Hello, my name is …

It’s that time again: beginning-of-the-semester introductions. No need to bare your soul here, but please do tell us your “story” — something interesting that gives us a chance to know you better. 

First, make sure you’re logged into your WordPress account. Then click on “Edit Profile” in the “My Account” menu. Configure it so that your name (at least your first name) shows up under “display name publicly as…” Then, add a picture of yourself. Now, comment away.

Tell us:

Start with the basics—where you’re from, year in school, etc. … why you’re a journalism major … what you love (or hate) to cover as a journalist … what you most like to read and why … what you like to do for fun (you know, actual hobbies) … what interests you about news online … and something interesting we don’t know about you.

I’ll get us started in the comments section…

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19 Responses to “Hello, my name is …”


  1. 1 Seth C. Lewis January 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I’ll be the first to post here.

    I’m a doctoral student (in my last semester of coursework) whose research and teaching interests focus on this concept: how the work of journalism is being transformed by new media sensibilities and technologies.

    I’m a former assistant sports editor at The Miami Herald … a guy who has lived in the Dominican Republic and Spain, and loves to travel anywhere else when possible (including Sweden, Finland and Russia in 2007) … an admitted tech geek with a major thing for all things Apple (let’s just say I read the blogs and follow the stock price daily) … and, most importantly, a husband to my best friend in the world and a dad to three great boys (with another baby on the way in March, which is why I might miss a class session or two!).

    I’m teaching this course because I’m fascinated by all the permutations of new media — the blogs, the user-generated content, the mashups, the wikis, etc. — and want to better understand what this digital age means for journalism and its role in society.

    OK, now your turn …

  2. 2 meerarajagopalan January 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    My name is Meera Rajagopalan, and I am a multimedia journalism junior. I started journalism in high school and really like it, so I decided to stick with it. I love covering events, anything that I can get out there, meet people and really report well. I love reading “upscale” tabloids, mainly People. For fun. I am a resident assistant, which I love. I enjoy listening to music, dancing and hanging out with friends. Online news. Interesting to me because it’s fast, easy and constantly changing. Today alone, I got three emails with different things going on at the Inauguration.

    I’m originally from California, and I hope to go back one day and work there.

  3. 3 Robert Rich January 20, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    My name is Robert Rich, and I’m a multimedia journalism junior from Palestine, Texas – it isn’t pronounced like the country, and the locals hate if you say it that way. I fell in love with journalism in high school, and haven’t had any desire to do anything different since then, despite the barrage of “you’ll never make any money” comments I’ve received from friends, family members, and total strangers (long story, ask me some other time).

    I’m a huge entertainment junkie and write it about for The Daily Texan as a Senior Entertainment Writer. My focus lies primarily on music, but movies, television and books are all fair game as well. Even though the rise of blogs and the ease of creation regarding citizen journalism is starting to wipe out the traditional entertainment critic, I still feel they’re an extremely integral part of the business and should be saved. New technologies are simultaneously giving critics more opportunities to be heard and less chances at landing a decent job. It’s a conundrum.

    With that in mind, I’d love to end up writing about music for a magazine or online publication, because people still need devoted critics to find and introduce them to great bands. And don’t talk about those dudes from Stereogum; their predilection for talking about obscure indie bands, two rappers, or Katy Perry irritates me to no end.

  4. 4 Amy Neyhard January 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I’m Amy Neyhard. I’m senior, graduating in May! YAY! I’m from Waco, TX. My major is Broadcast Journalism.

    I was interviewed by a news station in Waco for winning a scholarship in High School and that is where I knew that I wanted to be in the business. And no, I’m not in it for the money…I’m in it because I really enjoy being in front of a camera and meeting new people.

    I really like to watch the Today Show every morning to get my news but I do check online news every day as well.

  5. 5 mpierini January 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Hey I’m Michele.

    I’m a junior in the magazine sequence.
    I work for the Cactus Yearbook and I DJ for KVRX.

    My hometown is classic suburbia meaning I grew up in a place where kids got drunk and went to Walmart for fun. Luckily I escaped to Austin where I can see all the concerts I want for cheap.

