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Graduate Spotlight

Zameena Mejia

Zameena Mejia is currently working toward her master's degree in business and economics reporting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated SUNY New Paltz magna cum laude in 2015 with a double major in Journalism/Public Relations and Spanish. In 2016, Zameena was awarded scholarships from the McGraw Center for Business Journalism and the NAHJ Rubén Salazar Fund. Now in her final semester at J-School, Zameena is interning with USA Today and working on her capstone project under the guidance of New York Times investigative reporter Andy Lehren. Her work can be found at Zameenamejia.com.


Miriam Ward

My liberal arts education thoroughly prepared me for my position as a Production Assistant on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. At New Paltz, I double majored in History & Digital Media Production and graduated from the school’s Honors Program. By studying history, I learned how to be an analytical thinker, how to conduct research, and how to be an effective writer. At my job, our show does a lot of historical parallels to modern day politics. In addition to having the technical skills that I learned from my Digital Media Production Major, in my job at Maddow I'm required to think analytical, conduct research, and synthesize facts throughout history. I would have been widely unprepared for working on a show like this if it were not for my wonderful History degree from New Paltz. My history degree gave me the tools to be a critical thinker and to analyze news through an interdisciplinary lens. I rely on the research and writing skill s I gained from my History major every day at my job in cable news.

My liberal arts education prepared me to become a global thinker and a global citizen in our ever-changing world.  Before studying at New Paltz, I thought I would spend my college years studying strictly technical television production skills.  I was terribly wrong.  Studying the liberal arts and history in particular has made me a better producer and a better creative by having the tools to write and think critically.  My liberal arts education prepared me to be a global citizen in a world that is extremely connected and diverse.  The tools I learned through my Liberal Arts Education are applicable in every aspect of my career.

One of the best aspects of SUNY New Paltz is the incredibly talented and generous faculty members. In my History major, Professor Michael Vargas provided invaluable advice and pushed me throughout my studies to become a more critical thinker and a better historian. I was so nervous about declaring a History Major because I only saw myself as a TV producer but Professor Vargas inspired me and donated so much time and effort to helping me succeed. Throughout my time in New Paltz, Professor Patricia Sullivan, the Director of the Honors Program helped me to grow as an individual and as a person. Professor Sullivan guided me through my four years at New Paltz and helped me synthesize and connect my History and Digital Media Production studies. I cannot understate the profound impact Professor Sullivan has had on my life and education. The Honors Program helped me to become an interdisciplinary individual and to think of my liberal arts education in a global context. I’m so grateful to have worked with amazing professors like Professor Vargas and Professor Sullivan.