Vying for internships reveals unfair playing field

Sorting out summer plans is stressful for college students who have been applying for internships to fill their summer. Political science and women and gender studies sophomore, Destinee Dickson, has started applying for internship programs in Washington D.C. in hopes of taking that first step toward her ultimate career goal: a seat on the Supreme Court.

For Dickson, her summer internship hunt poses a dilemma. Many of the government internships that would be her first pick to apply for, including the White House, Congress and Supreme Court, don’t offer paid internships. These entities told Dickson that paying an intern just isn’t in the budget for these entities and that the experience interns would receive would trump getting paid.

Although Dickson’s mother supports her plans and will help her with traveling costs, she cannot afford to pay for her daughter’s living and food expenses for the entire summer, but will help her with travel costs, Dickson said.

“It’s difficult,” she said. “I’m a black woman, so I’ve always been disadvantaged for most things in life so it’s just another obstacle that I have to work through.”

Dickson has started applying to over ten internship programs at businesses, law firms and even the Smithsonian Institute because they have a connection to the government. She believes that having even the slightest interaction with the government could get her foot in the door for future jobs in the area.

“It’s not ideal but it’s a step in the right direction,” Dickson said.

Getting internship experience is more important now than ever, Director of OU Career Services Robin Huston said. They allow students to apply what they’ve learned in class to real life work situations, determine whether or not they are interested in a field and also boost self-esteem, she said.

“Employers look for students with internship experience on their resume which makes the student a more attractive candidate,” Huston said. “Many employers use internships as a way to decide if they want to offer that person a full time position once they graduate.”

However, certain career fields are more likely than others to offer paid internships, which can make it difficult for students like Dickson to find a resume bolstering internship that meets her financial needs.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers published research last December on “The Impact of Unpaid Internships on Career Development” that indicated that male agriculture and business majors were more likely to receive paid internships while journalism, political science, international affairs and nutrition majors, among others, were more likely to take unpaid internships. Overall, more students in the study took unpaid than paid internships, according to the research.

OU’s political science department understands how difficult it can be to live somewhere in the summer and work for no pay so they do their best to provide fellowships and scholarships to offset some of those costs, a political science presidential research and associate professor Deven Carlson said.

For example, the Carl Albert Center’s Ewing Fellowship is specifically for students interning in D.C. to assist them with housing and food for the summer, Carlson said. The Thousands Strong crowdfunding campaign that was launched last spring also raised money for several scholarships for political science students to help afford unpaid internships, he said.

While the political science department, among other departments, does what it can to support their students in pursuing internships, there is a certain level of economic inequality when it comes to unpaid internships.

“It’s an issue, it’s a problem that the opportunities that are available to students are, to some degree, only available to those who can take the financial costs,” Carlson said. “We do what we can to make costs not be a hurdle but I think that internships are one more issue in a long line of issues of inequitable opportunities between students who come from high income and lower income backgrounds.”

Jeremy Villanueva, a 2016 graduate of Sam Houston State University had a leg up when interviewing for his position as the Assistant Sports Information Director at the Southland Conference in Frisco, TX. Villanueva had a college internship at FC Dallas, a sports entity that sometimes works with the Southland Conference to put on events.

A mass communications major and longtime soccer fan, he applied for and got a digital content internship at the professional soccer club in the summer of 2015. He managed FC Dallas’ blog, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media platforms for no pay but course credit. That course credit allowed for him to graduate early, he said.

His family lives in Mesquite, TX, about a 45 minute drive from Frisco so he was able to live at home and commute, saving him from having to pay for housing.

The internship helped improve his writing and challenged his creativity on social media and to make the most of a post’s parameters, he said.

“It’s very neat, not that many people get those kinds of opportunities,” Villanueva said. “I felt like I was ahead of the next guy when I got back to school and it helped me get the next thing.”

Political science junior Daniel Williams interned with the Daniel Pae Campaign in Oklahoma City, OK this past summer and found his experience to be rewarding and worth course credit despite not getting monetary compensation. He’s already been able to apply what he learned in the summer to his classes this semester, he said.

“I would probably still [have] done the internship if I had not received the college credit [because] some of things in political science can only be learned through experience,” Williams said. “However I worry [that] the lack of paid internships in the poli sci field will hinder students ability to secure internships and remain financially stable.”

According to Carlson, there are upsides to unpaid internships because they introduce you to people that could help you later down the road and provide lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom. For some, the benefits of networking and work experience may be enough compensation in it of itself, but others may not be able to justify working for no pay, it’s an individual decision, he said.

