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Have You Met the Most Media Savy Person on Campus?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

When I sat down to talk to them, Bee was just as friendly and enthusiastic as a close friend. They have an infectious, sincere smile and energetic attitude, matching their light blonde hair and bold patterned button down. The overall look is approachable and cheerful. They are witty, smiling and joking throughout the entirety of their interview. Bee is definitely not your typical college senior with their long list of accomplishments, experiences, and accolades. The only thing that outmatches their abilities and accomplishments is their humility.

Image Courtesy of Bee

Bee initially came to Christopher Newport University with the intention of majoring in Biology, but ended up becoming an English major with a concentration in writing, as well as a Communications minor. It was a big jump from from the sciences to the arts! When asked about what incited this change, Bee went back to their professors. They said endless praises for these individuals. Bee was able to cite specific courses and professors as impactful, naming Dr. Steiner as “energetic” and . They said that the course (COMM 249) with Dr. Steiner was “one of the hardest,” but Bee still talked about the course and professor with fondness and excitement. Another professor they named was Dr. Emmelhainz, whose poetry course (ENGL 352) allowed them to elevate their poetry from “not good” to work that they were “proud” of.

They are not involved in any on campus activities at the moment, due to their internship. In the past years, they were extremely involved in extracurriculars. For three years, Bee hosted a radio show with their friend, Tom Aberman through WCNU. They also were involved in bringing brackets and CRTV’s to various schools during their sophomore year at CNU, making CNU’s Super Smash Bros’ group the highest ranking in the southern Virginia region. Sophomore year, they also became a volunteer with Spectrum, the LGBTQ+ club on campus. Junior year,  Bee became the event’s chair of the organization, managing the largest event of Spectrum, Drag Ball, which they described as “corralling… and letting me being corralled.” When Bee spoke about Drag Ball, Bee emphasized the importance of other members dedication to the event. Bee remained absolutely humble when speaking on their own numerous contributions to the event.

Image Courtesy of Bee

As mentioned before, Bee is heavily involved in their internship with the Federal News Network. They help to produce a podcast, “What’s Working in Washington”, in addition to publishing three to five podcast-related articles a week. Bee is writing enough to have accumulated around 200 articles from their internship alone!

200 articles applies only to their articles written at their internship. This does not include the multiple pieces of literature they have published. Four publications, two essays, and two sets of poems to be exact. They chock up their development to various experiences with the English department. Bee describes their learned ability to write authentically as being able to “sound like me.” They are even able to choose a name a poem of theirs that they are the most proud of, “the burning of night von hohenburg”.

For any students interested in becoming involved in media like Bee, they have turned to the right place. Bee places a lot of stock in smaller publications, calling them “raw… emotional… experimental… accepting.” Bee is a very fervent believer of less corporate, big scale organizations, saying that “If you have to pay to submit… it’s not worth it.” Bee also stressed the importance of being an individual, looking towards unusual forms of inspiration. They frankly shot down the myth of looking to mimic classics, saying “you should try to emulate the Great Masters… that narrative is completely falsified.” As Bee describes, the audience and curators of the Great Masters is essentially educated white men for white men, the polar opposite of the openness held for the “marginalized”and “minorities” by small publications. Not only that, but as Bee’s favorite poets work in small literary circles, they are able to actually communicate with their favorite poets. Pretty cool, right?

They are unabashed and willing to look for inspiration anywhere, including watching the entirety of the history of swords, on YouTube.  They are open to watching manga, My Hero Academia and Delicious in Dungeons. These are are a far cry from established art forms. Bee is very clear about being against the elevation of  “higher art” as the go to for inspiration, citing poets from smaller publications (Rachelle Toarmino and Jun Gehringer) and less mainstream artists (Keith Haring)  as a few of their favorites.

For people interested in knowing what Bee will be doing after graduation, they will be looking for freelance work in the Washington D.C. article. Most of their friends live in that area, so they hope to secure a job there. They repeatedly stressed the need to “value yourself” when pitching articles, saying that one needs a “healthy level of hubris in order to sell yourself.”

Image Courtesy of Pexels

*For readers interested in learning more about Bee’s work, the links to these sources are embedded in the article.

VXS Gymwear brand representative. (Discount Code: STEPH10VXS) Student. Weight lifter. Runner. Always moving. Personal trainer in training. Vegan. Instagram: running_is_happiness Snapchat:stuffystephano