Hello and thanks for visiting.
It started small, as all adventures do. After approaching several professors I admire, I decided the best way to spend the first half of my senior year would involve something I was very passionate about in the form of an independent study. I enjoy writing long-form journalism. I like environmental journalism. So, I molded these two together and began my search for an intriguing topic.
I started discovering just how underreported predator control is in today’s news. There are several quick articles explaining a minor portion of the whole controversy, but I could not find a piece that really dug into this quiet storm. That is what attracted me to this topic. I wanted to uncover something important. Something meaningful.
After I had the go-ahead to start working on this independent study, I hit the books. Hours in the library led to hours on the phone talking to people from all over the United States. I started asking the hard questions and discovered there was more going on under the surface. As any journalist would understand, my curiosity pushed me deeper into the issue.
Little did I know that between early October and late January, I would talk to more than 40 people from numerous regions of the United States. I visited New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia for interviews. I was fortunate enough to receive travel funding from my university to fly to Arizona, where I conducted many interviews and gathered most of my video and photography. While out west, I wandered through remote desert, searched for wild coyotes every sunrise and talked to Arizona residents with fascinating stories. It was a surreal experience and I hope to do something similar after my graduation in May 2014.
Two and a half weeks after my return to Elon University, the article was complete. I could not be more excited to share this story you.
Big thanks to my family and friends for their patience, understanding and incessant support. I don’t think I could have accomplished nearly as much as I did in Arizona if it wasn’t for my wonderful uncle and aunt in Cave Creek. Thank you to all the Elon professors – Glenn Scott, Paul Parsons, Janna Anderson, Michael Skube, Anthony Hatcher – for taking hours of their time to edit and fine-tune this piece. And lastly, a huge thank you to Colin Donohue for mentoring me from start to finish. This article wouldn’t have been possible without his support and guidance.
About the reporter
I am a senior multimedia journalist at Elon University. My minor is creative writing. I enjoy intertwining these two studies.