Junior anthropology major Taylor Emery wouldn’t have been able to have interned at the Smithsonian Institute this past summer if he hadn’t received a research grant from the National Science Foundation through his internship that was able to cover his housing and a subway pass in D.C.. He used his own savings to pay for his flight and food, Emery said.

The archeological research project he worked on in the summer helped him see that he would like to work in museums, he said. While his time at the Smithsonian made an impact on him, he doubts that he would pursue another unpaid internship again since it was such a costly venture, he said.

“Getting funding would bridge that privilege gap for so many people,” Emery said. “I don’t know that I would ever do another unpaid internship again unless I [got] a larger stipend or if they simply [paid] me”

It Takes a Village, Faith and Bunko

In 2005 the Boyer and Koetter clans were making the nearly seven hour trek from San Antonio to Norman after a trip to SeaWorld when they collided with other cars in a multi-vehicle pile up just outside of Dallas. Several people involved sustained critical injuries, three people were even air transported to nearby hospitals. Although their car was totaled, the Boyers and the Koetters only suffered from whiplash and eventually made it home in one piece.

That was in June.

In the following weeks Karen Boyer, loving mom of two and wife to Rob Boyer for nine years, started to notice different health issues that drove her to the doctor more and more frequently. It started with extreme soreness and anxiety but doctors soon found that her calcium levels were abnormally high and eventually scheduled her for some biopsies on lymph nodes. Denise Rable, a close friend from McFarlin United Methodist, was a breast surgeon at Norman Regional Hospital and would be one of her surgeons, much to Boyer’s relief.

The night before the surgery Boyer noticed a lump in her breast and started to panic. By the time she woke up from the biopsy it was her friend that gave her the news.

In July she had breast cancer.

Shortly after, news of Karen Boyer’s shocking diagnosis reached her McFarlin Sunday school class that Rable, among others, belonged to. They all put themselves in her shoes.

She was only 38.

It was at their traditional girls’ bunko night that they saw Karen Boyer since hearing the news and circled up in prayer. Boyer would get a double mastectomy the next week and start a year and a half of treatment not long after.



Karen Boyer is no stranger to hardship. When her son Blake was born in 1997 everything seemed fine, until her parents started noticing that he was missing milestones like sitting up and babbling. When he was three or four months old they took him to the pediatrician to check out a bulge that had developed on his head.

They discovered that fissures in his skull that all babies are born with to allow for the brain to grow were fused prematurely, resulting in the brain pressing up against his skull.

At eight months old he was scheduled to have reconstructive skull surgery at The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, a seven to eight hour surgery that landed him a week stay while he recovered.

Six weeks later he started hitting those milestones and by four years old he was talking, but the incident would cause Blake to have developmental and behavioral issues for the rest of his life. Now, at 20, he has the mentality of a five to six year old and Karen and Rob are faced with the difficult question: what does he do from here?

“We’re at the point where we’re going to have to make some tough decisions with assisted living and other options, so we’ll see what we can do about that,” Karen Boyer said.

Blake was baptized and confirmed at McFarlin and has grown up well-known and accepted by the church community. From their Sunday school class in particular Karen Boyer has received much understanding.

Although his growing up has been emotionally and physically challenging, and people still don’t always accept Blake for who he is, they’ve always had the support of their church community and friends along the way.

“We’ve always encouraged him to be involved in the youth group and go through confirmation, which has always been a challenge, but we try to put him in the typical world as much as he can handle,” Karen Boyer said.



Those that live in the Norman area are familiar with the tornadoes that have wrought extensive damage to Moore, with some of the most notable being the May of 1999 and May of 2013 tornadoes.

The Boyers lost the home they had built in the southwest Oklahoma City area in the May of 1999 tornado when Blake was only 17 months old.

It destroyed their whole neighborhood and left them with basically nothing, according to Karen Boyer.

They managed to find a few personal belongings here and there in the rubble, but for the most part everything was gone.

“There’s nothing truly important that can’t be replaced, you miss the sentimental things, though,” Karen Boyer said. “It encouraged us to grow up really fast because we had to deal with things that are challenging to figure out at any age.”

So, with a baby and whatever they could find in hand they moved to Norman and rented a townhouse while their new house was under construction. Despite not having family in the immediate area, both Karen and Rob Boyer’s families came together to help.

They even started receiving letters, cards and checks from strangers across the country.

