Department of Journalism
Steffen_Colleen

Colleen Steffen

Instructor

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AJ382  Phone: 765-285-3525  

Department of Journalism
Art and Journalism Building (AJ), room 300
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Educational Background:
MA English Literature, University of North Florida, 2001
BA Journalism, Franklin College, 1994

Professional Experience:  
Colleen Steffen spent 13 years as a feature writer and editor at daily newspapers small and large: The Elizabethtown (Ky.) News-Enterprise, The (Anderson, Ind.) Herald Bulletin, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union and The (Muncie, Ind.) Star Press. Covering everything from fatal train wrecks to 4-H cat shows, she specialized in telling seemingly ordinary stories in unordinary ways. In addition to her time in newsrooms, Steffen has worked in public relations for nonprofit historic-preservation group Indiana Landmarks; freelanced as both a writer and copy editor; served as a speaker and mentor to young high-school journalists through Ball State's Journalism Workshops; and taught at both the University of North Florida and Ball State University. Most recently she completed her second stint as a faculty member and writing mentor with BSU at the Games, an immersive-learning project sending college journalists to cover the biggest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games.

Teaching/Research/Creative/Publication Interests:    
As a college instructor, Steffen specializes in the foundational skills—sourcing, interviewing, idea generation—beginning journalists need to survive and excel in any newsroom, as well as an appreciation of journalism’s unique history, heritage and moral responsibility.  Narrative storytelling and alternative story forms are among other particular interests.

Professional/Research/Creative/Publication Career Highlights:      
Steffen produced a few thousand bylines during her daily-newspaper career, winning awards for features, news stories and columns. Most recently she spent five years researching the unsolved 1913 disappearance of 9-year-old Catherine Winters from New Castle, Ind., and wrote a book-length nonfiction reexamination of the case. In addition to occupying some of the quirkier corners of the Internet—she maintains www.whereiscatherinewinters.com in addition to a blog devoted to historic dog photographs, www.withsmudgeinyard.com—she is represented by the Sara Camilli Literary Agency.