Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs Staff

About The Staff

Karen Carlson

Karen Carlson, M.A.
Director of Public Affairs

As director of public affairs, Karen is responsible for communications, public relations and media relations for all aspects of the School, including media relations, publications, branding and community relations. She joined SIU in July 1999 as writer of ASPECTS Magazine and later was promoted to editor.

Karen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a writing concentration from Illinois Wesleyan University. She received a Masters of Arts degree in mass media communications from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is a 2003 graduate of the Leadership Springfield program, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of Women in Communications. Karen has won numerous awards for writing and publication design.

Rebecca Budde

Rebecca Budde
Writer, Designer, Editor

Rebecca joined SIU School of Medicine in 2011 as the publications editor for the Office of Public Affairs. She serves as writer, designer and editor for ASPECTS, the school’s quarterly publication.

Rebecca is also a staff editor of SCOPE, the literary magazine of SIU School of Medicine, overseeing the development of SCOPE with new medical students each year. She also writes, designs and edits other publications for the medical school.

Rebecca received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and secondary education from Augustana College. She taught high school English and journalism for more than thirteen years and managed the production of a biweekly student newspaper, annual literary magazine and annual feature magazine. She also served as the communication coordinator for the school, writing and designing various marketing materials and internal and external communication pieces.

Steve Sandstrom

Steve Sandstrom
Communications Coordinator

Steve Sandstrom, communications coordinator, edits the online newsletter Examiner, and assists the office with numerous other writing, editing, design and community relations projects. Sandstrom joined the School in 2005 as an editorial writer for geriatric research in the internal medicine department. Prior to that he worked as a research director and publications director for a public policy government watchdog group. He received a BA in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.

Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson joined the SIU School of Medicine in the fall of 2012 as senior photographer for the Office of Public Affairs. He serves as the photographer and videographer for the school, as well as art director for ASPECTS.

Jason studied photojournalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale under retired photojournalist and picture editors Phil Greer and J. Bruce Baumann. He also served as both photojournalist and picture editor for the Daily Egyptian, SIU’s student-run newspaper. He has worked as a photojournalist at the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, The Jacksonville Journal-Courier in Jacksonville, Ill. and, most recently, The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.

Jason’s work has won several state-level awards for his compelling natural disaster photography, including the tornado that struck Loami, Ill. in 2009. An image depicting a child clutching a rain-soaked stuffed animal while leaning out the driver's side window of her father's Chevy truck as it sat in the driveway of their now destroyed home, visible in the background, won the Illinois Associated Press Photo of the Month for August 2009. It was also published in national papers, including USA Today. He was also awarded first place for domestic picture story during the College Photographer of the Year Competition in 2008 and has received honors for his sports photography.

Johnson is also an Eagle Scout, awarded in 2003 at the age of 17. Eagle Scout is a rank only 2 percent of all Boy Scouts ever achieve.

The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.


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