School of Communication

Student Sara Payne Interns at Downtown Community Development Corporation

Monday, August 19, 2013
Pictured is Sara Payne, a double major in journalism and global cultural studies. Photo | Chris Rolinson

Meet Sara Payne

Internship: Administrator, Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation
Majors: Journalism and global cultural studies
Expected Graduation: May 2015
Hometown: Barker, N.Y.
High School: Barker Central School
College Activities: Editor-in-chief of the The Globe (fall 2013), Honors Program, Point Park News Service, Northeast Regional Honors Council (student representative)

Why did you decide to double major in journalism and global cultural studies?

During high school, I took an English composition class that required a lot of writing. The class overwhelmed many of my classmates, but I found myself enjoying all of the assignments. This led me to pursue a writing major, and I eventually decided on journalism during my time as a student writer for The Buffalo News.

I also chose global cultural studies as a major because I have always hoped to make a living working abroad. My hope is to use my major in global cultural studies to give me the skills necessary to be aware, ask questions and make intelligent decisions while living and traveling in a global world.

How have you incorporated what you've learned in both majors into your internship?

The amount I have incorporated from my journalism major into my internship is immeasurable, including: what I have learned about AP Style, Wordpress and Adobe programs, and the experience I gained from researching and interviewing people and organizations for stories.

Classes in the global cultural studies program have shown me how to look at a situation from different angles in order to think critically and be able to make an informed decision.

What are some of your key responsibilities at your internship?

With such a small staff, my duties stretch across the office to accomplish what needs to be done. The organization is in the beginning stages of some new programs, which requires a lot of research. Much of my work focuses on the weekly email newsletter, "The Downtowner." I write and edit articles, format the newsletter and post the articles to the website.

What do you like best about your internship?

My internship has given me the experience of working at a nonprofit organization, and I have learned how to apply the skills I acquired as a journalism major to a different field. I have always considered nonprofit work, and now I know what it is like and what I can bring to the table.

What do you think makes Point Park's global cultural studies program unique?

Global cultural studies classes don't introduce history from just one perspective. The professors give students the tools to learn about histories and cultures from multiple perspectives, which allows students to form their own opinions on an issue and encourages us to form our own solutions to the problems that have been presented. In a recent class (Political Geography of the Middle East with Professor Bob Ross), we learned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Professor Ross made a point to assign literature that represented both sides. If I apply this approach to my journalism major, it will not only make me a more informed reporter, but it will also keep me aware of maintaining balanced reporting.

Why is Point Park's journalism program unique?

The number of opportunities that the School of Communication offers to students makes the journalism program incredibly beneficial. In just two years at Point Park, I have been involved in the student newspaper, The Globe, the Point Park News Service, as well as this internship. A group of students who were active in these college activities and graduated this past May have gone on to find jobs, which proves the point of what these opportunities can do for students after college. Aside from the activities that are offered, students learn from professors who have worked or are working in the field. Point Park's urban setting also provides quality networking opportunities.

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