Instructor of Journalism
MA, University of Indianapolis, Secondary English
BA, Indiana University Bloomington, Journalism and Comparative Literature (literature and the other arts)
Kathy Jesse spent more than 20 years as a professional journalist, working at The Indianapolis Star and the Dayton Daily News. At The Star, she picked up state and national awards for feature writing and coverage of social issues such as infant mortality and housing discrimination. At the Daily News, she was the visual arts reporter and film critic.
She left newspapers in 2001 to pursue a career as a high school English and journalism teacher. She worked in Indianapolis Public Schools, helping to establish the district’s first media communications magnet. Later, she was a founding faculty member of Indiana’s first public, all-International Baccalaureate high school.
While at Ball State, she has taken students to cover Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration, producing a website of student content available to news organizations across the state.
As a former high school teacher, Jesse helps incoming college students make connections between types of writing with which they are already familiar and the types of writing they are expected to do in a journalism program. She has experience working with first-generation college students.
Professional/Research/Creative/Publication Career Highlights:
In 1987, Jesse worked with another reporter at The Star to bring to light an Indianapolis zoning ordinance that severely restricted the number of group homes for mentally handicapped citizens. As a result, many of the citizens were improperly placed in facilities, or in group homes many miles away from their families. After the stories ran, that ordinance was repealed.While working in the newsroom, she was frequently called upon to put a “human face” on a current issue.