A new chapter in Dedinsky’s Northwestern story

August 25, 2021
Mary Dedinsky is writing a new chapter in her Northwestern story, after four decades – first as a student, then as associate professor, director of the journalism and strategic communication program at the Qatar campus, and now associate professor emeritus – Dedinsky has decided to retire from Northwestern.
Dedinsky’s Northwestern story began in 1969 when she graduated with a degree in journalism, quickly followed a year later with a master’s, also in journalism from Medill.
She had a successful career in Chicago journalism, where she was the first woman named managing editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as being elected to the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and twice serving as a Pulitzer Prize juror.
A proud Northwestern Wildcat, Dedinsky returned to her alma mater as associate dean and associate professor of journalism at Medill. In 2013, she moved to Doha, Qatar as an associate professor in the Journalism Program and was later named director of the program.
For many of her students, Dedinsky is an educator who instilled in them the core values of journalism as well as a role model to look up to. Shakeeb Asrar, one of her former students, recalls how she nurtured his passion for journalism and helped guide him in his Northwestern journey, noting “in my interactions with her, she always made sure that she listened to the students with an open mind… to help us both at a professional and personal level.”
Jia Naqvi, who now works as a digital producer at Al Jazeera, recalls a time in her undergraduate journey when Dedinsky had the most impact on unlocking her potential as a journalist. “I was always quiet in university, yet [Dedinsky] was the only one who turned this supposed flaw into an admirable trait that only good reporters possess, “Naqvi said. “I will always look up to her because I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for her.”