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Student Newspaper Gives Her Experience She Needs — and Big Rewards

Every other Sunday morning, journalism major Rebecca Flieder ’21 lays out the biweekly, student-run newspaper, Basement Medicine, with other staff members. By that point, most of the heavy lifting has been done for each issue.

Before then, as editor-in-chief, she will have written two articles and an editorial for every edition and assigned articles to the staff she supervises, as well as edited stories. She spends 15-20 hours a week on the paper.

Building Skills for Graduate School and Her Career

Her journalism experience asking questions and finding information will be an advantage when she pursues a master’s degree in library science.

“Basement Medicine has given me something to focus on and put my energy into,” Rebecca says. “I love knowing everything that’s going on on campus…It’s nice to be a resource for people. That’s one reason I want to go into library science. A librarian is a human resource for people.”

Through the real-world experience of editing a newspaper, she’s building important skills in Photoshop and other computer programs, copy editing, teamwork, communication, and leadership.

Opportunities for Study Abroad, Clubs, Music Performance

Rebecca’s involvement with Basement Medicine doesn’t stop her from pursuing other opportunities and activities at NVU.

A trip to Cuba to study art and culture for a class with writing and literature department professor Tyrone Shaw was an experience she wrote about in Basement Medicine. Her favorite part of the trip was talking with high school students as they participated in a bookmaking workshop with NVU students.

“The trip was amazing. It opened my eyes,” she says. “It was jam-packed. We did not stop going.”

Rebecca, of Atkinson, New Hampshire, has taken advantage of other opportunities at NVU. She uses her writing and graphic design skills as a marketing assistant in the admissions office. She’s involved with the student writers’ club, which offers feedback on work in progress, and she sings in the campus funk fusion ensemble.

A Campus Where Everyone is Welcome and Supported

On the academic side, she values NVU’s small classes and the strong support services that help students succeed. “I have gotten to know the people in my classes. That’s a combination of class size and people being really caring. I’ve always felt like people wanted me here, like I’m an asset to the community rather than just paying to be here,” she says.

She also appreciates that the campus environment is welcoming and inclusive. “The fact that NVU-Johnson promotes diversity and standing up for one another, seeing things from a different perspective, that’s huge for me,” she says.

Being editor of Basement Medicine is huge, too — with the deadlines, stress and occasional tough decisions, such as whether or not to remove content from the website that could offend some readers. “There have certainly been times I’ve thought, ‘Oh my god, I can’t do this.’ I’ve called my mom a few times” to vent, she says. “But it’s worth it in the end.”

Rebecca’s biggest reward with the paper comes Thursday morning after each issue is published, and she distributes it around campus. “When I see somebody I know who’s in the paper, I can show them their picture and see the smile they have after being featured,” she says. “That makes me feel like I’m getting the community involved in something that matters.”