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.
Note: This is the first of three stories about music education. It examines how tight budgets and state and local laws affect the music curriculum.
In states across the country, school music programs are falling victim to a simple but deadly formula.
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