Top Ten Highlights from the TFAS 2020 Virtual Summer Program

Learn about Jackie Park ’20 and her experience in the Journalism + Communications program track.

Jackie Park ’20

Internship: The Washington Times

Hometown: Boone, NC

School: Appalachain State University

Jackie is a senior and the editor-in-chief of The Appalachian, the student-run newspaper at Appalachian State University. She also works at 90.5 WASU, Appalachian State’s student-run radio station, as a DJ and reporter.

The best thing about my internship: Getting to talk to people from across the country about their life experiences and experiences with COVID-19.

What I learned about journalism: My editor said something that really stuck with me. He said that when you write a story, those words become your baby. The way you put them together, which words you used are all precious to you. But, you have to be ready to throw that baby out the window and start fresh at any time.

What I learned about DC: Though I didn’t get the chance to be in D.C. myself, I realized how connected everyone in D.C. is to one another. 

Suzanne Kianpour ’09 is a foreign affairs and political journalist for the BBC. This summer she led a career discussion group focused on what it’s like to work for the BBC as an American reporter.

Best speaker: I was in the small group that talked to BBC reporter Suzanne Kianpour ’09 and her story was fascinating. Plus, it was really great to hear from a younger professional woman who has been in the working world for several years and wasn’t afraid to tell us how it really is.

One thing I learned in class: I had to do a project in which I and a few others had to create our own “think tank.” Going into it, I didn’t know anything at all about think tanks. Now, I understand how they work and the work that they do.

Funniest thing that happened this summer: I think the funniest part of this summer was working via Zoom – not everyone is super tech savvy, and things got goofy sometimes.

Piece of advice to future students: Be confident and work hard. Picking up the phone and calling random people to interview as an intern is challenging to work up to. But, it’s so worth it.

The person who most impressed you: Fellow student, Mia Kilpatrick ’20. I was excited when I saw that Mia was from South Carolina in the introductory booklet of students because she’s a fellow Southerner. Mia and I were in a group project together and she was always incredibly thoughtful and down to earth and fun to work with.

Why do you like Appalachian State University? App State is such a special place. First, it’s beautiful! I’m so lucky to call the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains home while at school. Second, everyone is so real and so kind. Boone, NC is really more than a town, it’s a community, and App State is certainly part of that community.

Craziest TFAS Employee: Well….come on Joe Starrs…I think we all know!