Alyse Knorr - Summer 2008
I was born in Providence, R.I., but grew up around Atlanta, making me a true Southern girl at heart. I enjoyed reading and writing from a very early age. I always had my nose stuck in a book, until eventually I began to dream about writing one.
When I enrolled at Elon University in 2005, double majoring in English and journalism seemed like a no-brainer. I knew I loved writing and that I couldn’t live without it, so I made the decision to make a career out of it.
I got my first real experience in journalism at the beginning of my freshman year, when I began reporting for The Pendulum, Elon’s student newspaper. Later that year, I landed a position as arts and entertainment editor, where I learned more about copy editing, assigning stories and page design.
I moved up to news editor my sophomore year, and began to cover more challenging stories like the Virginia Tech tragedy and a violent student suicide. That same semester, I got a glimpse into the world of magazine publishing when I served as a fact-checker for Hemispheres, the in-flight travel magazine of United Airlines.
The summer after my sophomore year, I traveled to Namibia in Africa to begin a long-term documentary project about an international AIDS activist. During my two weeks in Namibia, I worked with two film students and a sociology professor to interview, photograph and write about Anita Isaacs, the subject of the project.
After returning to the United States, I wrote two freelance articles for the Greensboro News & Record, the largest urban daily paper around Elon’s campus. The final result of this project will be a book-length autobiography about Isaacs that I will ghostwrite and edit over the next year.
For the rest of last summer, I completed a three-month long investigative journalism piece about teen pregnancy in Alamance County, N.C. The project involved meeting and interviewing six teen mothers and writing an in-depth account of their joys and struggles as young parents. I also gathered photographs and audio recordings of each of the mothers, which I used to complete a three-minute multimedia video detailing their experiences.
The final product, a collection of narrative articles, sidebars, graphics and multimedia called “The voices we do not hear: Teen pregnancy in Alamance County,” ran as a two-week serialized article in the Greensboro News & Record.
I spent last fall studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, where I took a News Reporting class and learned about journalism from another country’s perspective. Upon my return to America in December, I was offered a position as a spring intern for the Greensboro News & Record’s Life section.
As a features writer for the News & Record, I learned how to produce some entirely new kinds of stories, including opinions columns, graphics packages and restaurant reviews. My multimedia experience also expanded at the News & Record, when I produced an audio narrative and a short feature video.
I am currently a design editor for The Pendulum, and have been enjoying the chance to investigate the realms of both print and Web design. I have also begun work on a large collection of poetry to fulfill the requirements for Elon’s honors thesis in creative writing.
After I finish school next year, I hope to either further my education in graduate school or pursue a career in print journalism as a reporter or designer.
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