Taking the Lead

by Jean Lee, Class of 2016

Imagine walking into the office everyday but instead of just sitting at a boring desk, you are sitting next to a blinking red sign that reads, “On Air.”  That is exactly what happens for me.jean2

This past semester, I worked in the dotcom department with the Senior Politics Editor at Fox News, helping him find stories and occasionally writing some of my own.  The coolest thing was seeing my name on top of an article that thousands of people were reading and commenting on!  It was an awesome experience, but I would not have been prepared for it if I didn’t have my Media Studies background.  In Media Studies classes, you have such a diverse education on the many facets of the media.  I have had classes in everything from basic production practices, to the social change present in the media, and the various media theories and their critical approaches.

Without the knowledge I learned in my Introduction to Journalism class, I would not have been as successful at my internship at FoxNews.com.  Professor Gresko taught me everything I could possibly need to know to write a good news story.  The first thirty-five words you read are perhaps the most important words in the story; it’s called the lead.  Professor Gresko trained the class to know exactly what to say to make a good lead, and also how to properly organize the story.  Everything I learned in my class helped me to write multiple stories that were actually in the top 10 most viewed stories for that day on FoxNews.com.  One story I wrote actually received over 181,000 views.  Another story broke the top 10 most-viewed stories on the website within the hour that I wrote it. 

Watching the comment section of the stories I wrote increase by the hundreds each hour was an amazing thing to watch.  Every time I reviewed my stories, I was so thankful for what I have learned so far in my time here at CUA.

Going to school in Washington DC gave me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.  Not only am I privy to awesome internships during the school year and not just during the summer, but I am able to literally be a pjean1art of history.  During the inauguration of President Obama, I was able to work on “Morning Joe” and meet people like Chris Matthews and Colin Powell as they enjoyed the festivities in DC.  I also was able to be at the White House on election night.  The energy in the city was incredible!  I am able to take all that I learn inside and outside of the classroom to my internships.

Of course the knowledge we learn is important, but the work ethic the professors show us helped me to land my second internship at Fox News, where I am currently working.  I was supposed to help out on the Assignment Desk, which I have been told is one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs at the news organization.  Just days before my first day, my internship program called me up.  They said that since I made such a positive impact in my last position, they wanted to know if I would be interested in being Greta Van Susteren’s personal assistant while they looked for a more permanent replacement.  Obviously, I said yes immediately and I am having an amazing time so far!  I have been able  to meet amazing talent at Fox News, see how a news show like “On The Record” is created and produced, and I even sat in the studio during the show!

The one thing that everyone tells me is to make the most of my internship opportunity.  They tell me to ask as many questions and meet as many people as I can.  My first go-around at Fox News, I wish I did that more.  I think of my second internship as another opportunity to network and hopefully be one step closer to that coveted job after graduation.  CUA’s Media Studies Department has been so helpful and supportive ofjean3 what I want to do; I am forever thankful for each and every one of them.   I encourage anyone who has even an ounce of passion for some facet of the media to become a Media Studies major, because you will definitely fall in love.

The First Year Experience…Abroad!

by Alycia Monaco, Class of 2018

Alycia 1The First Year Experience.  August 25th, 2014 was the beginning, and for me, June 12th, 2015 marked the end.  Two semesters, many new experiences, and one international flight later, I continued my first year abroad, in the Eternal City.

Having never traveled to Europe, I was quite eager to immerse myself in what I thought was Italian culture… which many of us came to actually identify as Italian-American culture.  Our class spent a week in Washington, D.C. breaking such stereotypes, learning basic language skills, and preparing for the unknown.  May 22nd, 2015 marked my last day in the United States; I traded my plans of sleeping on the couch and re-watching The Office (yet again) for three weeks of adventure in Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Along with about 20 other first year students, I traveled to Rome to take a course called Italian 221:Mapping Italy and Rome.  I carried along with me my passport and an anticipation of what was to come.  Class began, and we traced the rich history and culture of ancient Rome, from the Forum and the Vatican to Fascism and Modern Art and Architecture.


During the first weekend that we were here, the group traveled to Florence for a 48 hour visit. This time included travel back and forth to Rome. It was only about an hour trip, but it granted us the necessary time to rest, and maybe even sleep. In Florence, we were fortunate enough to see the Duomo: the main cathedral.  This site was absolutely beautiful, and we were able to see both the church and the baptistery on our tour.  If we wanted to, we were also able to climb the dome and the bell tower; my friends and I decided to climb the bell tower for a beautiful, and grand view of the red sea of rooftops throughout Florence.  In addition to this beautiful site, we were also able to see the Uffizi, which included many works of religious art from the Renaissance Period.


In addition to Florence, we were able to visit the iconic city of Venice.  Gondolas, glass, and masks are a staple of Venetian culture: all of which the group was able to experience during our short time in this beautiful port city.  My friends and I were able to take a gondola ride, where our driver gave us a night tour of the city, in addition to sharing how he met his wife, who is also American. The group also visited the iconic Doge, and Galleria Academia in order to best grasp the history of Venice.

An Academic Marathon.  There’s no other way to describe this experience.  Our professor, Dr. Stefania Lucamante, and the rest of our class share a giggle every time we joke about the idea, but there certainly is truth behind this statement. While in the classroom for some parts of the day, we applied our knowledge throughout the entire city. During our classroom sessions, each student in the course was responsible for giving an oral presentation on a reading that we were able to select off of our syllabus. As a Media Studies major, it was interesting to read an article titled Italian Cinema in the Post-National Age. What better way to apply the introduction courses from the Department of Media Studies, and learn more about a topic that is relevant to this major?

My presentation was earlier this week, and included information about directors I had learned about during both Media 201 and 202.  We learned about famous directors, and even about a film that took place in Italy, titled The Bicycle Thieves.  In addition, The Lumière brothers were referenced in the article I read for the presentation.  Beyond the scope of the Media Studies courses I took this past year, it was essential that I completed outside research surrounding how funds were raised specifically for Italian films.  The project has sparked my interest in this process in the United States.

volunteering at a public access television program
volunteering at a public access television program

In addition to applying my knowledge of Media Studies directly to the academic portion of the trip, a group of students who wished to attend a screening of In His Image were able to join the audience of this show. We were able to see how the show was produced, and gain experience volunteering with public access television!

Perhaps one of the most memorable events on the trip was attending both a Papal Audience with Pope Francis and attending mass and a candlelight vigil for the Feast of Corpus Christi.  Although not many of us on the trip were familiar with Italian, it was certainly special to attend mass with Pope Francis, in great anticipation of his arrival at CUA come the fall.

As this trip comes to a close, I am sad to leave this beautiful city, but excited to use the knowledge that our group gained from living and alycia 2internalizing Italy.  Working together and forming bonds with students that I hadn’t met in my first year proved to be a rewarding experience that many of us will never forget.