Hometown: Norwell, Mass.
Minor: Hotel, restaurant and tourism management
Biggest movie disappointment: The Purge
Kathryn Duggan didn’t plan on studying journalism when she left Massachusetts, where she was born and raised, to enroll at the University of South Carolina.
Lured to the South by warm weather and the chance to try something new, Kathryn saw herself then as a future forensic scientist. But she found her interest waning after two grueling years as a biology major.
Looking for a change, Kathryn remembered that she’d always enjoyed writing as a child. Back then, she would write short books, scribbling a chapter on each page, and pass them out to family members.
She also had written poetry and served on her high school’s yearbook staff, where she overcame her natural shyness to find that she enjoyed taking photos and extracting quotes from her classmates about their experiences.
So she switched her major to journalism, essentially starting over her college career as a junior.
“Journalism allowed me to get out of my comfort zone while learning more about the world around me,” she said.
Kathryn, who applied to only Southern colleges, has tried her hand in several mass communication fields.
She wrote for two years for The Daily Gamecock’s Viewpoints sections and interned one summer as a media relations assistant in the Boston Police Department, updating the department’s blog and social media accounts.
For several months, she worked for a travel website called WhatsCheaper.com, where she researched and wrote about hotel options in cities around the world. Then came a stint as the social media manager of Campus Special at USC.
She now maintains the social media accounts and blog of One2One BodyScapes, her gym back home in Massachusetts.
Kathryn said her favorite aspects of journalism are meeting people she wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise and discovering what makes them tick.
“It’s people you would pass by in the street and probably wouldn’t pay a second glance to, and they have such unique stories,” Kathryn said.
Her proudest moment in journalism was producing a story and podcast on Boom Box Guy JJ, a campus folk hero who was finally preparing to graduate, and watching it quickly garner more than 1,000 hits on the class website.
Kathryn plans to complete a travel and environmental journalism internship in South Africa this summer. The internship, supported by Oceans Campus, will feature safaris, shark cage diving and more, and she will write daily stories about her experiences to be published in local magazines and newsletters.
Kathryn isn’t sure where her path will lead after the internship.
She says that she’s most interested in travel journalism but that she’s keeping her eyes open and not ruling out any other fields.
– By Avery Wilks