When an opportunity to work with General Motors covering the North American International Auto Show presented itself, journalism and criminal justice studies major Gabi Wy didn’t hesitate, the same way she didn’t hesitate when she had the chance to apply to work for The Shield, the University of Southern Indiana student newspaper, before she even stepped foot on campus as a student.
“I just jumped in,” she said.
As a participant in the Discover your Dream program, Wy and 12 other students from around the country worked with experienced journalists to cover the auto show in Detroit, Michigan, and explore diversity topics in journalism. Wy worked with a team of students to develop written and video content from the show that was then published by General Motors and picked up by other media outlets around the country.
“It was really cool to be able to cover an auto show,” she said. “One of the things that appealed to me was the opportunity to expand my portfolio, and getting to do something that I otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to do.”
Since arriving at USI, her portfolio has expanded rapidly. In addition to her experience in Detroit, she participated in the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) 2016 Voices program covering the AAJA’s conference in Las Vegas. She also served as news and features editor for The Shield, and has begun an internship in features with the Evansville Courier and Press. In February, she was named 2017-18 editor-in-chief of The Shield.
“I have not known a day where Gabi wasn’t open to new ideas and to trying something new,” said Erin Gibson, instructor of journalism and student publications advisor. “Watching her get involved in these experiences beyond the University has been exciting.”
Wy credits her confidence to the work and camaraderie built in The Shield newsroom. Alongside her peers and mentors, she has contributed news stories, feature stories, reviews and columns, as well as social media and multimedia projects. The Shield’s efforts and quality were rewarded in 2016, when the paper was named a Pacemaker finalist by the Associated Collegiate Press.
“She not only held her own when covering the slew of strenuous stories the paper lobbed her way, but also went above and beyond.” said Bobby Shipman ’16, 2015-16 Shield editor-in-chief. “I can safely say she accomplished more in her first few months of college than most do their entire college career.”
With a love of writing and a strong desire to push herself into new arenas, Wy is leveraging the opportunities provided in the classroom and The Shield newsroom to gain experience and try new and exciting things. She’s laying a foundation that will serve her well in life and as she moves forward in her career, and she is, herself, becoming a role model for others.
Wy’s advice for others: “Get involved right away. The more time you spend with an organization, the more opportunities will be there for you to take advantage of. Those opportunities are there for you, if you want to work hard, and take them on.”
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia