Rachel Valentine

When Rachel Valentine ’21 was looking at colleges, Vermont State University’s Lyndon campus had major selling points for her: small classes, a cross-country team she could join, many campus activities to get involved with, and a location outside her home state of Arizona. 

Most of all, she was drawn to the broadcast and digital journalism program. 

When Rachel visited Lyndon, she toured the campus News7 station, a student-run, Emmy award-winning operation that produces live broadcasts five days a week. “I was sold. The newsroom was really cool,” she said. “And I saw that the broadcast program was highly ranked.” 

Live at the On-Campus Broadcast Studio 

As a student in the broadcast and digital journalism program, Rachel works at News7, building skills that will help her stand out to employers. Her experience shooting, writing, and editing stories for classes prepared her to work at the station, where she and her peers do it all: report, edit, anchor, direct, and produce. 

“Getting real-life experience in the newsroom is preparing me for what I want to do,” Rachel of Clarkdale, Arizona. “That’s big hands-on experience. Because of the small school size, you learn everything. You become well-rounded in the field … I’m adding to the tools I can use when I graduate.” 

Rachel plans a career in sports broadcasting, so she’s pursuing a minor in sport management. 

“The minor has tied in really well with my journalism major, and I think it will help me,” she said. “The biggest thing for me is that every opportunity if you want to do it, you can do it. If there’s something you’re interested in, professors will help you. They want to see you succeed.” 

Sports and Other Ways to Get Involved 

Rachel’s additional involvement in varsity cross-country and lacrosse, and other campus activities is helping her to build leadership and communication skills and meet people. 

“Playing sports has helped me make a lot of friends. It’s good for me to make connections with the coaches and be part of the team. It has added to my experience at Lyndon, being able to participate in a sport and do the major I want. You don’t get that at every college,” she said. “There are so many things I’m doing now that I never thought I’d be able to do in college.” 

A Place to Connect with Supportive Faculty and Make Friends 

Rachel is also a resident assistant (RA) and was a leader in the Summer Bridge Program, which provides extra orientation for new students. “I’ve made an entirely new group of friends, and I’ve gained a great set of leadership skills I didn’t even know I needed,” she said. “It’s cool as an RA to see the way you can connect people.” 

The small classes make it easier to connect with people — professors and other students. 

“I’m not a number. I’m at a school where everybody knows me, and the professors want to help me and see me succeed,” Rachel said. “People here care about you and want you to do well.”