By: Karisa Candreva
Karisa Candreva is an Honors College sophomore, majoring in Natural Resources & Environmental Management and Pre-Law, with minors in Sustainability, International Resource Management, and Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution. Karisa is the president of the Natural Resources Club at Ball State. She is also the Assistant Editor of News and Notes, where she writes stories, plans and implements a theme for each edition, edits stories, conducts interviews, works with the editor and staff on design, takes photos, and helps run and organize weekly meetings.
Back in high school, journalism was my life. I was in journalism classes all four years, and my senior year, I was the Yearbook Editor-in-Chief; however, my passion for the environment inspired me to choose a major outside of the media world. This left me unable to keep pursuing journalism as I did in high school, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up my love of writing.
This dilemma led me to the opportunity of becoming an Honors Undergraduate Fellow and working as the Assistant Editor of News and Notes. My freshman year I joined News and Notes as a staff writer, but I became the Assistant Editor starting my sophomore year.
My favorite part of my fellowship is being able to do something I am passionate about, but that really has nothing to do with my major. Focusing mostly on science-based courses, being able to write and be back in the journalism world through my fellowship is the most rewarding part of the job. This is the same reason why I love the Honors College so much. Right now, I am currently in the second course of the Humanities sequence. These have been some of my favorite Honors classes so far because they are so different from what I learn about in my major courses.
My fellowship has certainly helped me grow professionally because it gives me the space to improve my writing skills and work with a team to create a magazine. I think that having a creative outlet, especially if it is not included in your major directly, is incredibly important to how one learns and grows. Even though working as an editor for a magazine isn’t directly related to environmental policy, I feel that my fellowship has allowed me to grow academically as it challenges me in different ways than my major courses do. The most challenging part of my fellowship is probably developing a theme for every issue. As a staff, we like to keep the issues fresh and relevant, so it is important to us to not repeat old themes or bore our audience. Our main goal of theme development and story inclusion is focusing on all of the good that comes out of the Honors College and how the Honors students make it happen.
If other Honors students are interested in pursuing a fellowship, I highly recommend it. Personally, my experience as a fellow has helped me build stronger peer and faculty relationships within the Honors community, as well as has given me an outlet in which I can be creative and explore interests that go beyond my major.