    I love to experience “culture” and to create things that other people can experience. Through writing I can show people things that they never might have had a chance to know.

    Also I will have a few house shows this semester so if you know any badass bands I should contact let me know!

  6. 6 Lauren Oakley January 20, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Hello all!
    My name is – as you can all read – Lauren.
    I am a senior Multimedia Journalism student, graduating in May. What am I going to do after I graduate you may ask? That is an excellent question!! I have no idea.

    I was born and raised in a small town in east Texas – good ole’ Terrell, yes spelled and pronounced like T.O. It is located 30 miles east of Dallas.

    I am a journalism major because I have always enjoyed writing. I was involved in my high school broadcast journalism news all four years and sadly, I was not accepted into the broadcast sequence at UT upon applying. Luckily, I discovered that I ended up enjoying multimedia a lot more than I did broadcasting.

    I cut my teeth at the good ole’ Terrell Tribune/ Rockwall County News as a daily features writer. I worked there last Christmas break and this Christmas break. It was lovely.

    I interned at KXAN.com for their web team as a new media journalist last summer. It was a lot of fun and I got to work in the news room full of screaming reporters. I really liked it actually.

    I also interned for Texas Highways Magazine as an editorial intern for seven months.

    I love designing websites and would like to learn more about it. Here is the first I designed last semester for J331:

    https://webspace.utexas.edu/leo98/laurenoakleysite/index.html

    I also love doing video. Podcasting is ok.

    I HATE COVERING CRIME. Police officers are not nice people to deal with and PIO’s are impossible to reach and never willing to work with you. Blah.

    What I mostly like to read…hmm.. the news. Really. It’s usually easy reading and interesting. I prefer CNN.com, or the local news site I used to work for, KXAN.com. I also LOVE the today show. Al Roker puts me in a wonderful mood.

    I like to workout as a forced hobby, but it’s not always fun. I also write a lot, I blog occasionally, love to cook, sleep, spend time with friends, and of course, the typical college hobby of going dt every weekend – that’s more of a bad habit than a hobby.

    What interests me the most about online news is that unlike TV or newspaper, you can go online, get your news and it’s 24 hours coverage. It’s also such a rush to work for online news because every 10 minutes you have a deadline. Seems frightening, I know, but it is actually a lot of fun.

    Something interesting you MAY not know about me is that I had lots of eggs and food thrown at me in Rome two summers ago when Former President Bush made a speech about the war at the Vatican. I guess it was obvious we were American.

  7. 7 Ambika Singh January 21, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Hello! My name’s Ambika. I am a 3rd year multimedia journalism and soon-to-be spanish major! When people ask me where I’m from I never know how to respond. I always feel the need to let people know I’m Indian (if the hooked nose and brown pigmented skin doesn’t give it away). But I’m not from India. I was born in California (I lived there for too short a time for anyone to judge me!), Ohio (all I remember is lots of snow!!), New Jersey (I got nothing) , and now Texas (though Austin is it’s own crazy story). I do love each. So i’ve been around, but there are plenty of other places I hope to visit in the future!

    Which leads me to my next confused response…
    When people ask me why I chose Journalism, I tend to go off on several different tangents. I really love writing. And I’ve been told that I may have to do some of that in this field, so I must be doing something right! I’m also really interested in learning about anything I can get my hands on, and at the time I chose Journalism because I knew very little about anything in the field. Still, I think the main reason I chose this area is because I love hearing other peoples perspectives, their stories. All I want to do in life is learn as much as I can through other people, about other people, with other people. Idealistic? Maybe. Cliche? Probably. But we all could use another pair of eyes to look through for a day — although my eyesight is so bad whoever ended up with them would be walking into walls. literally.

    I like reading about cultures different from mine. I think everyone has a story to tell, and I love any opportunity to put one in written form!

    Interesting Facts? I love to (try and) make people laugh. I love music. I’ve played the piano since I was 5, Violin for 9 years, i’m trying to learn the guitar, and I sing! One of my dreams is to move to India for some time and learn to play Sitar. That’s the plan if ever I graduate!

  8. 8 Rachel January 21, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Hello All! My name is Rachel. I am originally from Amarillo, Texas, and escaped from there as soon as I could. I knew from high school that I wanted to major in journalism since I was on the yearbook staff for three years. When I got to UT in 2001, I was on the print journalism track (as I said last night, there was just print, broadcast and photojournalism when I was here). While in school, I realized I was more passionate about design than writing, so when I left in 2004, I went to work in the print industry. I do freelance print design and work at a local print shop. I returned this past summer to take 12 hours. This is the only class I’m taking, and then I’m done!

    I want to break into the world of the internet and take my work to the next level. Most of my friends have blogs or Twitter or do something, and I want to be a part of that. I think this class will help me learn the basics of what makes a good blog/website and will help me figure out where the internet business is heading. I get all of my news online, and I have the NYT and the AAS headlines sent to my email. For fun, I like icanhascheezburger.com, fark.com, and eonline.com. I also spend a lot of time on facebook and gchat.

    In my spare time I like to read (gasp!) printed books. I just can’t get into digital books or Kindle; I like the feel of books and to physically turn the pages. I also watch a lot of bad reality television and some good scripted television. I play dodgeball and softball depending on the season in the Austin Sports and Social Club. I love living in Austin and try to see as much live music as possible. I am a football junkie, both college (Longhorns) and the NFL (Titans). I run a girls-only fantasy football league called the Powder Puff League. I am also training to run in a half marathon in April, though we’ll see how much of it I will actually run.

  9. 9 samanthadeavin January 21, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Hi! I’m Samantha Deavin, but please call me Sam, and as I told you guys yesterday I’m studying here for 2009 as a study abroad student. I’m from Sydney, Australia – so a long way from home, but so far I’m loving Austin! There are still a few things I’m getting used to – like driving on the right side of the road, the food, the weather, and of course all the ‘y’alls’, but I really do love it here.

    Back home I study at the University of Sydney, and my degree there is a little different to here. I study Media and Communications, so within that degree we try all aspects of journalism and the media – PR, video production, radio broadcast, media law and ethics, online, etc – so rather than graduating with a specific major, we get a little taste of everything. I also major in American Studies back home, as I am interested in American culture and society, so am taking a few American Studies classes here as well.

    So far I think my interest lies in broadcast news, however, am sure that will change in time! I’ve recently developed an interest in the online world as well, hence me taking this class, and I could see myself working within it at some stage. I’m very interested in the web and how its facilitated the idea of citizen journalism.

    As far as my interests go, I’m passionate about travelling. My family immigrated to Australia from South Africa and I have lived in Amsterdam as well, so it’s always been a part of my life. Since leaving school I have travelled extensively through Southern and Eastern Africa as well as South East Asia – and now America! I’m also interested in fashion, so could see myself potentially writing about these things at some stage in my career.

    So that’s about it for me – looking forward to meeting you all!

  10. 10 Justine January 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Heyy… I’m Justine. I’m from Pilot Point, Texas (it’s a small town about 45 min north of Dallas). I’m originally from California and a lot of my family still lives out there so I travel to the Bay Area whenever we have breaks from school. I recently went to LA and San Fran for a STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9… have you guys heard of them?) show with some friends the weekend before classes started. It was a blast and I really enjoy going to concerts and shows as well as covering them. I like reading and writing band interviews/profiles and concert reviews.

    I think in the future I want to work in entertainment journalism. I’m a magazine journalism major and I’m trying to find an internship in New York City this summer to work for a fashion or music magazine. I got into journalism because I love to write and I’ve had some amazing professors that have really inspired me to stick with it because it can be a very interesting choice of work and lifestyle. I don’t know what type of magazine I want to work for in the future, so I want to intern and check out all the options. I’m interested in this class because I think having the ability to write well in our generation is a desirable skill and many magazines are moving to online. I want to have online knowledge so I can be prepared to write in any form.

