Carol Zuegner, Ph. D.
I teach and every day try to practice the idea that the power of telling people’s stories accurately, colorfully and compassionately in any medium or on any platform can help change the world. While the tools we use to communicate continue to evolve, I stress the basics of good writing, accuracy and ethics that transcend platforms. I like to think of myself as a coach and mentor, helping students find their strengths and passions while stressing the need for academic excellence. I also strive to incorporate the Jesuit values of magis -- more -- and cura personalis -- care for the whole person -- in my teaching and advising.
Zuegner grew up around Creighton’s JM&C department as her father Chuck Zuegner taught here from 1959 until his death in 1990. She graduated from Creighton with a bachelor’s in journalism in 1977 and worked at a number of small newspapers. She joined The Associated Press as a newswoman in Des Moines, Iowa, and worked for the AP as a writer and editor in both Omaha and Lincoln for 10 years.She earned a master’s degree from The Ohio State University as a Kiplinger Fellow in investigative reporting. She earned her doctorate in communications with a specialization in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before coming to teach at Creighton, Zuegner taught journalism for two years at St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana.She continued her professional work as a copy editor at the Omaha World-Herald from 2000 until May 2016, working one night a week on the copy desk. At Creighton, Zuegner, now the chair of the department, has taught social media, entrepreneurial media, feature writing, media writing, editing, international mass communication and information concepts. Zuegner is one of the faculty leaders of Backpack Journalism, a collaboration between JM&C and Theology. The five-week summer immersion course takes students to the developing world or to a marginalized society, where the students help produce a short documentary film. The project has taken students to the Dominican Republic, Uganda, rural Alaska and to the border with Mexico at Nogales, Arizona. Each of the films has been accepted at numerous film festivals both in the U.S. and abroad. The films and students’ blogs of their experiences can be found at cubackpack.org.