Tupelo native Abbey Edmonson was drawn to the University of Mississippi because it was more of a traditional college experience, and she liked the Sally McDonnel Barksdale Honors College. She also loved Oxford and its artistic history.
The editorial journalism major with minors in English and creative writing earned a specialization in social media.
“My time at UM has offered me so much more than I expected,” she said. “Through my time here, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities as a writer and journalist.”
One of her favorite courses was Editorial Cartooning with Marshall Ramsey.
“Ramsey is one of the greats, and I was extremely lucky to be able to take his class,” he said. “I have ancestors who were successful editorial cartoonists back in the day, so taking that class was personally really fulfilling to me.”
She also enjoyed classes with professor Cynthia Joyce.
“I took two classes with professor Joyce: Media Ethics and Advanced Reporting,” she said. “Both of those classes taught me skills that I’m going to keep with me in both my professional and personal life.
“I learned that it is okay to ask uncomfortable questions, and it is okay to write about something important, even – or maybe especially – if it makes you uncomfortable.”
Edmonson will soon step down from the job she has held the past two years as Invitation Magazine’s editorial assistant so she can attend graduate school.
“I hope to one day continue to climb the ladder in the magazine and/or publishing industries,” she said. “In the meantime, I’ve been accepted into both Columbia University’s M.S. in Journalism program and Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD’s) M.F.A. in Writing program, and I’ve decided I’m going to SCAD in Atlanta starting this September.”
Edmonson said she hopes to use her time in Atlanta to grow her network and hone her writing skills across multiple forms of media.
“The UM School of Journalism and New Media is here to help its students and offer opportunities for growth,” she said. “I urge other students to take advantage of those outside-of-the-classroom opportunities.
“During my time here, I participated in Lens Collective 2019, took a class in New Orleans and interviewed the mayor, traveled to the Mississippi Coast to write about climate change, connected with people who gave me my dream internship and eventual job, and so much more.”
Edmonson said you can learn a lot in the classroom, but you also gain valuable insight when you get real life experience outside of the classroom.
“When a professor suggests you should apply for something, do it,” she said. “All of those extra hours put into your college experience are the elements that build you up as a journalist and as a person.”