Hometown: Anderson, South Carolina
Minor: Political Science
Hobbies: Reading and listening to music
Favorite literary character: The narrator in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”
Damian Dominguez grew up in Miami, Florida, surrounded by his loving, tight-knit, Spanish-speaking family. But, at 12 years old, he was uprooted from everyone he knew and loved, when just he and his parents moved to Anderson, South Carolina.
He says this time was pivotal in his life because of the cultural differences between his upbringing and the ways of the South, and the jolting separation from his family, especially his older sister and his grandmother.
“It was a really raw experience, moving from the family I knew well in Miami, to getting to know the little family that I had here,” he says. “And, I learned about the world outside of my limited experience, and I wanted to connect with that.”
Now, Damian laughs when he remembers being a high school senior in AP English, and being required to take the English as a Second Language exam.
He remembers listening to the radio and watching the major news networks with his family during his childhood, and he attributes this to why he was “turned on” to news media. Following 9/11, Damian’s interest in reporting was piqued because that event made news more personal for him.
“I became very aware these people were humans. They were who anyone could be,” he said. “The reporters did something important that day. They showed a much more human side than usual.” He was inspired by their strength, by how they grieved and cried, but still managed to pull themselves together to tell the story.
“I am most interested in making the story as human and personable as possible,” he said. “I can find when people let their guard down,” which he says are the most human, and most relatable moments. Damian believes his greatest strength is finding the humanity in all his stories.
He held an internship at ETV with the national weekly Capitol Hill broadcast review, “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill.”
Since freshman year, he has had a radio show on WUSC called “The Magic Forest,” bantering and talking current events with his co-hosts and guests, and playing all kinds of music, ranging from industrial to folk to electronic. He continues reporting now, and is more interested in photography and finds the visual element both intriguing and important. Damian is interested in hyper-local coverage of business, namely small-business growth.
If he wasn’t studying journalism, Damian would study modern and post-modern English literature and pursue a graduate degree in English studies.
– Rebecca Johnson