What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
I currently serve as president of the university chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. My goal as president is to ensure that our members receive valuable opportunities to build on both their journalism skills and professional network. To date, we have hosted several speakers, hands-on workshops and newsroom tours.
I also serve as a director for Capital News Service's student-run television bureau. As a director, it's my job to lead the technical crew in producing a broadcast-worthy newscast. I also frequently train students in running the studio and control room equipment.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I remember the day like it was yesterday: April 21, 2010. I already had my heart set on which university I was going to attend: NYU in New York City. I had the enrollment check all ready to go. But my dad, concerned of the financial burden I would undertake if I did attend NYU, convinced me to take a tour of the University of Maryland.
The day my dad and I visited was probably the worst possible day to visit a college campus. It was cloudy and drizzling. The campus was dead-quiet. We made the trek across campus to the beautiful Knight Hall, the then-new home of the journalism school. We walked around and were very impressed with the beauty of the brand-new building. It just so happened the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building was later that day.
Still, I wasn't convinced that Maryland was right for me.
As we were leaving Knight Hall, I looked at the building directory and saw a name I recognized: Prof. Sandy Banisky. I met Professor Banisky about a year ago at a journalism event she was hosting in Baltimore, and we kept in touch on-and-off through e-mail. I told my dad that I wanted to say hello. He said she probably wasn't in the building, and if she was, I shouldn't bother her.
Thankfully, I didn't listen to him and walked up the grand staircase to her office.
It would be one of the best decisions I ever made.
I was initially concerned Prof. Banisky wouldn't remember me, but she immediately recognized me when I walked into her office. I told her my dilemma: I wasn't sure where to go to school (even though I thought I did), and my deadline to decide was in 10 days!
She began to tell me all the amazing elements about the journalism school and all the amazing classes and projects Merrill students take and work on.
Prof. Banisky then began introducing me to other professors, and they also told me the amazing things at the Merrill College.
I remember being both engrossed with what the professors were telling me and absolutely shocked at the same time. I found it so amazing that these accomplished, big-time journalism professors were so nice to me and cared so much about my interests.
Later that day, when my dad and I went to eat lunch at SaladWorks in Stamp, I remember calling my mom and telling her, "I think this is my school. I think I'm going to go here."
That same week, I submitted my enrollment check to the university.