Recess Blog

Meet the Bloggers

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Rob Schroeder is the assistant director of marketing and media at the College of Education and the editor of The Promise, a magazine reporting on issues in urban education.  Prior to his time at UIC, Rob wrote for newspapers in Chicago, Virginia and New York, covered the Wisconsin political scene as a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio and traveled the backcountry as a minor league baseball broadcaster.

Rob was drawn to writing about education during his work at Wisconsin Public Radio covering the state union controversy and education budget cuts in 2010.  Since then, his reporting has ranged from covering the "parents trigger" law in California to the science behind the latest early childhood literacy apps produced in New York City, with a healthy helping of visits to Chicago Public Schools classrooms in between.

Rob earned his BA in Journalism from Ithaca College in 2008 and his MBA in Marketing and Social Value Creation from UIC in 2015.

Rob can be reached at

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Jeremy Riel is a student at the UIC College of Education and contributes the TechBytes column for the Recess Blog. He is the coordinator of the College's Faculty Assistance Center for Technology (FACT Lab, where he works with faculty and students to develop innovative ways to use technology for teaching and research. Prior to coming to UIC, he worked as an educational technology consultant and as an analyst for the State of Illinois. 

Jeremy is a technologist who develops and researches online learning environments, as well as how learning analytics may be applied to improve educational outcomes and inform theories of learning. He focuses on applications for professional development and how digital learning tools can be used to help professionals grow in their everyday work. 

Jeremy earned a B.A. from the University of Oregon in 2007 and an M.A. from Georgetown University in 2012. He is currently a student in the PhD Educational Psychology program.

You can find Jeremy online via email (, at Twitter (@jeremyriel), or at his website (

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Matt Piechalak is a writer, photographer and an alumnus of the UIC College of Education, graduating in 2015 from the MEd Elementary Education program.

After earning a BA in Mass Communication from UIC in 2008, Matt worked as both a beat reporter and a staff photographer for various media companies in Chicagoland. 

As a journalist, Matt spent significant time in the classrooms and school board rooms, covering stories–both positive and negative– related to education. It was during this time that he developed a deep appreciation and curiosity for the field of pedagogy. 

Matt can be reached at or via his web site at

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Jeffron Boynés is research editor and associate director in the News Bureau, where he handles media relations for the College of Education as well as the Colleges of Business Administration and Social Work, as well as the areas of economics, and labor and employment relations. He is also the bureau’s contributing sports reporter and a broadcast producer.

Jeffron joined UIC in 1998 from the Chicago Tribune, where he contributed to suburban news stories as a freelance writer. Previously, he worked for companies such as Foote, Cone & Belding and IBM.

He holds a master of science degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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