October 26, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill.—This Halloween, Northwestern University sophomore Lia Lehrer will have two reasons to be happy.
In addition to celebrating her 20th birthday, she’ll start a new chapter in her life as a journalism major: She was accepted today into Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.
“It feels good to finally have a major,” she said. “I’m sick of being ‘undecided.’”
Lehrer, a student from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, found out she was accepted into Medill in an e-mail from Michele Bitoun, Medill’s Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies.
“We have a limited number of spots in the undergraduate journalism program,” Bitoun wrote in her e-mail, “[but] it was [Lehrer’s] passion, [her] journalism experience at the Daily and other publications, and [her] performance in Medill and Northwestern classes so far that demonstrated to me [her] potential to succeed here at Medill.”
Lehrer didn’t expect to attend NU when she applied her senior year of high school.
“It was too close to my Lincolnwood home,” she said, “and with my brother at NU and my dad and grandmother as alumni, I didn’t want to be just another Lehrer at NU.”
But it was insistence from her brother, Michael Lehrer, a Weinberg junior at the time, and from her former high school editor in chief Dan Macsai, then a Medill freshman, that compelled her to apply to NU.
“I’ve always wanted to do journalism, so I’m not quite sure why I applied to Weinberg,” Lia said.
Lia quickly involved herself in The Daily Northwestern as a copy editor, lived with fellow journalists in the Communications Residential College and took the two first-year Medill courses. By the end of her freshman year, she knew it was time to pick a major.
“None of the Weinberg majors felt right to me,” Lia said. “I knew I loved journalism, so I decided Medill was where I needed to be.” She then met with Bitoun to apply for an inter-school transfer.
Medill junior and CRC president Matt Baker, who copy edited with Lia at The Daily Northwestern last year, said he’s known she’d transfer into Medill since he met her.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Lia,” Baker said. “I just wonder what took her so long.”
Lia already took many of the journalism requirements and Medill distribution requirements and will continue to fulfill both. Now, she needs to select a Medill faculty adviser and choose a medium track—newspaper, magazine or broadcast.
She said she’s excited to become a better journalist and looks forward to going on her Teaching Media internship one quarter junior year.
Lia said she wants to thank all her friends, family members and professors who helped her with this decision.
“It might have taken me a little while to figure out,” Lia said, “but I’m confident now Medill is where I’m supposed to be.”