It’s that time of year when retailers you’ve never heard of before find a way to get a plug for their merchandise in your mailbox.

Along with the glut of consumer teasers that are now coming your direction, you’ll soon have the November issue of Illinois State’s alumni magazine at your door as well. Pull it from the clutter and take a minute to reconnect with the campus, before the real holiday hustle and bustle hits. You can also download the full PDF and toss it on your tablet.

Here’s what you can look forward to in the new issue of Illinois State:

Journalism’s dark days

The once thriving field of print journalism has taken a tricky turn. With newspapers shutting down and huge layoffs occurring, the idea of who and what a journalist is and will be is changing. Alums, faculty, and students discuss what it takes to adapt to an ever-changing and uncertain future within their field. Find out what and why Illinois State teaches students who continue to enroll in the School of Communication’s journalism program.

Life in the oil industry

Hard to imagine, but students who graduated from the campus in the middle of corn country are becoming a force in the oil and gas industry. The recent surge in the field is creating adventures and challenges for Illinois State geology majors. Traveling around the world, working for major companies like ExxonMobil, and utilizing new technologies are just a few of the opportunities graduates encounter in work that can be controversial.

A helping hand

The future isn’t always bright for college students, who often lack the finances to finish a degree. Their graduation dreams are often realized through an investment made by another, who knows the value of a college education. That’s true for Casey Patton, who is finishing her last semester in Mennonite College of Nursing despite a struggle to overcome brain cancer. She studied on a full scholarship and will cross the December commencement stage grateful for the help needed to fight from the cancer ward to the classroom.

TV-10 celebrates four decades

Illinois State’s student-run television station, TV-10, broadcast its first live newscast on March 4, 1974. From that historic moment to today, TV-10 has helped launch the careers of broadcasters, producers, and journalists across the country. To help celebrate the long legacy of student achievement and involvement, the station is hosting a reunion on campus in March. Check out the November issue to find out how you can be involved in the event.

Old vintage for new vintage

Alums with ISU artifacts in the attic are going to want to dust off the trunk and crack it open. Another contest will be announced in this newest issue of Illinois State. To enter, you’ll need to submit a photo of yourself wearing ISU garb from years ago. Better yet, put on the old clothing and strike a pose. Two winners will receive at $100 credit to buy new Redbird Vintage apparel.

Illinois State chief editor Susan Marquardt Blystone can be reached at