Darcie Shinberger has been named director of University Relations at Western Illinois University, effective Feb. 15, according to Dan Hendricks, vice president for advancement and public services.
Shinberger, a member of Western Illinois’ University Relations staff since 1994, was named assistant director of University Relations in March 2007. She has served as interim director since Nov. 19, 2007, following the retirement of John Maguire. She began in the University Relations office as a public information specialist and editor. Prior to joining the WIU staff she was a reporter for the Peoria Journal Star and the Macomb Journal.
“Darcie’s transition to director of University Relations will be seamless and smooth since she has been serving in this interim role since November,” Hendricks said. “She has proved herself a valuable member of the advancement and public services administrative team, and I look forward to working with her in this important communication role.”
As the University Relations director, Shinberger will supervise the University’s public relations program and help promote Western’s mission to the public, working with media outlets; community leaders; state and federal officials; University administrators, students, faculty, staff and alumni; as well as the public. The office develops and produces a wide array of news releases, publications, and other forms of communication, including the upper levels of the University website, to disseminate information about the University, its programs, faculty, students and alumni. The director supervises the Visual Production Center (VPC), a Western Illinois University service center providing photographic and other visual presentations for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community organizations in support of the institution’s mission.
Shinberger’s responsibilities also include administration of Western’s media relations programs and the Visual production Center and policy adviser to the University administrators regarding Western’s public relations, community relations and news media programs. She is the University spokesperson and is responsible for crisis communication management.
Shinberger also coordinates the University’s reporting in accordance with the federal Campus Safety and Security Act (Clery Law) and is the liaison between campus news sources and the news media. She assists with special events programming and planning, including major press events; and she presents media training workshops to faculty, staff and students. Shinberger serves as writer, host and producer of the public affairs program, “Campus and Community,” on University Television/Macomb Cable Channel 3 and is the host of the weekly radio show, “Community Conversation,” on WKAI/WLRB in Macomb.
Her professional activities include the WIU Student Publications Advisory Board; ADA Advisory Board; University Marketing Working Group; Network Knowledge Committee; Emergency Planning Core Team; the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE); and the Public Relations Society of America. In the community she is a member of the Edison School PTO, the Heritage Days Planning Committee and the McDonough County Girls Softball League Board.
Shinberger earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master’s degree in college student personnel from Western. She also has a master’s degree in global human resource development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.