Each Friday this summer, IWPA’s 3rd Vice President and Professional Contest Chair Ana Mendez will shine a spotlight on one of our 2018 Mate E. Palmer/National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest Winners. This week’s featured communicator is Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas…

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas is a writer, leader, and a highly skilled communications professional. Her accomplishments include award-winning pieces recognized by the Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA) and the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW). Notable publications include her book Joliet, a history of the Illinois town’s Joliet Rivals Club, The Anthology of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, and Leadership (1937-2013) The First Forty Presidents of the National Federation of Press Women.

Wolf-Astraukas’ history with the associations showcases her many talents. Since joining IWPA in 2003, Wolf-Astrauskas has been recognized as the organization’s Communicator of Achievement for 2008 and 2013. She received the national nod as NFPW’s Communicator of Achievement in 2013. These awards stem in part from her boundless dedication and leadership. She has served as IWPA’s President (2009-2013) and remains on the board as our Historian/Archivist. She has filled many roles for NFPW, including Vice President/Membership Chair (2005-2009), High School Contest Chair (2010-2012) and is the current President of the Executive Board.

Of her devotion to service, Wolf-Astrauskas had this to say, “When I first joined IWPA, I never imagined myself President of the Association. While serving two terms, I followed my mentors and discovered many fascinating women from IWPA’s rich past between the archived pages of our historical documents. One of my passions remains to uncover the stories of those women who joined IWPA/NFPW throughout the history of both organizations. Researching the lives of these women is easier today than it was 10 years ago. Writing about them is more accessible.”

Wolf-Astrauskas poignantly notes changes in the profession, and the significance of those changes. She muses, “writing today has become very different for me since that first published story that took top honors in the 2003 Mate E. Palmer communications contest. My life has changed and so too the world in which we live.”

Regardless she has been able to persevere and succeed, a testament to her strength and talent. This year her work received honors in both the IWPA Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest, as well as the NFPW professional contest. In the IWPA judging, she took First Place with her riveting speech entitled, “How My Passion for the 1st Amendment Was Shaken Not Stirred,” which also went on to place Third in the NFPW Professional Contest. 

We congratulate Marianne for her success and thank her for the time she has devoted to the IWPA and NFPW communities!

Click here to visit her website.

Check out her writing for IWPA’s historical blog, “So We All May Be Heard”