Three Questions for Abigail Becker ’15

Abigail Becker headshotName: Abigail Becker

Title and Organization: Senior Associate for Communications and Outreach, UniverCity Alliance

Graduation Year and Degree: 2015, B.A. in Journalism (multimedia journalism and reporting track), Digital Studies certificate

The Wisconsin Idea is one of the longest-held traditions at UW-Madison and is the simple idea that education should impact people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. UniverCity Alliance puts that idea into practice by connecting local governments in Wisconsin to university resources to solve community-identified challenges. As a former local government news reporter, Abigail Becker (BA’15) was excited to join UniverCity Alliance to expand her interest in local government and highlight the efforts of UW-Madison. Becker shared with us her proudest accomplishments and advice for J-Schoolers hoping to work in community outreach.

When it comes to your professional accomplishments, what are you most proud of?

Before working for UniverCity Alliance, I covered city and county government for The Capital Times. I’m proud to have translated my skills as a local government news reporter to my current job that allows me to interact with local government officials from across Wisconsin. It’s been exciting to learn even more about my growing interest in local government and write stories showcasing collaborations between Wisconsin communities and UW-Madison faculty, instructors, staff, and students.

What’s the best advice you have for a J-School student who wants to do what you do?

In my current role, I do everything from writing stories to planning events and speaking at conferences. My advice would be to try out new skills and reach out to professionals in jobs that you might be interested in and find out more about what they do. Also, it’s ok to change course in your job! One of the best parts about a journalism degree is that you gain skills that can transfer to many fields. A strong communicator with top-notch writing skills is always needed!

What is your favorite J-School memory?

Some of my favorite J-School memories are all the classes I took with Professor Baughman and working with him on an independent research project (that resulted in many hours studying microfilm) about the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s unique stance during the Vietnam War. Another cool memory was talking to Katie Couric when she stopped by Vilas during graduation weekend!