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Molly Parker-Stephens

Molly Parker-Stephens , Assistant Professor

Molly Parker-Stephens is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience writing for regional and national publications. Her byline has appeared in national publications including ProPublica, the New York Times and Mother Jones and in numerous regional publications throughout Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi. Parker is a working journalist writing for Capitol News Illinois, the nonprofit arm of the Illinois Press Foundation whose stories about state government are distributed to more than 800 newspaper and broadcast media outlets. Parker is also a ProPublica Distinguished Fellow in its Local Reporting Network.

In 2023, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights named Parker-Stephens and her co-reporter Beth Hundsdorfer the winners of the prestigious national RFK Domestic Print Award. The two won for a series of stories exposing patient abuses and cover-ups at a state-run mental health facility in rural southern Illinois. The work prompted significant changes at the center and resulted in the General Assembly passing a new law intended to crack down on state workers who obfuscate investigations and hide patient abuse. Parker has also been honored with numerous statewide awards, including for work exposing malfeasance by public housing managers in Cairo, Illinois, that resulted in unsafe conditions for more than 400 children and their families. That work prompted the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to take over the housing authority from local officials and pay to relocate hundreds of families to safe housing.

Parker, of Murphysboro, is a 2003 graduate of Southern Illinois University and a Daily Egyptian alum. She earned a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Molly Parker-Stephens