“Journalism is necessary. It is vital. We need stories of resilience and stories that tap into our sense of compassion, Grosvenor said. “The kind that recreates experience and requires us to empathize.”
In a world constantly in communication, there is no question that we are going to need journalists who are committed to truth and justice. In her new role as Student Media Advisor, Grosvenor seeks to provide the guidance the next generation of reporters, commenters, broadcasters, and writers will need to face that commitment head-on. She comes to the job with a reputation as someone who puts students first.
“I met her for the first time in her Writing Photojournalism class,” English Major Anna Kolosky said. “I remember feeling prioritized when I heard I would work with her one-on-one in that class.”
Another student in that class, Senior English Major Luke Vidic, explains it this way. “She took a vested interest in me as a student. Once she heard I was a senior, she began emailing me about career opportunities she stumbled across. She's networked me with former students who now work in newsrooms across the country.”
Grosvenor funnels this focus on students into her new responsibilities of working with campus media, as well as helping students land media internships and pursue careers in journalism and writing. Joining energies with Reporting & Documentary Storytelling and working with the Community News Service, Grosvenor is now mentoring three students writing stories for local community papers.
One of those students—currently working on a food series and podcast in northern Vermont and covering Cabot for the Hardwick Gazette—is Anna Kolosky:
“Now that I’m her news-reporter mentee, I still feel that attention and care from her. She’s always available to chat and give advice, and she’s been so helpful this semester when I’m stumped for sources or article ideas,” Kolosky said. “I love working with her because she’s authentic and real; I’ve always felt like she really cares and wants to hear about any ideas I may have. She’s open to exploration yet knows how to be critical in order to get you to that next step with your work.”
Bringing to the table years of experience in publishing, editing, advertising, and journalism, as well as her experience teaching creative nonfiction writing at the college level, Grosvenor is prepared to help the creators, leaders, and staff in every student media organization, from the Vermont Cynic newspaper, to the WRUV-FM student radio station, to UVMTV. Her role is to teach, advise, and get students whatever technological or financial assistance they need to do their jobs.
“This is a job about being there for the students, but not taking over,” Grosvenor said. “I did a lot of ghostwriting in my Time Inc. days so I’m good at behind-the-scenes. In student media advising, I’m the support system. I am somebody they can lean on, bounce ideas off of, or just be the one to listen as they talk through their ideas.”
What does this look like? Often it consists in things as simple as getting CATcard access for the WRUV DJs. Sometimes it can involve providing constructive feedback, but never presented in a way that infringes on student independence. Sometimes she simply provides logistical guidance as an industry expert. “This particular position came with a high learning curve on multiple tasks and heightened challenges caused by the pandemic, of course,” Grosvenor said. “But I’ve grown so much in just one semester, garnering all sorts of knowledge from the media students themselves as well as lots of tips and connections while attending and completing the College Media Association’s Advisor Certification Program.”
Grosvenor’s most recent project in this new role is making media connections to find internships for UVM students. Her big push is to locate and profile “UVM Alums in the Media World,” and she has designed a student internship to do so. “I’ve received such positive responses from colleagues and local media about all this outreach. The potential is mind-boggling, endless,” Grosvenor said. “Vermont’s radio community has been especially enthusiastic lately,” she added. “Wendy Mays, Executive Director of the Vermont Association of Broadcasting responded, ‘Yes please! I would love to have an intern or two! The VAB has never had an intern before.’”
Any students interested in these media internship opportunities should contact Grosvenor as soon as possible so that she can assist them in meeting the March 18 deadline for the Summer Internship Scholarship Program, which grants students up to $3,000 to defray costs of living.
In addition to her responsibilities of advising the student media organizations and making internship connections, Grosvenor will also be teaching courses in the Reporting and Documentary Storytelling Minor. This is an interdisciplinary program that helps students build journalism and media literacy skills while gaining experience reporting first-hand on real-world issues. It includes classes taught by professors in English, Film and Television Studies, Environmental Science and more, providing students with a diverse range of expertise.
Nicholas Kelm is a student studying English and Philosophy at the University of Vermont. He is currently working as an editor for the Center for Research on Vermont’s Newsletter.