    I like to read my news online at statesman.com, nytimes.com, nymag.com and I read the Daily Texan in print. I also read bricksandstonesgossip.com (out of habit and boredom, mostly I just look at the pictures… I actually feel bad about invading celebrity privacy, but can’t help it!) I love listening to music Pandora.com and shopping online at shopbop.com.

    Um something interesting… I’m currently taking a “break” from facebook… I suspended my account because I don’t like the idea of people (and their mom’s) knowing what I’m doing all the time. So we’ll see how that goes… I’ve actually been getting a lot done 

    Nice to meet you guys !

  11. 11 Jill January 21, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Hey everyone!
    My name is Jill. I am junior journalism major but I am graduating a semester, so I only have year left. I am from Colleyville (suburb in DFW area). But like everyone else I really love Austin.

    I am in the magazine sequence and I really like it. I love reading magazines, but I love putting them together, especially pitching ideas and the whole editorial process. I had a good experience interning at one last semester. I am thinking about going to law school, I am really interested in media law and corporated law but I am not set on that yet. Going to take the LSAT though…keep my options open.

    I really enjoy running although I have kind of stopped because of school but I am going to pick it back up this year! And like Justine above I am a huge shopbob.com fan. And I love movies, although I need to make more time to see them.

    I get alot of my news from NYTimes.com and what I love most about the site is the multimedia aspect. I think as journalist in this job market you have skills beyond storytelling so I am hoping to learn some in this class.

    See everyone tomorrow!

  12. 12 kwhite87 January 21, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Hi! My name is Kristin White and I am from the small town of Kilgore, Texas. I am sure many of you don’t know where it is, or have even heard of it for that matter, but it is in east Texas about an hour from Shreveport, Louisiana. Kilgore is a fine town, but definitely not for me. I do not like small towns and I for sure never want to live in one.

    I am a senior following the magazine sequence. I am not really sure why I chose journalism because I have always loved all subjects really, weird I know. But I like school! I originally chose the magazine sequence because I have a weird obsession with magazines (particularly fashion magazines like i-D, V, WWD, Vogue and a bunch of others printed in other countries ) and have enjoyed it so far, but after interning at 3 different magazines, I have grown a bit tired of them. I never dreamed I would know so much about how magazines are put together, managed and make money! And, after all my internships I have realized that I really like marketing and PR more than actually being a journalist. I still enjoy writing, but I think there are many other writers much greater than me. So in the future I hope to move back to NYC and work in marketing or PR, or maybe something just completely random! Who knows!

    I really enjoying reading fashionista.com, whowhatweardaily.com, and a blog called fashion is spinach.com. So, clearly, I am very interested in fashion! I like reading about models way more than I enjoy reading about celebrities!

    I love that news is available online because it is much easier for me and tons of other people. I would never pick up a newspaper and read it but I often go to cnn.com or nytimes.com to read the news. And I of course love shopping online. I also love that other people’s blogs are online for anyone to read because you can get really great ideas from others and I love to see how other people think about certain topics.

    Something interested about me I guess would be that I would absolutely love to live in South Africa for some time after graduation! Oh and I just recently got a kitten…she is in my picture with me!

  13. 13 oliviafong January 22, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Hi everyone. My name’s Olivia Fong and I’m from Sugar Land, Texas, which is about 20 minutes south of Houston. I’m a senior double majoring in journalism (magazine) and communication science disorders.

    Honestly, although I do love both news and writing, I really don’t have journalistic aspirations beyond college. It’s something that I got into because a) it’s an area that interests me, and b) I wanted to stretch out my undergrad experience and defer from the real world for as long as possible. In the fall I will most likely be in grad school to get my master’s in speech language pathology. If you have no idea what an SLP is, don’t feel bad, neither do my roommates even though I’ve explained it to them every semester for the past 3 years. The cliched example of what an SLP does is helping kids say “rabbit” instead of “wabbit.”

    My experience with journalism outside of class happens mostly with the Cactus Yearbook. Last year I was the athletics editor and this year I am the student life editor.

    The places I visit online most besides Gmail, Wikipedia and Facebook are MSN and NYT for news, ESPNU and Sports Illustrated for sports, Vogue blogs, Go Fug Yourself and the Sartorialist for fashion, and, shamefully, Perez Hilton for entertainment.

