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Kasey Feather

With the fall semester in full swing, so are those involved with the Penn State student-run newspaper, the Daily Collegian. For some students, the Collegian is something we read leisurely, but for journalism major, Kasey Feather, it’s more than just a newspaper – it’s a family. Feather is a senior at Penn State and a Features Editor for the Collegian who has also served as the Editor in Chief over the summer. In addition, Feather is a writing tutor and a coordinator for the writing center at Penn State Learning and recently studied abroad in France last spring. With so many different responsibilities and experiences, we sat down with Feather to found out how she does it all.


HC: When did you join the Collegian and why did you join?

KF: I joined the Collegian the summer before my freshman year, a couple weeks after I got to Penn State. I joined because I thought I wanted to pursue journalism and this would be an awesome experience for me. Little did I know I would meet some of my best friends through it.


HC: How was it being Editor in Chief over the summer?

KF: It was hectic and a lot of work, but it was so worth it. I learned so much more about the paper I had been working at for so many years. I met new people on the staff and I got to train an entirely new group of candidates alongside one of the girls I was a candidate with freshman year. Even though I put in a lot of hours, it was such a rewarding experience and I’m happy with the papers we produced this summer.


HC: How does your current position as Features Editor compare to your experience being EIC?

KF: It’s definitely a lot less work. I’m not in the office every day, but the work I am doing is much different. Instead of focusing on the backside of the newsroom and working with the professional staff, I’m working closer with a staff of reporters. I get to work closely with the photo department and the creative department to make the reporters’ work as visually pleasing as it can be.

HC: What is your best memory at the Collegian?

KF: Working on copy desk was one of my most challenging semesters. I would be at the paper four times a week, working until midnight or later formatting the next day’s paper. But in all the delirious moments, I formed the best friendships. We still walk into the paper and reminisce about the stories and the late nights. I know it’s a little corny, but I honestly don’t think I would have made it all four years without them.


HC: Transitioning to your position as a coordinator and writing tutor, what made you want to become a writing tutor?

KF: I don’t remember how I stumbled upon writing tutoring, but I remember going to the writing center as a freshman and loving the help I got. With my writing background, I wanted to diversify my abilities and I wanted to work with students, so I figured tutoring would be a great way to make that happen. It’s been an amazing choice so far!


HC: What made you want to take the next step and apply to be a coordinator?

KF: I wanted to get more involved with tutoring since I had come to love it so much. When I was just tutoring I felt like I wasn’t very engaged with the center and I wanted to change that. Now I have gotten to meet so many more people and I get to realize all the possibilities the writing center has to offer. I’m definitely more involved now, hosting meetings with my fellow coordinators and teaching workshops on academic writing. Becoming a coordinator has actually helped me develop more of an understanding of what I want to do after graduation.


HC: Since this is a website staffed by collegiate writers, what is the best advice you could give to an aspiring journalist?

KF: Work hard and get to know people. If the only things you have on your resume are classes, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to find internships or a job. If I didn’t do the internships I did I would feel so unprepared for life after graduation. The harder you work, the more experience you get and the better rounded you’ll be. As far as getting to know people, in the field of communications, connections are everything. They will open up so many doors for you and you’ll be able to go farther faster. Not to mention when you’re writing a story, your connections could help you get in touch with contacts that you wouldn’t necessarily think of.


HC: What is something you learned abroad that you could apply to your final year at PSU?

KF: Step outside of your comfort zone. Penn State can become a bubble of all things Penn State and until you step outside of State College a lot of students seem to forget that. But when I was abroad I realized how vast the world is and how many different cultures there are and it really opened my mind. I want to see what State College has to offer and explore different possibilities at Penn State aside from the norm. For example, last weekend my friends and I went camping and whitewater rafting with Penn State Adventure Rec. That’s something I would have never seen had I not been looking for it. So explore all the different niches in the Penn State community!


HC: Any specific plans for the future?

KF: Right now I’m planning on applying for an internship with a publishing house in New York the summer following graduation. I’m also applying to teach English in France for seven months next October, which really encompasses a lot of experience I gained in the writing center. So, fingers crossed!


Whether you are interested in becoming a journalist or walking on the moon, take it from Kasey, you can achieve it all. You just have to be willing to work for it, and make those connections early on. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone collegiettes, you never know what lies ahead!

Kayla Dusing is currently a junior at Penn State University and is the PR chair for Her Campus PSU. She is majoring in public relations and working towards a business certificate with Smeal College of Business. She enjoys cuddling with her cats, blogging, drinking coffee, and eating avocados. Her other interests include scrolling through endless social media websites, going to Penn State football games, and writing articles. She hopes to gain more blogging experience by writing for Her Campus and adding more publications to her current list.     
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