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Speak Out
Karen Zatkulak
Outstanding Electronic Journalism Senior
for Reporting

Karen has been an active student since joining the Honors College at USC. She is a University Scholar, a University Ambassador and a Presidential Ambassador.

Dr. Sonya Duhe' on what makes Karen stand out in broadcast journalism:

Karen has been outstanding this semester in the area of reporting. She has really learned how to bring the writing, reporting and production skills together to make a great television news story.

Karen has a real knack at finding interesting stories and then knowing just how to tell it. We know she will do well in the field of television news.

Karen Speaks Out:

Why did you choose USC?

I have always wanted to be a journalist, and when I came down to look at USC's program I knew I had to be here. The School of Journalism as well as the campus and setting of Columbia made me fall in love with USC.

Why broadcast journalism?

I enjoy meeting people and learning their story, which is basically what reporting is all about. The intensity and thrill of going out to get a breaking story gets me very excited about journalism.

(Watch Karen's news package Guitarist>>)
Requires QuickTime Player. Download it free for Mac or Windows.

Favorite/most beneficial class?

My senior semester experience has been the most enjoyable four months of my time here at USC. Every day we get to work together to put on a newscast — doing the jobs we love and want to continue after graduation. Being able to go out in the morning with an original story idea and then come back and see it on air that day at four is so incredibly satistfying. It proves to me that this is what I want to do every day of my life.

What will you miss most about college?

That feeling you have knowing that your three best friends are living right there with you... going through every up and down of your college life alongside you. My friends and all our amazing memories is what I will always miss.

And you won't miss?

The constant nervousness about getting a J-O-B. I can't wait to, hopefully, have a job and not have to stress about the next big step in my life.

What are you really passionate about?

In general, I am a passionate person, particularly about my dreams. I have always been passionate about pursuing news reporting since it is what has always excited me — bringing people's stories in a new way to the viewers.

Has there been a "defining moment" or significant event  in your college experience?

Wow... too many! I think the biggest moment for me was probably when I studied abroad in Australia. I remember on the plane trip over I was thinking about all that I had done my frist year and a half at USC and how much I had grown. I joked with my parents about "finding myself" while I was there... but I really believe that in a way I did.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

Without a doubt, I would love to do television news reporting. I want to travel to whatever small market I need to in order to get my first on-air position and begin my career.

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for other students in your major?

There is no way that you can work too hard or have too much fun while you are here. Understand the balance and remember to take a breath and enjoy your friends no matter what.

Any parting words or something you'd like to say to your SJMC family, or anyone else, before you head out the door?

The excitement I am feeling for life after college can in no way be outweighed by my amazement at how great the last four years of my life have been. I have lived in two different countries, made best friends, learned the profession that I love, and every single thing I was able to do here was possible because of my friends and family. Lastly, Go Gamecocks!

Read the other Outstanding Senior comments:

Adam Beam Jessica Boulware Justin Chappell Erin Colgan Erin Nelson Danielle Washington