broadcasting and Journalism students to find the sources they need for their interviews. Whenever they want to do a story they contact Shinberger so she can help find the right person to interview. This is not an easy task but she makes it look that way.
“Being here for 30 years and knowing who does what,” Shinberger said about the key to doing her job the best.
Having studied in the Broadcasting and Journalism WIU department also helped Shinberger actually know who does what on campus. She began building relationships at the university many years ago and continues to do so every day.
“When we don’t know who to recommend, we try to find, we ask other people and we try to find the right person,” said Shinberger. She also thinks that it is vital to know who is going to be a better fit for every situation. “My job is also to know who can talk to reporters and who would do great.”
She defines her job as the best of both worlds: connecting journalism and her love for writing with marketing and media relations. One of the most important parts of her work is to uphold and maintain the reputation and integrity of WIU. Social Media is crucial in this aspect and Shinberger is glad that she could learn about this and manage new technologies while they were emerging. One of her favorite parts of her job is that she has never stopped learning.
After Shinberger’s retirement, Alisha Looney will take over from her for the spring semester. She has been working with Shinberger and her team since she graduated, and now she’ll be the Interim for this job for 18 months. Shinberger is proud of her team and the people who will continue to work in her place. She is confident that they will always do their best. “I wasn’t where I am now when I first started. It takes time to learn the role, to carve out the role as your own,” said Shinberger.
She has only good words for her coworkers and friends at work. “They are incredibly creative and talented.” She explains that everything has been easier with them. “The job has been tough but supervising my staff has not been, not from day one,” said Shinberger. “This has been a part of my life since I was in my twenties.” She feels thrilled when remembering all the years she’s been here and the family she’s made as coworkers.