Trinity senior Vanessa Miranda was recently selected to be a Chips Quinn Scholar, a prestigious and competitive program that provides journalism students of color with hands-on training and mentoring opportunities. The program, sponsored by the Freedom Forum, provides internships, training and $1,000 scholarships to college students who are pursuing careers in print journalism. “It was very important for me to get this internship,” said Miranda. “It’s a gateway to my ultimate career goal: I want to be a print journalist.”
As a Chips Quinn Scholar, Miranda will work for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wisconsin, this summer during a 12-week, paid internship. She will write for the local news section, covering a variety of stories, from the city council to the crime beat.
Miranda, who is majoring in communication with a minor in international affairs, wants to cover politics as a journalist. She is very interested in the 2008 presidential campaigns: “I watch all of the debates, I watch the election results. Politics is my passion. As soon as I turned 18, I registered to vote.” She plans on earning a master’s degree in political science or international affairs so she can enhance her expertise as a reporter.
Miranda transferred from a large public university and is very satisfied by her academic experience at Trinity. “I have had a very positive educational experience at Trinity from the beginning,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from my professors and I feel that I am very well prepared to go into the journalism field.” She also prefers her small classes at Trinity: “At the other university I attended, I was a needle in a haystack. Here, at Trinity, you get to know your professors and classmates. You are not in a lecture hall with 250 other students. You can learn so much more in a small class.”
“I came to Trinity because of the great internship opportunities,” she said. “There is no better place than Washington, D.C., for journalism internships.” Miranda is also impressed by the many Trinity graduates who have excelled in the journalism field. “When I was looking to transfer, I was amazed by the number of women who graduated from Trinity who have successful journalism careers,” she noted.
Born in Puerto Rico, Miranda now calls the Washington area her home. She works part-time at a paid internship with Military Living Publication and is on the Dean’s List at Trinity. She is also the editor of the university’s student newspaper, the Trinity Times.
Miranda’s career goal is to work on a daily newspaper. When asked about the expectation that print journalists also write online and the impact of the 24-hour news cycle, Miranda said, “It’s a lot more stress, but it’s very exciting. I love working on deadline.”
The Chips Quinn Scholars program, working with the Freedom Forum, matches Scholars with participating newspapers from across the country for 10- to 12-week paid internships. Selected Scholars participate in a four-day orientation program, in preparation for their internships. This year, the orientation will be held at the Newseum, the Freedom Forum’s new museum in Washington, D.C. The program is named for John “Chips” Quinn, Jr., editor of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal, who died at age 34. His commitment to diversity now is his legacy. There were six interns in the first year of the program in 1991. Today, more than 1,080 students have participated.