The Illinois Press Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting free expression through educational activities that foster the practice and respect of First Amendment principles and values, to enhance the quality of services provided by newspapers to their communities, and to support reading and literacy efforts.


The IPF was established in 1982 as the charitable arm of the IPA.


At their December board meeting, the Illinois Press Foundation board of directors awarded three $1,000 scholarships to University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting graduate students. Pictured L to R are Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, Haley BeMiller, IPF board president Jerry Reppert, and Daisy Contreras.

BeMiller holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from DePaul University. Her experience includes two years as photo editor and social media manager with Tribune News Service following internships with the Trib's Blue Sky Innovation, WMAQ/, and editing/reporting with DePaul's student newspaper. BeMiller will serve her state Capitol reporting internship at the Chicago Tribune.

Contreras holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Previously, she reported and edited for an investigative project with The Chicago Reporter and student publications. She commutes to Chicago on weekends to work with Heartland Alliance, a social service agency, teaching immigrant children English and writing. Contreras will serve her state Capitol reporting internship at Illinois Issues Magazine.

Sepeda-Miller, a Colorado native, is a 2016 graduate of Knox College, holding a bachelor’s degree in anthropology-sociology. She is the former editor of the Knox Student at Knox College in Galesburg. She also reported in Morocco during a summer abroad and held an internship at New York Magazine, for whom she still does freelance work. Sepeda-Miller will serve her state Capitol reporting internship at The Associated Press.

  • Joyce McCullough, LaSalle NewsTribune

  • Mike Feltes, News Media Corp., Rochelle

  • James Middleton (L) and David Larson, Boone County Journal, Belvidere

  • Frank Schier (center) & Staff, Rock River Times, Rockford

  • Todd Wessell, Journal & Topics Newspapers, Des Plaines

  • Brian Nadig, Nadig Newspapers, Chicago

  • Dan Haley (L) and Andy Johnston, Wednesday Journal, Oak Park

  • Bill Garth, Chicago Citizen Newspapers

  • Britton Zink (L) & Cheryl Ayers, Fox Valley News Shopper, Yorkville

  • Michael James (R) & Andrew Samaan, Voyager Media, Plainfield

  • Paul Ping and Steve Rensberry of the Troy Times-Tribune