On my first day of the Ann Devroy fellowship, I stood in awe of the gigantic newsroom. Coming from a small town in the Midwest and arriving in the vibrant, bustling city of Washington, I felt connected to Ann. I was eager to trace her footsteps and learn more about the woman whose prestigious reporting career has helped to launch the futures of 16 Devroy Scholars at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
I imagined Ann Devroy swiftly typing away at her desk, working to complete yet another story on deadline. I scanned the cubicles of The Washington Post and imagined Ann conversing with colleagues, calling sources and returning from trips to the White House. It was an unforgettable experience to walk the same halls that an extraordinary Blugold once walked only years ago.
I spent the majority of my three weeks at the The Washington Post learning how the newspaper effectively uses video, social media and Web content. I was consistently surrounded by some of the most knowledgeable and skilled journalists in the industry, all of whom were willing to share advice over a cup of coffee.
My host parents, Carol Guensburg and Craig Gilbert, along with their son Andrew, warmly welcomed me to Washington, introducing me to many of the things that make D.C. great: journalism, culture and history. I am forever thankful for their extraordinary hospitality. They truly provided a home away from home.
I left The Washington Post on the last day of the fellowship feeling gloomy that it had come to an end but more determined than ever before to be the best journalist I could. I felt energized by the seeing that the "dying" news industry is in fact being reborn. I can't wait to be a part of it, thanks largely to the Ann Devroy fellowship. It is an amazing experience, and I am grateful for everyone who makes it possible.