    Outside of school I love traveling (favorites include Costa Rica and Japan), going to concerts, and eating ungodly amounts of carbs and sweets

  14. 14 ldechant January 22, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Hey everyone! My name is Larry Dechant and I am a Broadcast Journalism Junior. I am from Corpus Christi, TX located on the coast. I have lived there my entire life.
    I chose to pursue journalism, because nothing is more exciting to me than telling people’s stories. This past election year I was able to cover politics for The Daily Texan. I attended two Hillary Clinton conventions, watched Michelle Obama speak, attended rallies set up by the campaigns and student organizations, and was able to cover Hillary Clinton’s watch party during the primaries where President Clinton made a suprise visit!
    As you can tell, I love Politics and I would love to report on politics. CNN.com will always be, to me, the best place for political news!
    I also love reading celebrity news. These two topics seem very far apart, but most politicians are famous or infamous for soemthing just like most celebrities are. I think their lives are so fascinating and have developed an interest in researching entertainment reporting.
    Aside from writing for The Daily Texan, I am also the Vice-President for The Society of Professional Journalists, which I encourage everyone to join! It will look great on resumes, and will open doors to student journalists that will help aspiring journalists with their careers. You can go to http://www.spj.org for more information
    Online news is so fascinating to me because you can update it immediately. People are twittering on the scene giving everyone up-to-date information as soon as the act takes place! It is so instantaneous and is really changing the face of reporting the news.

  15. 15 Christina G January 22, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Hello, All!

    I’m Christina. I apologize for having no avatar up yet. I’m having some weird trouble with that, but I’ll bet trying again on another computer will fix the problem. Anyway, I’m from Dallas. I’m from Oak Cliff, actually. It’s sort of the south east-ish side of the city and it’s growing wildly right now.

    I’m a print journalism major in my last semester here at UT, and I can’t wait to be done with school, honestly. I’m in our class because it’s the first class I’ve heard off that was concerned with ideas on how to save journalism, as opposed to the worried, hands-wringing stuff I’ve gotten in other J courses. How refreshing. Maybe I haven’t been taking the right classes.

    I’m in love with dance music (STS9 was in Austin a month ago) including house, techno, dnb, etc. I’m usually out quite often to hear all sorts of dj’s spin, but I’m currently most taken with deep, minimal house, tech house, and electro. I’m also learning a bit more about early Detroit techno, which is fun. I’d love to get to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival as a graduation present to myself, but we’ll see what happens.

    I’m also a go go dancer for all the right reasons. Go go dancing will take a back seat to my scholastic endeavors (just graduate) this semester, as it should, but will also be back there because the politics of being a go go dancer are a little dirty. And do you know how many dj’s downtown couldn’t mix a beat with a blender? I got into go go dancing because I wanted my job to be dancing to the BEST music, and that’s not often the case because of Austin’s underground music scene. That’s all a very long story.

    I like to get news online from the New York Times, but I check music sites, such as Resident Advisor, much more religiously.

    See you all tomorrow.

  16. 16 stephenkeller January 22, 2009 at 4:17 am

    My name is Stephen Keller, and I’m a multimedia journalism junior from San Antonio.

    I’ve kind of lived a random life: being a reporter, music critic, studio musician, photographer, dj, pool supply salesman and even a state champion marksman.

    Like most of my passions, I got into journalism by accident. My high school paper was a joke and I never really gave it much consideration. Instead, I spent my nights playing guitar in dive bars and sketchy music venues.

    With a passion for music, I joined the Texan soon after arriving on campus to try my hand at entertainment criticism and, I’ll admit, for the free cd’s. After a semester, I became senior entertainment writer. During my entertainment tenure, I interviewed people ranging from up and coming artists to high profile bands. I also kind of insulted Hillary Swank over the phone, but that’s a long story.

    I moved to the news department after interning at the San Antonio Current, which kind of sparked my investigative passion. As a Texan senior reporter, I worked the crime and court beats, covering fires, bank robberies, dead students, terroristic threats, fraternity hazing suits, trials and other intriguing things. I also reported on the giant Obama rally at the Capitol, talking my way into an interview with the man himself. Note: secret service agents are intimidating.

