I'm pleased to announce that College Broadcasters, Inc. has awarded St. Cloud State University for 2013 Best Television Newscast! The show was produced by Emily Haeg, Andrew DeMars and me, along with our news directors at the time, Leah Carr and Lindsey Branwall. We truly had an incredible team, and I am honored that we were recognized nationally for our live newscast. Click here to see a complete list of this year's winners.
I'll leave you with a beautiful representation of the fun we had during our semester producing. Yes indeed, it's only the best kicker story ever: The Harlem Shake. Take a look!
Trevor and I were honored to be asked to speak at this year's Celebration of Abilities event. The event was hosted by the 2013 Disability Task Force and was free and open to the public. In past years, it has drawn around 170 people. This year: about 260! It was an incredible turnout! I spoke and then invited Trevor up for a chat so the audience could get to know him. The response to Trevor's story was overwhelming! Everyone was so inspired by how much he has overcome. During a Q&A with the audience, one young woman said hearing Trevor's story gave her hope to keep on going. I couldn't help but run to her and hug her. I pray that every person in that room finds the support they need to be the best they can be. Thank you to the Disability Task Force for giving us the chance to meet so many inspiring people who are working to show people their abilities.
For those of you who would still like to purchase a copy of Trevor's book, visit his website! You can purchase an autographed copy directly from us by paying through PayPal, or his book is also available on a number of bookstore websites! Click here!
Trevor and I will be speaking at the Celebration of Abilities event on Tuesday, October 22. Trevor will also be doing a book signing! Click here for more information about Trevor and his children's book series, The Adventures of Charley McChooChoo. The event is free, so come on down, eat some dinner, and get inspired! We hope to see you there!
On Saturday, I volunteered at the Upper Midwest Emmy Gala at the beautiful Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences works to honor exceptional work in the television industry, provide professional development and outreach, and nurture the next generation of television professionals (that's me!).
Congratulations to KSTP and KARE 11 for the numerous Emmy awards they
received! I interned at KSTP 5 Eyewitness News over the summer and I currently intern at KARE 11. It was fun to know people in the audience at the Emmy Gala this year because of those experiences, and it was even more fun to be able to root for them!
I was so honored to receive an Award of Excellence for the Talent category with my anchor reel submission for the NATAS Upper Midwest Emmy Student Production Awards last spring. I was listed on page 12 of the Emmy program book (see above)! Maybe someday I'll have a "real" Emmy.
I had a blast getting to know the other students who volunteered at the event. They are all pursuing various areas of mass communications, including journalism, marketing and public relations. We arrived at noon to begin setting up for the big event. We set up Emmy statuettes, greeted nominees and helped them find their seats, helped with paperwork to ensure all award winners received the correct trophy, and actually spent some time on stage presenting the trophies to the winners! Check out this cool time lapse video of all the volunteers setting up for the Gala! (Courtesy: Upper Midwest Emmys)
A big thank you to John Murray, his wife Val, and the rest of the Upper Midwest Emmy volunteers for including us in the festivities! I left feeling inspired to push my journalism and storytelling skills to the next level. I'm ready to get this career going!
ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Local leaders from the St. Cloud Somali community are hoping youth will stay away from Al Shabaab, the organization that claimed to be responsible for last week’s attacks in Nairobi, Kenya.
Haji Yusuf, a local advocate and host of Somali Radio, said the Somali community is in shock.
But Yusuf said the problem isn’t new. “The world and the media have ignored the terrible things Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab have been doing to Somalis for years. Al Shabaab is not a Somali problem alone now. It is a global problem.”
Yusuf called Al Shabaab a terrorist group that targets the weak. He and other community members worry that Somali youth are left vulnerable.
Mohamoud Mohamed, who works with Somali refugees daily through the St. Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization (SASSO), said, “Single mothers come to America with their children to give them a better life. But they can’t afford to take them camping, to take them to restaurants, to the theatre, or to sports games. They end up living life as the lowest of the low.”
Yusuf and Mohamed say the challenges these young people face as immigrants put them at risk of being picked up by terrorist organizations promising them a better life.
“Most of these kids encounter discrimination every day,” said Yusuf. “This is an opening for an evil person to come in and say, ‘See what they’re doing? We have a better option for you.’”
It appears Al Shabaab is trying to enlist youth in its organization with a recruitment video it uploaded to YouTube last month. The video, called “The Path to Paradise,” references “Minnesota’s Martyrs,” which suggests that some Minnesotans have already joined up.
“Those brainwashed, poor children,” said Mohamed, “stolen from us and destroyed by those cruel, cruel terrorist-minded people.”
One member of Al Shabaab who appeared in the recruitment video called his experience “the real Disneyland,” describing how much fun he was having.
“These are people who cannot find people to do their evil deeds,” Yusuf said. “They’re drawing a rosy picture of what’s going on.”
