My journey at University of Central Oklahoma started in 2018. I transferred to the university from Oklahoma City Community College. I’ve been fascinated by journalism since I was in high school. I remember taking a graphic design class, finishing my work early and tabbing over to another webpage to read an Oklahoma City Thunder blog.
I’d be remiss to avoid the doubt I had entering this program at UCO though. My father went to college for a business degree in his 40s but has not used the degree. No one else in my family had been to college or could give me advice. They could really only be skeptical about the field I chose. “Would it pay me enough? What will you be doing with this career exactly?” Ultimately I’ve bet on myself in this field, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made.
Taking Newspaper Participation with Teddy Burch changed everything for me. He let me do some sports writing, covering sports I didn’t know much about like baseball and softball. He later offered me the position of sports editor, which allowed me to step down from my supervisor position at my 40 hour per week retail job.
I’ve paid for college on my own for the most part and found it difficult to take unpaid opportunities in the field. I had to support myself financially. The sports editor position with The Vista gave me that opportunity to work part time at both jobs. I met an incredible group of editors there who helped me find my way in the newsroom. People like JaNae Williams, Megan Thele, Haylee Humphrey, and Jeff Elkins did so much for me in that newsroom.
Now through a full year of a pandemic and a full year of editorial experience, I’ve had the honor of being The Vista’s Editor-In-Chief. I freelance for the Norman Transcript once or twice a week and still work 20 hours or so at my retail job to pay rent.
The people in UCO’s Mass Communication department have pushed me semester after semester, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I give them credit for where I am today. Desiree Hill, Cynthia Faulkner, Cara Johnson and Brad Keim are just some of the names who have helped me get to where I am, and I thank you all so much.
I’ll be graduating with a Bachelor’s in Professional Media this May.