Karen Boyer suspected that they were sent from friends of friends and friends of her family. They weren’t the only ones affected by this disaster, but she thinks that having a young child made others sympathize with them even more.

Members of McFarlin and their Sunday school class gave them a plethora of clothes and supplies for Blake and countless meals.

“It just blew us away, all the love and support,” she said.



When Karen Boyer’s hair started to fall out, Koetter made an appointment with her hairdresser who worked out of her home so that Boyer could have some privacy. The three of them prayed and after they had finished Koetter announced that she would cut off her hair as well.

Boyer was grateful, but chastised her playfully.

“I’m going to be wearing a wig, so there’s really no point in cutting all your hair off,” she said.

Through such an isolating time as fighting cancer can be, Koetter wanted to offer solidarity.

“My total motivation in offering to shave my head was to make her not feel so alone,” Koetter said. “[She] knew that people were keeping [her] in their thoughts in prayer, but that nobody was consumed with [her] diagnosis 24/7 like [she] was.”

Whether Boyer knew it or not, her friends from her Sunday school class prayed and worried about her almost constantly.

“When you care about somebody, what happens to them has a big effect on you,” Lynne McGuire, another friend from the class said.

McGuire, along with Koetter and others from the class would often sit with Boyer during their lunch breaks when she went through eight rounds of chemo. Rob Boyer was also a steadfast presence during these difficult treatments and took the reins with supporting their family that had since grown.

Cooked meals were always a standing offer for the Boyers and one night the bunko girls presented her a basket of goodies they had assembled.

She did her best to make it to those game nights, for those were the women that helped her get through this.

And she did.

2017 marks her 13th year cancer-free.

But she didn’t beat cancer with just earthly help, Boyer accredits her resilience in life to her faith. The bible verse in particular that gave her most strength in that time was Jeremiah 29:11, Koetter notes.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”



The McFarlin adult Sunday school class celebrated its 24th year together this year and out of those 24 years the Boyers have been involved 22. The class has seen people come and go, but mostly stay; fostering friendships for over two decades that wouldn’t have been possible without their shared faith bringing them together.

“Being married, raising a family, working, all those things are hard, but when you’re able to lean on and depend on people with your same basic values, it helps,” McGuire said. “And we have fun, too.”

From annual Halloween and Christmas parties to their monthly Wednesday bunko nights, to kids growing up, hospitalizations, cancer and now aging parents, the group takes the good and the bad together.

Walking through life with faith has allowed Karen Boyer to see the growth in her friends, especially when they came together during her treatments.

“I saw so much change in them because they were giving so much of themselves,” she said. “I saw that God was really working in them…and that they were growing so much.”

McGuire accredits their growth to Boyer’s example of unyielding faith.

“When you’re fortunate enough to have a friend who relies on their faith and lives it out, you see it make a difference in the way they handle trials,” she said. “It has an impact on you on a personal level.”

Boyer hasn’t been spared any trials since being declared cancer-free and has faced the unexpected loss of her father and developed autoimmune illnesses like lupus in recent years as a result of the harsh chemo treatments she endured.

“You do what you have to do,” Boyer said.

So, she asks for more prayers and handles things as they come, trusting in God and celebrating the good with those she loves. She also has bunko to look forward to on those special Wednesday’s once a month.

After interviewing McGuire she remembered with delight: “We have bunko tonight! I look forward to seeing Karen.”






From Camp to College: Why the man who grew Camp Crimson was picked to develop a new community


Entering Dunham College, one of OU’s new residential colleges, you’re greeted by artwork of varying subjects that line the halls and furniture that seems unsure of itself, fresh and hardly use to interactions with people. It’s beautiful, a little mismatching and reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, but beautiful all the same.

Zac Stevens, who’s only been in his senior assistant fellowship at Dunham since March, eats by himself at the far end of a dining hall surely large enough for all four Hogwart’s houses. Waiting on his omelette order he lights up with a smile upon approach and, with a little conversation, his youthful spirit becomes apparent and impossible to ignore.

This spirit, along with his intentionality in his interactions, ability to make others feel appreciated and the ease with which he can build community among any group are characteristics he is commonly known by. They’re what made him a memorable associate director of Student Life’s orientation and transfer programs and what helped him grow Camp Crimson for 11 years.

Stevens found himself looking for a more fulfilling job after several years in the workforce and, remembering how much he enjoyed his time as a resident assistant at OU, he went searching his Alma Mater for a position that better suited him. Upon further inspection he decided that pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and landed a graduate assistant position at the Union Programming Board with high school friend Kristen Partridge.

