Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa
Majors: Broadcast Journalism and Sociology
Favorite Lexington Landmark: It’s not a landmark, but it’s my favorite place. I love the Pink Hut. I think it’s actually called the Ice Cream Factory, but no one calls it that. Pink Hut. Simple as that. You can get soft-serve ice cream cones for $1! A delicious treat and a great thing to do with your closest friends. And I know I’m not the only one who believes the opening of Pink Hut hallmarks the true start of Spring.
I took the college tours—lots of them. And I always remembered the tour guides who told me that I could “start my own program” when I came to school. I usually scoffed a little bit at that comment. I simply wasn’t interested. My path was set out before me, and I didn’t need to “create my own” college experience. I was going to go to school and I was going to swim. I loved swimming and I couldn’t imagine spending the next four years of my life doing anything else.
But when I arrived at Washington and Lee, ready to move into the dorms in the fall of my freshman year, I found that swimming wasn’t the only thing I was deadset determined to do.
I also had my heart set on becoming a journalism major. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a story, to learn to use all of the studio equipment, and to be introduced to the thousands of lights and buttons in the control room. Life seemed simple enough before my first days of classes. I would spend my days bustling around campus chasing a good story, and I would spend my evenings puffing up and down the lanes of the swimming pool. I had it all figured out.
But as I nestled into my journalism major, I quickly realized that I loved it much more than I ever anticipated. As I took courses which allowed me to write scripts for a television program, build a Web site, and anchor a news show, I had a harder and harder time tearing myself away from the building.
After an internship with CNN in the summer of my junior year, I knew that I had found my professional passion. I wanted to spend the rest of my days as a broadcast reporter. Of this, I was absolutely certain.
I returned to campus in the fall of my senior year filled with excitement. I had a new idea, and I was ready to implement it. I started a student news broadcast. That’s right, the girl who snickered at the make-your-own college experience actually “created her own” program.
A Week in General aired for the first time this fall. Throughout the process of creating the bi-weekly news show, I survived because of the unconditional support I received from my mentors and advisors in the journalism department. As an organization, we succeeded because of the passion for good journalism shown by the students on staff.
Together, we have spent hours redoing basic editing by first time reporters; days coming up with ideas to increase campus viewership; and months writing scripts which convey important elements of the news, but also capture the attention of a college audience. Nothing about the experience has been easy or predictable. We’ve never looked back.
Washington and Lee now has its own campus news show- for the students, about the students, by the students. That’s our motto. But I always remind people that it exists because of students.
I created news with my college experience. When I see prospective students now, I always think, ‘what could you do?’ Don’t miss out.