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John Quiñones to receive Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University

Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence will also honor alumni Rachel Hinton, Marty Wilke

John Quiñones
2024 Distinguished Journalist Award recipient John Quiñones. Photo Courtesy of ABC News.
John Quiñones, Emmy-award winning, ABC News veteran, will be honored with the Distinguished Journalist Award and Rachel Hinton, a 2017 DePaul alumna, will receive the Distinguished Alumna award from DePaul University's Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence (CJIE). Marty Wilke will be honored with the Distinguished Mentor award.

Center co-directors Carol Marin and Don Moseley will present the awards at a luncheon on April 25.

'Persistence, passion, talent and grace'

With seven Emmys for his work on “Primetime Live," “Burning Questions" and “20/20," Quiñones sets a high bar for investigative journalism.

“John is the embodiment of all that DePaul and our students stand for: persistence, passion, talent and grace," says Marin.

Quiñones started his career as a radio news editor in Houston before moving to WBBM-TV in Chicago. Marin worked across the street at NBC Chicago. “I have been watching him all these years as he has risen, realizing he never once forgot where he came from," Marin says.

After becoming a general assignment correspondent in Miami, Quiñones began what would become a 33-year tenure at ABC News. His impactful reporting on Fort Hood soldier Vannessa Guillen contributed to the passing of the “I am Vanessa Guillen" bill, which strengthened investigations into sexual assault and harassment in the military. He also covered the 2010 Chilean mining accident, revealed nationwide insurance scams, and shared the story of a young man travelling to Colombia to reunite with his birth mother.

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Journalist Award include “PBS News Hour" anchor Judy Woodruff; “60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker; Chicago news anchor Ron Magers; Lester Holt of “NBC Nightly News;" Jane Pauley of “CBS Sunday Morning;" and Dean Baquet of The New York Times.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled. I am in awe of the distinguished journalists who have come before me, and it fills my heart with great humility and pride to join their ranks," Quiñones says. “Who would have thought when I began my career as a rookie reporter on the streets of Chicago that I would one day be awarded such a prestigious tribute?"

Hinton excels in journalism, stays connected to her community

After graduating from DePaul with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 2017, Rachel Hinton hit the ground running in the industry. She worked at the Chicago Sun-Times for over four years, becoming chief political reporter. Hinton is now an investigative reporter at Block Club Chicago.

“From the moment we first met Rachel, it was clear she would make her mark in journalism. To do so in
Rachel Hinton
Rachel Hinton, 2024 Distinguished Alumna Award recipient.
such rapid fashion speaks to her innate ability and her unrelenting tenacity," Moseley says.

While studying at DePaul, Hinton was an editor for The DePaulia, winning two Associated Collegiate Press awards for her work at the student publication. She served as president of DePaul's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a peer writing tutor at the writing center. "My time at DePaul acted as a launch pad for my career in journalism," says Hinton. “My classes and time at The DePaulia are the building blocks of my career."

Hinton is being honored with the Distinguished Alumna award for her outstanding work and commitment to supporting current journalism students. “Rachel's talent at investigative reporting is matched by her willingness to help students follow in her footsteps, and for that everyone at DePaul is grateful," Moseley says.

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award are Sally Ramirez; KARE-TV reporter Heidi Wigdahl; Jeremy Gorner of the Chicago Tribune; Ben Welsh of the Los Angeles Times; Ann Pistone of ABC7 Chicago and Lourdes Duarte of WGN-TV.

“It's exciting to receive this honor a few years after graduating and to still be involved with the journalism department to guide and support the next batch of journalists who will enter this field," says Hinton.

Mentorship as a guiding principle

Mentorship is a cornerstone of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence's goals, and why Marin
Marty Wilke
Marty Wilke, 2024 Distinguished Mentor Award recipient.
and Moseley are excited to honor Wilke. In more than two decades of working in television, Wilke pushes journalists out of their comfort zone and make news accessible. She was the first woman to be general manager of WGN-TV and president of WBBM-TV. Under her leadership, the Chicago television stations have become more connected to their community, with increased viewership and revenue.

Throughout her career, Wilke has supported DePaul students by offering mentorship and funding scholarships, such as the Wilke Family Endowed Scholarship she created with her sister in 2012. She also started the Marty Wilke Student Media Journalism Fund, which provides stipends and grants for student journalists.

"Mentoring has been a guiding principle in my role as a leader," says Wilke. “The distinction of being recognized as a Distinguished Mentor is a great honor."

Wilke was a speaker at the College of Communication's 2017 commencement ceremony and continues to serve the college as a chair on the Dean's Advisory Council.

“I extend this tribute to my mentors— individuals whose invaluable guidance, support, and encouragement have instilled in me the value of giving back to others," Wilke says.

Newton Minow, widely known as the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, was the first Distinguished Mentor Award winner in 2022.

The Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence

A longtime investigative reporting and producing team, Marin and Moseley have mentored more than 50 DePaul students since 2003, showing them the ropes of investigative journalism. In 2016, DePaul launched the Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence in the College of Communication with Marin and Moseley as co-directors to provide students with more opportunities to gain real-world experience. For more information about the center, visit

Originally published by the DePaul Newsroom​.