Mary Spillman

Mary Spillman

Associate Professor of Journalism


Room:AJ 399

Educational Background:
MS Radio-Television, Butler University, 1983
BS Radio-Television, Butler University, 1977

Professional Experience:
Spillman worked as an editor for The Associated Press in Indianapolis and as the first managing editor of She was a radio and TV reporter in Indianapolis. She earned her master's degree from Butler University and completed doctoral courses in journalism at Indiana University.

Research/Creative/Publication Interests:
New media, journalism history, news writing and reporting, digital storytelling

Research/Creative/Publication Career Highlights:
Spillman’s scholarly publications focus on cross-media partnerships and collaborative teaching and learning. She and her research partners created the Convergence Continuum, a widely cited model used to assess the level of cooperation among newspaper and television newsrooms. She was the co-developer of the Interactive Graphic Development Framework, designed to standardize definitions and study non-linear storytelling. Spillman has studied the effectiveness of staff-written blogs in engaging newspaper audiences in conversation.

Thesis/Creative Project Experience and Philosophy:
Research and creative project advisors should be available to offer advice on the selection of a topic and to help their students set short and long-term goals. A thesis, research paper or project needs to be original, innovative and of high-quality. For example, a successful research paper should be “conference or publication ready,” meaning that it could be submitted to a refereed journal or presented at an academic conference. Creative projects should meet the standards of the appropriate artistic community and be eligible for award submission. Student research and projects should always address current issues, solve real problems or add to the scholarly literature in a particular area.

Research and creative project advisors also mentor students and help them find resources (financial, scholarly, etc.). Advisors should have an open-door policy and be available to students.  Regular meetings are crucial so that advisors and students maintain a collaborative relationship. 

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Specialized Story Fo 233 2 1230 - 1345 T R AJ, room 353
Specialized Story Fo 233 3 0930 - 1045 T R AJ, room 363