Gracie Stockton

A budding journalist and thespian, Gracie loves to tell stories.
Graduation year
Lake Forest, Ill.
Journalism & Theater Arts

Why did you decide to pursue your majors?
I've been a storyteller since I was young and found that making work for audiences and embracing creativity were my strengths. I was actually admitted to CSE as a Biomedical Engineering pre-major since in high school, advisors and teachers told me that was the way I'd be successful. But then I got nominated for a Broadway in Chicago award and realized that storytelling was for me - both on stage and in print. 

What has been your favorite part of your experience as a journalism major? 
There have been so many memorable moments during my time here, but my internship with APM Reports during the 2020 election is absolutely the highlight. Getting to do investigative reporting, writing, video, and radio production during one of the most critical elections in the history of our democracy? I couldn't have dreamed of a better opportunity, let alone imagined the incredible team I'd get to work with. I grew so much. 

How have your internship experiences helped you grow? 
I've interned in niche business IT consulting, at APM Reports, MinnPost, and at the Minnesota PGA. I grew up watching golf with my dad, so getting to be on the greens as a photographer during the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Hazeltine and interviewing Lexi Thompson was pretty surreal. I distinctly remember being near Hannah Green and a guy from the Golf Channel scooting over so I could get a photo, too. Those moments of compassion and little opportunities to grow from strangers in the business are a gift. 

What minors or other activities are you pursuing outside of your major? 
I actually have a minor in Russian, so I've learned some of the language and taken culture courses like Russian cinema and art history. This has given me a new perspective, and not a Western one, which broadened my mind about art and creativity. I'm now embracing some of those iconic (pun intended) Russian paintings while designing for the BFA/Guthrie senior show. I've also had the opportunity to TA in the theatre department, helping teach basic scenic construction, which was an exercise in patience, leadership, and flexibility as the semester transitioned online. Further, I've worked in marketing for UMTAD for the past two years, doing everything from social media to launching video production to help us put butts in seats and highlight the many talented people on and off the stage. All of these different perspectives and groups of people I've been fortunate to interact with have taught me how to listen better, to understand audiences, to lead, and to think ambitiously and unconventionally. 

What advice do you have for future journalism students?
Be an advocate for yourself. You are smart, you are ambitious, and you have the right to be here. Don't let anyone kick you out of a room just because you don't have the exact internship/experience they want on paper. Learn how to market yourself and show off your strengths in your writing, production, social media, and interviews. Further, use the amazing professors at HSJMC. They want to help you grow. Go to office hours and follow what they do outside of class. Keep those connections alive even after the semester ends.

Gracie Stockton