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 repeat Silver Feather Award recipient, Tim Libretti…

Tim Libretti is an educator, leader, writer, and overall inspiration. With a Bachelor’s in English Literature from Cornell University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a Masters and a PhD. in English from the University of Michigan, his qualifications underpin his prominent position in Chicago’s learned community. He is currently the English Department Chair for Northeastern Illinois University, as well as IWPA’s Membership Chair.

As this year’s 2018 Silver Feather Winner (the entrant with the most overall points in the annual Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest), his success is further cemented in IWPA history. This second consecutive achievement (Libretti also won in 2017) celebrates 10 submissions in this year’s contest. Libretti received six first-place awards, one second-place, one third-place and two honorable mentions in the state contest. On the national stage, his work earned three third-place awards from the National Federation of Press Women’s Communications.

Of this notable achievement Tim remarks, “It is really an honor to win the Silver Feather Award for the second year in a row, but it isn’t an individual achievement. It is through relationships I developed in IWPA and the mentorship I received from other members, especially Becky Sarwate and Terrie Albano, that I was able to to connect to publishing outlets and find interest in my writing–and also develop as a writer. I had to transform myself from an academic writer into more of a journalist, and IWPA members like Terrie and Becky were generous in helping me do that. Writing might look like, and sometimes feel like, a solitary or individual endeavor, but it is hardly that. It really helps a writer to have a community that nurtures, supports, encourages, and helps one grow. IWPA offers that community in spades.”

Libretti’s enthusiam for the written word is evidenced by his passionate work. His submissions span a variety of topics: politics, entertainment, social issues, literature and the arts. His work has been published on the PoliticusUSA website, Soundcloud (where Libretti hosts his own podcast), and People’s World. Titles of his winning entries include “Kaepernick’s Protest for…Workplace Democracy?”, “Town Halls Show Participatory Democracy Best Hope of Saving Obamacare and Country,” “Roman J. Israel, Esquire, a Film that Connects Us to Our Radical Past to Challenge Trump’s Malevolence.” The topics are riveting, challenging, and fiery with opinion. In today’s political climate Libretti’s work is a testament to the power of the written word where expression is a potent form of combat.

We congratulate Tim for his continuous success with our association, and for contributing to the education of tomorrow’s communications professionals

Check out Libretti’s publications for PoliticusUSA here!