    Another internship and semester at the Texan brings us to the present day. Currently, I’m the associate managing editor and in charge of all long term series across every department. Also, I randomly joined on a new music project, backing a local rapper, which should get interesting.

  17. 17 Simrat Sharma January 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Hi everyone! I am Simrat Sharma and I am a junior double majoring in multimedia journalism and economics. I am originally from India, where I was born and lived for the first four years of my life. I grew up in Dubai, UAE which you may have heard of recently because of all the ambitious construction and man-made islands they are building. I think it is all a little too extravagant but it is a very interesting city to visit, so you should if you have the opportunity.

    My love for writing is what propelled me into studying journalism. My intentions with it for the future are more uncertain. As of now I am inclining ever-so-slightly toward law school or maybe a graduate degree in international studies.

    My experience with student media so far has been largely with the Cactus yearbook. I was academics section editor last year and a writer the year before. I also wrote some life and arts for the Texan in my freshman year. Right now, I occasionally write for a South Asian online publication called Nazar (nazaronline.net)

    Facebook and Gmail are my two vices when it comes to online. I compulsively check both whenever possible. Other than that, I Twitter on and off. I get my news from NYT for the world and GulfNews.com for Dubai. I also really like StumbleUpon,YouTube and Hulu.

    I’m quite a bookworm and have my face in a book most of my free time but it gets harder to do that during school when I should be reading schoolwork. My secret ambition has always been to be an author someday but usually I’m too embarrassed to talk about it!

    Other than that, I love to dance, bake cakes and travel to new places whenever I can. My favorite destinations are Egypt and Bali,Indonesia. I hope to explore more of India someday because I have barely scratched the surface of that country.

  18. 18 Scott Richert January 22, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Hello everyone! My name is Scott Richert and I am a print journalism senior. I grew up in a small town in Southeast Texas called Liberty. I am an avid music enthusiast with tastes ranging from Classic Jazz and Be-bop, to Hardcore Metal, to Classical, i will listen to it all. I collect vinyl records in my spare time and play them often. I also enjoy writing in my spare time. I currently have about 10 notebooks stacked in my closet filled with stories, songs, etc. I must admit that I am actually a much bigger fan of writing fiction than I am of writing journalistic pieces. When I am writing fact however, I love to write about music.
    I am a pretty old-school kind of guy. I like to use pen and paper instead of a computer, but in this quickly evolving world that will just not do. I am taking this class to try and help me get at least a little bit of training on how to go about producing content for the web.
    After I graduate, I plan to move to California to live with my uncle in Orange County, get a job, and bum around the National Parks of the Western U.S.

  19. 19 Sarah Lacy January 22, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Hi! My name is Sarah Lacy and I am a journalism senior graduating in August. The thought of graduation scares me to death, so we’ll see how that goes. I am from Waco, Texas and love the city of Austin much like everyone else. I also just got back from studying in Florence, Italy last semester and am currently homesick for my home of 4 and a half months.

    I chose to study journalism because I love to write and I love to learn about new things—perfect combination. I think a journalism degree can be beneficial in any industry. Journalism can cover anything from entertainment to politics and the news influences these areas in return. It is an interesting relationship.

    I actually am planning on going to law school after working for a year or two. I already have the LSAT behind me, which is a relief. In the interim year I would love to work in D.C. but am open to other areas as well. I have also worked part-time at Texas Monthly magazine for a year and a half. I quit right before going abroad in last August. It was a very eye opening experience being in an office more than I was in a classroom. I worked on the business side as an assistant to the founder and publisher of the magazine, Mike Levy.

    I keep up with the news by reading many different sites. I read the New York Times and the Washington Post online but when I start surfing the web you never know where it might take me. I am also a big fan of Google news. While studying in Italy I realized just how much people hear news by word of mouth. I kept up with the most important events but I was always a step behind the U.S. in election details, even with the constantly updating Internet.

    See you in class!


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