CU's Journalism, Mass Communication School Names Sierra Nelson Outstanding Graduate

first_img Published: Aug. 1, 2000 After hearing a fellow CU-Boulder classmate present a speech about broadcast journalism in a public speaking class, Sierra Nelson knew it was the career for her. “I’ve always loved writing, and broadcast journalism is a culmination of all of the things that I like to do,” said Nelson, a 22-year-old from Littleton. Nelson, who will graduate from CU-Boulder on Aug. 12, is the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s outstanding graduate, earning the highest grade-point average among her peers. “I never thought I’d be the outstanding student because there are so many outstanding students in the J-school and you have to be hand-picked,” Nelson said. She credits her success to hard work but also praises people at the journalism school for helping her stay motivated. Those who know her say Nelson is a model student. “Sierra is a hard-working and talented student who strives for excellence,” said administrative assistant Dave Martinez. Last fall the school nominated Nelson to attend the Poynter Institute’s “Spring Break for College Journalists” seminar in St. Petersburg, Fla. Her experience at the February conference left a lasting impression. “They tried to motivate us, to tell us we were the best of the best and that they expected big things from us,” Nelson said. “It showed me how great the industry could be and what it was really like.” Nelson is pleased that her efforts have not gone without recognition. The list of awards she has received is proof that her hard work has paid off. In 1999 she was inducted into the Golden Key National Honor Society. She also won three scholarships: the Colorado Association of Black Journalists’ Reynelda Muse Scholarship, a Flanagan Scholarship and the Nonie Lann Scholarship. This year she was inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a journalism honor society. She plans to continue in broadcast journalism and would like to work as a producer and eventually move into news management. “I’d love to stay in the Denver market and eventually be the general manager of a news station,” Nelson said. After an internship at Channel 2 in the fall of 1999 and experiences shadowing employees at Channels 4, 7 and 9, she looks forward to taking the fundamentals she learned in the classroom and putting them into practice. She feels confident she can do it. Her instructor for a class on the history of mass communications, Dean Colby, said the media can use more journalists like Nelson, who understand the ways in which people communicate, and who also understand the ways in which they themselves view the world. Nelson hopes to someday have an influence on the way the news is reported. “I am really an idealist and I want to make a difference in society,” Nelson said. “That’s why I went into journalism in the first place, because I think I can make a difference.” Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more