It was through UPB’s event at Camp Crimson known as Retro Night that Stevens discovered Camp and fell in love with it. He volunteered to help with whatever they needed behind the scenes and a year after getting his master’s he began working at Student Life and was able to have an official hand in the programs.

“It was neat to work with a program that had so much potential and energy,” Stevens said. “I really look fondly back on that time.”

Looking back on his more than a decade with Student Life, Stevens notes how vital of a time it was to his personal and professional development. Stevens and his coworkers would take the strength-finding exercises that Student Life would implement in student organizations and through this he discovered his strength was adaptability.

“My first job had very clean routines and systems that were already in place and I didn’t like that,” he said. “But in Student Life, every day was different and we had to make up systems as we went so it suited my personality much better.”


Before he learned about this fellowship position at Dunham Stevens simply thought that he would do Camp Crimson forever, however, having Bridgitte Castorino take a full time position in Student Life and getting to take a step back during the Camp Crimson sessions of Summer 2016, his mind started to change.

“By the end of the summer I realized that I didn’t miss certain things [about camp] that I thought I would have,” Stevens said. “If I had been offered this position before summer 2016 I probably wouldn’t have considered it that seriously.”

Instead, he had peace of mind that Castorino could handle Camp while he focused more on developing other parts of transfer and orientation programs that he’d been wanting to for awhile. However, the Dunham fellowship position was thrown his way last fall and after some consideration he took it, to the surprise of many, including himself.

“I’d been working with camp for much longer than anyone else and for the longest time I thought that I would always do camp but I started to reexamine what I could do here,” Stevens said. “It’s not often that you get an opportunity like this to start something that’s brand new and it wasn’t an opportunity I could pass up, but it was simultaneously surprising to me.”

Adaptability is a good thing to have in a position like his that hasn’t ever existed before and he’s said that it has helped him handle each day’s new tasks. His track record as an intentional leader and helping other programs flourish is proof enough that he’s the right person for this position, according to friends.

Senior Associate Director of Student Life and long time friend of Stevens, Quy Nguyen, knew long before Stevens did that he was under consideration for this new position and thought he was the perfect candidate.

“In a lot of the programs he worked with, especially Camp Crimson, he really established this incredible culture and community and it is why I believe he is perfect for his role in Dunham,” Nguyen said. “He is also able to build relationships with various departments to ensure that everyone is heard and feels like they are part of the success of the program.”

When it comes to reaching a goal, Stevens knows that each individual matters and can have an impact.

“He is great at inspiring a shared vision and not just thinking about the short term goals but looking at the long term and how every small step today will contribute to the greater good in the future,” Nguyen said.

Fine arts, technology and culture senior Alix Yaw has a unique relationship with Stevens. Since she was a freshman Stevens has mentored and encouraged Yaw through changing her major sophomore year to pursuing her passions in the fine arts and working on Camp Crimson staff as the photographer this past summer, she said.

Originally her Gateway Intro to Mass Media professor, Stevens’ guidance has helped her develop personally and as a leader with their semester visits.

“Personally I wouldn’t be half the leader I am without his encouragement during my transition to majors and keeping me on track and accountable,” Yaw said.

When it was announced that Stevens would be leaving Student Life for this new position many students were sad, but Yaw was excited because she would get to see more of him since she worked in Dunham as a resident mentor. Now, instead of their semester visits she and Stevens get to talk several times a day.

“He has the ability to connect students so well and that’s what he did at Camp Crimson and orientation stuff,” Yaw said. “Now he’s able to fuel that into the residential colleges that’s an environment that is not only academically focused but social focused.”

She believes that if were not for Stevens the community aspect of these new residential colleges would be lost without his direction and experience. With the college being on the receiving end of his devoted attention, Yaw is confident that Stevens will be able to help this community grow to the best that it can be.

“Loving people where they’re at and getting to know who they really are is a leadership quality of his that often goes unnoticed,” she said.

His role will allow him to watch a community unfold and traditions come to life with as much or as little assistance from him that the students require.

“We really want this community to be strong we really want people to want to live here,” Stevens said. “Whatever it is we want to be able to provide enough different things that people can find their thing.”

Stevens is excited and looks forward to seeing what these students will do because he knows that these resident colleges are brimming with potential

This isn’t Stevens’ first rodeo with helping to develop something full of potential but the exciting challenge lies in this project’s youth. Luckily for Dunham College, this man has the youthful optimism and determination needed to step up to the plate.