The big question for Yusuf and Mohamed: Is Al Shabaab recruiting youth in St. Cloud? They don’t think so.
“The Somalis are against Al Shabaab. They know it is a terrorist organization,” said Yusuf.
Mohamed said he believes St. Cloud has remained safe from Al Shabaab influence because of strong community bonds and religious leadership.
“We need to close the doors and make sure Somali youth are engaged and kept safe,” Yusuf said.
Mohamed runs numerous after-school sports and tutoring programs through SASSO to try to keep youth away from Al Shabaab influence.
“They are doing their homework. Most of them are very good students who graduate and go on to higher education,” but he said resources are tight.
Mohamed said local programs need more funding to keep Somali youth engaged in the community.
“We can’t do everything. Our wheels are moving, but we are limited. We want more resources for more activities to reach every student. [These programs] are saving the lives of thousands of children.”
I am pleased to announce that I will once again be working with UTVS News at St. Cloud State University this fall. I will serve as a reporter on Thursdays and main evening anchor with Josh Nguyen on Mondays! I will also be reporting in Spanish on Thursdays for UTVS News en Español. Be sure to tune into Charter channel 21 in St. Cloud and online at www.utvsnews.com for UTVS News en Español at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and for UTVS News at 12:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday!
KSTP 5 Eyewitness News Summer Photojournalist Internship
I had an incredible summer working at KSTP 5 Eyewitness News as their photojournalist intern! My internship provided me with hands-on, real-world experience that is sure to serve me well as I begin my career in TV news.
Each day, I drove my own company car and handled my own camera equipment to conduct interviews and shoot video. I edited packages and VO/SOTs, wrote stories for the web, and created WEB EXTRA packages for the web. It's a bit mind-blowing that my work made the air every day in the large Twin Cities market!
I also worked with WONDERFUL people. They gave me solid, constructive criticism to help me build my skills, and they offered advice about the next steps I should take in my career. My photojournalist buddies also gave me a fantastic compliment: I have "street cred." One of the photojournalists actually approached me and said he was impressed with the work I was doing. He said he has seen a lot of "starry-eyed" female interns come through with aspirations of being a famous face on TV, but they usually don't have the work ethic or skills to back it up. I am just thankful for the opportunity I had to build on my knowledge this summer and meet great people!
A special thank you to Joe Caffrey for hiring and mentoring me and to Brian Stanley for giving an incredible and completely unexpected recommendation on my behalf!
KARE 11 Fall News Internship
I am excited to announce that I have accepted a position as a fall news intern at KARE 11! My first day is tomorrow! I look forward to learning even more at another Twin Cities news station. A big thank you to Jerrid Sebesta for putting in a good word for me! (I met Jerrid in 2011 during an interview at the State Fair when I was Miss Minnesota.)
It has been over a year since I made my first move toward switching my career path from medicine to TV broadcast, and I have to say, it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I finished this semester up strong with a 4.0 GPA, and this summer, I will be working as a photojournalist and producing intern for KSTP 5 Eyewitness News. I know it's going to be a challenge, but I am up for it! I have loved every single minute of my involvement with UTVS and the St. Cloud State Mass Communications department. I have learned so much from my professors and my peers and I can't wait to learn more from them during my final semester next fall. In December 2013, I will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications (TV Broadcast emphasis). Two bachelor's degrees in completely unrelated fields in five and a half years? Not too shabby!
Upon graduation, I plan to look for anchor/reporter jobs in the Topeka/Kansas City area, where Alex will be attending medical school. Below, you'll see my working resume reel, which I submitted as a final project for this semester's reporting class. It is bound to change a lot in the next semester as I report and anchor more! But go ahead and have a look-see!
ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Firefighters from St. Cloud, Waite Park and St. Augusta tried to control a peat fire that burned 10 acres of land over the weekend.
Michael Post, Fire Marshal for the St. Cloud Fire Department, explained, "Peat is actually a fuel. It can smolder for days, and there are some peat fires that have burned for months and years.
Post said he is not sure what caused the fire. But he believes it was likely ignited from a campfire or burning barrel.
The drought conditions exacerbate the problem. Post said, "Unless we get some appreciable moisture, we're going to see more and more [of these fires]."
Post said the Department of Natural Resources is usually readily available to help with peat fires, but he said the DNR is "spread thin" with the number of peat fires they've had to manage so far.
Post advises people to take caution when working with recreational fires. He said, "Be careful. Everyone enjoys recreational fires. Unfortunately, I get to see the bad side of that. I have to look at the garages and houses that burned up."
Post said preventing fire emergencies begins with the person who starts the recreational fire. He said, "Don't start fires unless you're there to put them out. Have water, a garden hose, or a bucket of sand nearby. Be able to take care of it. Be able to control it."
Such a fun story! I put this report together after Lauren Romanowski, Jessie Johnson, and I happened upon this scene! Take a look!