This is Hamilton Smith Hall, home of the University of New Hampshire’s English department and the journalism lab where I wrote my first ledes. Come January, it will also be the site of my new office.
It’s been nearly a year since I quit a perfectly good job at a great local newspaper to pursue a master’s degree — the credential I need to teach journalism at the college level. It was, without doubt, a big gamble. Higher education is grappling with many of the same disruptions that are rocking newsrooms, but I believe that the best way to serve journalism is to support its future practitioners. So I took the risk — and it’s paid off.
In January, I’ll be joining the UNH faculty as a lecturer in the journalism program. Although I don’t start teaching for a few months, I attended an orientation for new employees earlier this week. The picture above is one of several I took while wandering around Durham Monday evening.
Ham-Smith is one of the oldest buildings on campus, so she’s a little rough around the edges. But it was there, nearly 15 years ago, that this kid from the woods of New Hampshire learned how to understand the larger world through writing. So much has changed since I took that introductory news writing class all those lifetimes ago, but I’m excited to help today’s students shape how stories will be told in the decades to come.
And, of course, watch the Wildcats crush Maine. Often.