Story Behind the Story: Chloe Moores and “The Hannimal”

Recent OU and OU Daily almuna Chloe Moores spent her first summer out of college interning at the TulsaWorld, producing stories ranging from topics such as glass-blowing, video game competitions and concert reviews. The first article to pop up upon searching her name on the TulsaWorld website, however, is “Beware Tulsa Tough Cyclists, The Hannimal is back,” an in-depth look into the accomplishments of junior cyclist Hannah Jordan.

The freshman in high school regularly places in adult races, is fiercely competitive and rides with a backpack that holds a gastrointestinal tube, known as her G-Tube, that keeps her alive. Jordan suffers from what doctors believe to be a mitochondrial disease and was in poor health for the first 10 years of her life, but since she was introduced to the G-Tube her life has changed.

With the annual cycling event coming up soon after Moores began her internship, her editor wanted her to write two stories on Tulsa Tough: one general story and one feature. After contacting the event’s PR coordinator she received a list of those entered and stumbled upon Jordan and decided to give her the spotlight.

Having already been covered by the media, Jordan’s medical history was well-documented when Moores began getting in touch with the family, so she wanted the biggest take-away to be what an amazing athlete she was.

Moores met with Jordan and her parents before a practice one evening and took some time to get to know them–especially the parents–before any of the actual interviewing began. She wanted the biggest priority to be making the parents feel comfortable and letting them know that they could trust her, because she was aware that these were their lives that they were sharing about and Moores cared.

It was during this internship that Moores realized how vital note-taking was during an interview because it ensured that the information was accurate and also allowed the sources more time to process and elaborate. She now prefers to start recording later in an interview because she can establish a bond first since recorders can make sources uneasy at times.

“Most of the times when I’ve had those light bulb moments like, ‘Oh this is so great,’ are when I’ve turned my recorder off because I think that people feel more comfortable and trusting when you write something down,” Moores said. “It’s reinforcement that you care about getting it right.”

Getting it right is very important to Moores and she isn’t ever afraid to follow up with sources like she did with Jordan’s mother after their initial meeting. She knew that she was going to try to get the heart and soul of the story in this first interview and focus on getting not only the medical, but the logistical information right later on.

To her surprise, Jordan’s track record was nearly as extensive as her medical record and it took several phone calls with her mother to get all her cycling information right, too.

She noted that brevity wasn’t her strong suit and that it was a process to sift through all the information but she kept her main goal to show Jordan’s cycling success in mind to aid her in identifying what was necessary.

“I felt that it was important for Hannah to be recognized more for her accomplishments than her disease,” Moores said.

After her story was published she followed an editor’s piece of advice that she holds dear from her summer in Tulsa: If someone asks you to come back, you have to. If a source wants you to come back and chat or hang out, do it, because it is important to maintain that relationship not only for future networking but for maintaining that relationship of trust.

She delivered hard copies of the story to Jordan’s mother because they wanted to share what Moores had written and also to catch up and she said it’s always the cherry on top to hear that people like your story.


Q&A with Emma Keith by Mary Smith

 OU Daily News Managing Editor Emma Keith has crafted articles covering powerful topics such as mental health on campus, protests and historical figures at OU since she was a freshman. She credits her personal and professional growth to the communities that have given her a constant home after a childhood of sporadic moving.

Why did your family move so much and when did you start moving?

“We started moving when I was a year old and moved twice more by the time I was five. They’ve all been because of my dad’s job at AT&T and they’ve all been good things like promotions and things we want for him, but it has been a lot. Dallas has been our most stable home—we were there almost 11 years—so that’s where I grew up and went to high school and where most of my friends are from. We just moved again this last year to Dallas and since it’s AT&T’s home-base we hope this is the last time!”


You were living in Georgia when you came here as a freshman, correct?

“We moved to Georgia the week after I graduated from high school and lived there all summer. It was terrible and I hated it. I came straight [to OU] after and I’’ve been back every summer and winter break since and I love it now, it’s so good.


Why did you hate it at first? Was it such a dramatic change right after graduation?

“It was that and my dad was working a lot and wasn’t really home so it was just me and my mom and my brother in this brand new city. By the end of the summer she made friends and my brother made friends in the school year but I still don’t know anyone my age because I never went to school there, so not having that connection [made it difficult]. It was also the summer after college and all my high school friends were in Dallas having fun with each other before they left and I was 900 miles away missing all that, so it was not awesome.”


Why did you decide to come to OU?

