Ivy Smith doesnt have much more to accomplish at the WVU School of Journalismshes done it allso its probably a good thing that she graduates in May.
The 22-year-old Keyser native leaves the University with a host of firsts to her credit. Smith was one of only 10 students throughout the nation awarded a $10,000 Scripps Howard Foundation Top Ten Scholarship in 2004, and the first WVU student to receive the award. She was also the first in the Schools history to be chosen to attend the Scripps Howard Foundations Semester in Washington Program, which she attended in fall 2004.
And this spring, Smith covered the 30th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon as part of the Kearns Fellowship.
I worked hard, and I know not to settle for less than what I want,said Smith, who graduated with an associates degree in journalism from Potomac State College in 2002.
She then transferred to WVU with hopes ofshooting high,a phrase her grandfather coined as inspirational.
I know people have busy lives and dont have time to get information themselves. Thats where we [journalists] come in,said Smith, who wrote for the Pasquino, the Potomac State newspaper, as well as The Cumberland Times and The Mineral Daily News-Tribune while in Keyser.Thats what pushes me to keep going.
And going, and going and going
While at WVU , Smith spent time working at The Dominion Post in Morgantown and The Charleston Gazette, while writing a chapter for the schools nationally acclaimed bookCancer Stories: Lessons in Love, Loss and Hope,a student-written andphotographed book featured in USA TODAY and a host of other national news outlets.
Smith followed breast cancer patient Tammey Mason for more than a year through Masons personal moments and told the story of a courageous woman who battled a destructive bout with cancer.
Tammey really inspired me. I was with her for such a huge part of her life while she fought off the cancer, but the whole time she stayed true to what it meant to be a woman. That taught me how to stay true to myself,Smith said.
After starting the cancer project almost a year after it had begun, Smith had to play catch up to recapture some of Masons most motivational and significant moments.
She has high energy and always sees the best in everyone. We talked about everything. And even though she was writing her project on me, she was more concerned with me as a person rather than the information she needed,Mason said.
Another motivational figure in Smiths life at WVU was Ogden Newspapers Visiting Professor Dr. George Esper.
If it wasnt for George, I wouldnt be where I am today. He has taught me so much, and I couldnt have done it without him,Smith said.
She was one of the top three students I have ever had, and she wants so much to succeed. She has the drive and all the key elements it takes to make a good journalist,Esper said.
With enthusiasm, passion and pure love for her profession, Smiths selection as a Scripps Howard Scholar recognizes her as a superior undergraduate journalism student with a promising future as a career-oriented journalist.
She is very determined, motivated and in depth. Ivy always goes the extra mile, which is clear to others. She pushes hard, always stays positive, and is rewarded for her efforts,said Meagan McElfish, a co-worker at The Cumberland Times-News.
In September 2004 Smith began her internship with the Scripps Howard Foundation in Washington D.C., reporting for their wire service. She recalled averaging two stories a week and finding it challenging.
It is hard being up against older reporters in D.C. They are much more familiar with the area than I am. As I am frantically writing everything down, they probably have the story already written in their heads before they even begin,Smith said.
Smith said she sometimes had to push herself because her deadlines were flexible. She works better under pressure, she said. Her solution was to just jump in, be aggressive and stop procrastinating.
I was so afraid to mess up, but I just kept telling myself �€~They were in my shoes once too. I cant be afraid,she said.