Former College of DuPage Student Wins Regional Emmy for News Programming

Kristin Crowley

By Brian Kleemann

Former College of DuPage student Kristin Crowley has received a Regional Emmy Award from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences for her work at 13 WREX in Rockford.

Crowley, who is the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. anchor, was part of the team honored for “Outstanding Achievement for News Programming – Morning Newscast: Smaller Markets.”

“It’s such an outstanding honor to win this award,” she said. “When you say ‘Emmy’ everyone knows what you’re talking about. On top of that, the Rockford market is the smallest news market competing in this region. We are up against the likes of Green Bay and Madison, Wis., South Bend, Ind., and Peoria, Ill. All of these cities have stations that are bigger and thus have more staff and more resources. To know that our staff at WREX is not only able to compete against these bigger markets but win is an incredible feeling. I wouldn’t have this award if it weren’t for the hard working team that makes up WREX, and for that I am forever grateful.”

A graduate of Downers Grove North High School, Crowley initially took a journalism course at College of DuPage because it was suggested by her soccer coach.

“I enrolled in Sandy Fries’ journalism course and grew increasingly interested in the subject,” she said. “Sandy is a huge reason why I pursued a career in journalism. He had so much faith in me and the future I had in this industry, more than I ever had in myself. If I hadn’t had an encouraging teacher like him, I might not have chosen this career path.”

Crowley transferred to Columbia College Chicago, where she landed an internship at ABC 7 Chicago. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she started working at WFLD in Chicago (FOX Chicago) as a production assistant and field producer.

Then Crowley secured her first on-air job in Lafayette, Ind., at WLFI, where she worked as a reporter and anchor. She then went to WLUK in Green Bay, Wis., and WSIL in southern Illinois before she made the move to WREX in Rockford. In 2015, Crowley’s investigation into Rock River Academy won her a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. Her station has since received two additional Murrow Awards, for Overall Excellence and Best News Documentary.

Also in 2015, she was nominated for an Emmy for anchoring. In 2016, she received five Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards: Best Reporter in Illinois; first place, Best Hard News Story for “The Hidden Risks for Firefighters”; second place, Best Hard News Story for “The Bully Test”; and second and third places for two investigations.

Considering she took her first journalism course at College of DuPage, Crowley has built a solid career that has taken her far.

“When you’re 18 years old, it’s difficult to know what you want to do for the rest of your life,” she said. “Starting at COD helped me find my niche and learn more about myself and what I wanted to do. I am forever grateful that I started my education at COD. The College didn’t just give me lessons in education, but lessons in life I still carry with me.

“Winning an award like the Emmy is something that’s a lifelong dream. You don’t expect to accomplish your dreams at 31!  I hope in doing so, I can inspire others who have big dreams but think they’re not possible. I’m here to tell you they are possible.”  

For more information about the Mass Communication program, visit www.cod.edu/programs/mass_communication, email friessan@cod.edu or call (630) 942-2467.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 27,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.  In celebration of its 50th anniversary, College of DuPage will host a series of on- and off-campus events throughout the year to highlight the institution’s history and service to students and District 502 residents over the past half-century.

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