“I decided on OU three years ago at this point. As soon as applications came out I applied and knew I wanted to be here. I chose my housing in October of my senior year I was so ready. However, we didn’t find out I was moving to Georgia until March of my senior year. OU was close enough to where I could go home for the weekend but my parents can’t come see me all the time. It was also that thing where people say you walk onto campus and you feel at home and that didn’t change because my parents moved. I’m a very controlling person so I just couldn’t uproot this plan. My parents wanted me to go to school in Georgia but I knew I wanted to follow my plan and stick with this and I’m very glad that I did.”


Where they upset with you for wanting to still go here?

“I think my mom was a little bit, I think she was more upset with the concept than the reality. But I think if I had tried to transfer [from OU] she would’ve been the one to say ‘Okay this is a lot, let’s reconsider’. It was hard for her dealing with the reality of me leaving and her being in a brand new place and knowing no one. We’re really close, so it would’ve been hard enough for her being in Dallas and me being here. It wasn’t a great summer for any of us.”


What did your first semester here look like?

“I came out of the summer in this very depressive funk that didn’t wear off for probably three or four months in college so I don’t remember any of that. I was very lonely here for a while and while I did know my roommate from high school it took me a while to find deeper communities. The OU Daily has been that for me, though, but when I first started working here I was very shy and didn’t want to be here all the time. However, last fall things started to shift and this has become a nice home for me. I was in Sigma Phi Lambda my first semester freshman year and it took some time to make friends there, too. Even though I’m not in it anymore, though I made friends and even live with two of them now.”


How did you initially find out about Phi Lamb?

“One of my friends from OSU was in it and since she liked it I thought that I would, too. Two friends and I decided to check it out together and we all ended up joining even though I never thought I’d join a sorority. They emphasized that we could chose them and when I left I didn’t feel bad because they’re just very accepting of whatever you want to do. That was a good place to be for a long time, though.”


Did you just feel like your time was up there?

“I did and last fall I starting to get a little frustrated with how some things were—nothing bad that forced me out—and I decided it was time to start looking for other communities to get involved with. I’ve started going to [Antioch Community Church] last year and it has provided a much more solid foundation for me. I’ve started serving with their kids’ ministry and I’m in a bible study there so it’s been a helpful alternate community. It has provided me a good community outside of The Daily because the more I’ve been here the more I’ve seen that it’s good to have something outside this.”


How important has it been to you to have some sort of faith community in college?

It is very essential and important to me but I feel like I’ve always struggled to find deep and meaningful relationships in a church, so I think that a lot of my faith-based relationship are outside of Antioch. My best friend that doesn’t live here definitely draws me back to faith and relationships like that have fed me spiritually. Faith has been essential to living fully, treating others well and motivating me to do work here.


How has having a faith background helped you in your work here at The Daily?

“It’s helped me try to seek beauty and meaning in other people and helped me learn to be more empathetic and compassionate. Coming to college I went to a Christian high school and grew up homeschooled before that and was very sheltered. Coming to college has really exposed me to a lot of new things. I remember last year covering the die-in protest and what a pivotal moment it was for me because I realized that this effects real people and wasn’t just something people talked about. Having faith has helped me process those very hard and very real things and having journalism has helped me do something about that. Honestly, I think without faith this would be a very difficult field for me to be in. It exposes me to the very harsh realities of the world and how awful people are, but it also gives me a taste of how good people are and how beautiful their stories can be. Faith gives me something to go back to at the end of the day and to not let that darkness overcome me.”


What have the friendships and working at The Daily taught you?

“I say this a lot but being here has taught me more than Gaylord has. This is just a wonderful place to be trained, to make mistakes and to grow from that. I’ve had a lot of people here that have believed in me often more than I believed in my self. Andrew Clark was essential in that and saw a lot more in us than we saw in ourselves. Some people here have developed me as a leader and a journalist and have been graceful with me when I’ve messed up. These people are some of my closest friends and I genuinely enjoy being here every day and being with them outside of the newsroom.”


Have the communities you’ve been involved with in college given you more of an idea of what you want to do in the future?

“I don’t know specifically what I want to do but being here has helped reaffirm me that I want to do journalism. I didn’t have any journalism experience in high school and I came into college knowing that I liked to write and I’m terrible at writing fiction so journalism sounded good. When I started here I’d never written anything remotely journalistic so the work I do here helps me realize that this is something I want to pursue in the future. It’s been hard explaining that to my parents when I want to do something that they consider to be a dying industry, but when they see what we do here they’re very encouraged.”