Terry Breen Lecturer, The Cook Family Writing Program

Since Fall Quarter 2016, Terry Breen has been a lecturer in the Writing Program at Northwestern. He teaches courses in Design Thinking and Communication (DTC).

Previously, he taught English composition and business writing at Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College in Ohio. He also coaches business executives in effective business writing, both individually and in group exercises and presentations.  In addition, he teaches songwriting classes at Family Piano Company in Waukegan, in the public school system of the Chicago suburbs of Mundelein and Libertyville, and at business and community functions.

Terry has an M.S. in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and been a professional writer and journalist since 1975. His journalism has focused on work for business publications covering the hotel and restaurant business, the railroad and rail transit industry, occupational safety and health, and sales and marketing. He has also written extensively for a range of consumer magazines, as well as for Northwestern magazine.

Since 1998, he has also been a corporate communication consultant. For his key client, BP Corporation, he writes and edits articles and information pieces for employees that are delivered via an intranet network that he helped develop. At BP, he has also been communication director for the company’s Olympic and Paralympic sponsorship program and for numerous information technology projects. His writing and editing work at BP has not only helped inform employees (about company news, technology deployment, safety practices, and security procedures) but also motivate them (through, for example, the coverage of appearances by Olympic and Paralympic athletes sponsored by the company).

Terry has pursued a parallel career in music, following studies in guitar, piano, singing, music theory, and songwriting at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and with private instructors. He has composed a broad array of songs and piano pieces that he performs in group and solo settings, appearing at concert venues, corporate meetings, private parties, festivals, and charity events. A humorous song he composed about the Y2K computer scare, “The Millennium Bug,” won a National Public Radio award.  Terry has also composed original music scores for several Chicago area theater productions. He has two song-collection CDs on the market: A Near-Life Experience and The Millennium Bugs Me, as well as a CD of original piano music, Piano Prayers.

Terry is also a creative writer. His play, The Extraordinary Mr. Ordinary, has been performed at Chicago’s Royal George and Raven theaters, and his novel, Words On Vacation, is available at Amazon.com. He also performs a solo musical revue called Romance Is Such A Funny Thing, which features 16 of his original love songs and which Terry is developing into a full-scale musical designed for ensemble performance.

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