How did you choose OHIO?
My dad heard about Ohio University's journalism program from a stranger on a plane and found out ("TODAY" show host) Matt Lauer attended Ohio University. I applied and got a good scholarship.
You interned at the "TODAY" show. How was that?
That was just an unbelievable experience. I really liked living in New York. We interns were there to do what the producer needed us to do, from logging tape to transcribing interviews and B roll to researching guests or topics being discussed. Within the first 30 minutes of being there, I and the other intern from Ohio University were in Matt Lauer's office and he was asking us questions about Athens and our major and our families.
You didn’t need to go to New York to get hands-on media experience.
When I was a freshman I started right off the bat in (WOUB NPR-affiliated campus) radio. I was working hands on. Being affiliated with NPR and Ohio Public Radio was big in terms of content production and creating newscasts of substance. From there I moved on to reporting for WOUB, the 5:30 newscast called Newswatch. I currently report and anchor for Newswatch. It was huge in terms of preparation for internships as well. Having WOUB as a resource is great because it is smaller and the reality is that my first job is probably going to be in a small market.
Why a liberal arts education instead of working your way up through the newsroom?
I decided it was important for me to get a traditional four-year college education because I wanted to have more than just skills. I wanted to have knowledge that can also be transferable for my chosen career path. What's great about Ohio University is that it is a state school. It's cheaper than a lot of other alternatives but offers the same great opportunities. Our professors are top notch.
You are president of Divine Covering. What have you learned about leadership?
I got involved with Divine Covering just because someone invited me to a Bible study. And somehow I ended up as president. We have Bible studies, we have an annual retreat. You have a team and an executive board for help. You have to trust in their abilities and trust that they're as passionate about the organization as you are. I think it's impossible to be a leader without understanding how to work in a team. I think that translates to journalism as well.
If you were reporting the Andrew Fowler story, what would that story be?
I think the story for me would be about a guy who comes to a new state, a new place with hardly any connections finding his place here at this university. I didn't know anyone really coming in, but it wasn't hard to get to know people, people made it easy to become a part of the school community and even the community as a whole in terms of Athens. Athens is so great because it has a culture that's so unlike of what I experienced before coming here and that's what I really like about this place.
What are your future goals?
I want to continue to be a reporter and anchor, first locally and then eventually nationally.
“I think my greatest achievement over my years in college has been being able to grow in different ways academically, socially, and also spiritually—beyond what I expected.”