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WIU Graduate Credits Opportunities at WIU for Helping Solidify his Doctoral Path

June 22, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – A recent alumnus credits his educational start at Western Illinois University for well preparing him for furthering his education and an eventual career as a media personality and within the music business.

Jeremy McCool, of Chicago, received his bachelor's degree in broadcasting from WIU in 2015 and his master's degree in communication from WIU in 2017. He has now been accepted into the doctoral program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and awarded a graduate assistantship to work in radio and audio production.

While attending WIU, McCool was named one of 59 national winners of a President's Innovation Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. The award helped pay his travel expenses to the annual NAMM show in California and gave him the opportunity to participate in professional development and networking.

The award is presented to students who are expected to make an impact in the music products industry in the future. His award entry included essays and his resume.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Western as a first-generation college student, McCool created his own graduate assistant position in music business, with the help of WIU Assistant Professor of Music Courtney Blankenship. Through that position, McCool worked with the BCA organization, helped advise the WIU chapter of the Music Business Association (MBA) and was the music director for the campus radio station, 88.3 The Dog. He also co-hosted a morning show for Regional Media's K100 - WKAI called "Koop & McCool."

"Attending WIU helped me step outside of my comfort zone and forced me to figure out who I was, who I wanted to be and what my talents were," he said. "Becoming both the urban music director and a radio personality at WIU's campus radio station, 88.3 The Dog, was my first introduction into working in hip-hop media."

McCool said it was the experiences provided to him at WIU that helped set his career path.

"These opportunities reassured me that I wanted to be the voice of the culture, while helping dissect how music messaging affects and often vocalizes the condition of our youth," said McCool.

This fall, McCool will be a doctoral student in communication media and instructional technology at IUP.

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