Aubriana Lowery reflects on her journey as a writer and editor-in-chief for "The Campus Chronicle"
Coming to Alcorn State University was eye-opening for graduating senior Aubriana Lowery. Her journey at Alcorn unlocked her talents and passion for journalism.
"During my first semester, I didn't know what I wanted to do," said Lowery, a Pulaski, Mississippi native. "I chose to major in psychology, but I knew that it wasn't for me after taking a few classes. Then, one of my friends, a mass communications major, suggested that I major in communications because of my strong writing skills. I wrote poetry and journaled often, so once I started taking classes in mass communications, I grew to enjoy reporting."
The budding young journalist reflected on when she knew journalism was the right field.
"I knew that journalism was for me when I started covering events for "The Campus Chronicle." I grew up an introvert, so interviewing people helped me come out of my shell. I ended up loving to communicate with people through this outlet."
Since her youth, Lowery has always had a way with words. Writing poetry, original songs, and stories all served as outlets to bring her thoughts and imagination to life.
"I had a passion for writing poetry because that was my way of expressing myself. Poetry was my escape. I love the ability to tell a story through my eyes and gain knowledge about the subject. Also, I used to write songs and freestyle while playing my keyboard. I wrote my first story at age 10, and it received positive feedback because my story was detail-oriented."
Alcorn's Department of Mass Communications has provided Lowery with an even bigger platform to express her creativity. She applauds her professors for helping her realize her potential.
"My mass communications professors saw my potential and pushed me to do more. The hands-on experience that I received prepared me more than anything because doing the work helps you better understand the job."
The motivation from her professors led Lowery to become the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle. The role gave her a boost in confidence and inspired her to maximize her effort to achieve excellence.
"Becoming editor-in-chief was big for me because my professors believed in my potential so much that they gave me this position. It inspired me to push harder. I wanted viewers to see the versatility that students displayed in every edition, so I would advertise via skits and use unique locations around campus to promote the paper. Once I saw the viewership rise, I was motivated even more."
Lowery's most pressing obstacle as editor-in-chief was finding newsworthy stories to cover. The challenge turned out to be an exercise in creativity, which Lowery grew to appreciate.
"The challenge was finding stories to cover, which is where creativity comes into place. Whether you realize it, there's always something going on around you to write about."
Along with the challenges came highlights. Jeff Pearlman, a New York Times Best Selling Author, highlighted Lowery's writing, specifically a poem she wrote for The Chronicle's "Poetry Corner," in the Student Spotlight segment of his newsletter. The feature was a full-circle moment for her, as her childhood passion for writing poetry impacted her young adult life.
"This meant so much; for him to see substance in my poetry over the articles that I cover spoke volumes to me."
Life at the University also provided Lowery with a memorable college experience that she will always cherish.
"My experience is unforgettable. I formed relationships, grew from my experiences, and learned more about myself. I will miss the welcoming, family atmosphere because it is like no other. I was able to bask in my culture and be unapologetically me."
Four years of hard work will culminate in Lowery earning a degree in mass communications during the University's upcoming 2022 Spring Commencement in May. As her Alcorn finale approaches, Lowery not only celebrates earning a degree but also marks her evolution.
"I get emotional realizing that I am days away from walking across the stage. God knows how my journey has been, so being where I am today compared to my freshman year in 2018 brings me joy. I have grown tremendously."