Graduate Alumni Profile: Reno Public Radio Membership Coordinator Michelle Matus
“My best takeaway was the small intimate cohort that allowed me to get to know people well and work with them in a variety of projects. We collaborate a lot in visual projects, in events that was putting people together,” Matus said.
Matus has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Spanish from the University of Nevada, Reno and had a strong Political Science background before starting her Journalistic career. She chose to go back to school seven years after completing her undergraduate studies.
“I was interested in possibly staying in Political Sciences or International Affairs, I applied and got accepted in a variety of different programs,” explained Matus. “But I decided on the J-school graduate program because of the location, the cost of the program and the flexibility of affording it.”
As Matus has a passion for rock-climbing, skiing and hiking, she really enjoys the outdoor community of the city and the proximity to Lake Tahoe and the eastern sierra.
“I love Reno because I think it has a wonderful vibe. It’s kind of a gateway city. There’s lots of outdoor activities,” Matus said.
Matus said the program offered by the journalism school was different from other options due to the collaborative cohort structure.
“What attracted me to the grad program was the desire for collaborative experiences, and the willingness to learn about print, photography, videography and general storytelling,” Matus said. “I like that we had the ability to sort our own paths: the classes and the tracks.”
Teachers are one of the core incentives of the Graduate Program at the Reynolds School. Matus remembers them as mentors more than professors.
“I think that Donica Mensing is my favorite person in the world and she is a wonderful mentor and an advocate for community and for journalism,” said Matus. “Caesar Andrews was a fantastic journalism writing teacher. He comes from a background in print journalism and he really knows his stuff. He was very inspiring and quite a wonderful resource to learn and grow from. I didn’t have a journalism background, but he made me a better writer and a better journalist.”