Barry alumna, Emmy winner, credits Communications faculty for launching career

Barry alumna, Emmy winner, credits Communications faculty for launching career

By: Rebecca Wakefield

Rebecca McCann, ’99, always wanted to be a lawyer. So her goal for her undergraduate degree at Barry was simply to study something interesting while she bided her time for law school.

“Randomly, I took broadcast journalism,” McCann remembers. “And I fell in love with it.”

More than 15 years later, McCann is an executive producer for CBS News in Chicago, winning an Emmy in 2014 for best morning newscast.

She says the unique environment at Barry is the reason she caught the storytelling bug. “For me, the key was the small classroom environment, working hands on in the studio,” McCann says. “The way the teachers really worked with the students, you weren’t just a number. A lot of people from that class went on to do well.”

That personal attention continued when McCann got her first producing job thanks to a recommendation from her professor, Vickie Frazier Williams.

“The person doing the interview said I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to offer you a job on the spot based on her recommendation,” she says.

McCann worked her way up the producing ranks at the Fox and ABC affiliates in Miami, covering everything from the Elian Gonzalez controversy, to Hurricane Wilma, post-earthquake Haiti and the Miami Heat championships. She moved back to her native Chicago two years ago to begin working at CBS.

McCann was present at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony on March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles to collect her Oscar.

“The fact the professors really truly cared about you as an individual and you succeeding made a huge impact on me,” she says.

For more information about Barry’s Department of Communication, visit