Get to know some of our College of Media students! Sidney Malone is a Class of 2023 student earning a dual degree in journalism and political science, with a concentration in international relations.
What excited you about majoring in journalism at Illinois?
The professors, access to materials, and resources excited me most. When I visited campus, I met with Charles "Stretch" Ledford, a photojournalism professor, and he was so welcoming, so nice, and he has become a mentor ever since. I was concerned about being a fish out of water here at UIUC and not getting the amount of attention that I think I would need to be successful, but professors like Stretch really made this less of a concern. Having that access to professors is what sold me.
What plans are you considering after graduating from Illinois?
I am considering a couple of different career paths. I’d love to work in the journalism field. I’m interested in covering international politics. As a result of this interest, I see myself going on to law school and focusing on Foreign Service, working in the State Department, or working for the government. Illinois has given me a lot of opportunities to explore those options, and I feel prepared for anything that I would want to do.
What RSOs have you been a part of and how have they boosted your experience?
I wanted to do something that was hands-on where I could start doing work, and I found out about WPGU when I visited. I was a DJ for the first semester of my freshman year, and I eventually got on air, but then the whole studio flooded out, so we were off-air for a couple of months. When our break happened, the program director was looking for someone to lead the news department. I put in my application, and I got a call saying that I got the job in my second semester of freshman year. I’ve learned a lot from working at WPGU and understand more about how a radio station operates, running a business, working with people, and managing. All of that is auxiliary to being a journalist and having skills that are useful for the rest of the world.
—Interview by Tori Trevino, New Voices Intern