“Alli is one of those rare college gems – a student who is mature beyond her years and is a natural leader. Whenever I work with student writers, I always have a slight hesitancy when I hand out stories because I’m afraid the student interns may not ask all the right questions or may not turn in the best-written story. That is not the case with Alli.

She not only fights for the best assignments but is deserving of getting those assignments. She is worthy of being hired by a newspaper or magazine right now. Heck, if I had a slot open, I’d try to hire her.

You have to understand that Alli loves writing and photography so much that when she finished her semester-long internship at The North Florida Herald, she asked to come back for a second semester – for no pay and no credit. That’s how much she enjoys not only writing but also using that skill to make a difference in the community, however small.

During Alli’s two semesters here, she has written large feature stories, covered key news events and, most importantly, sat through months of mind-numbing city commission meetings. She was able to push through the boredom of those meetings and decipher the government-speak to present stories that showed how city government was affecting or was about to affect the lives of The Herald’s readers.

In short, Alli is a superb journalist and an even greater human being. She has the “it” factor about her, and you can see it in her eyes and her wide smile. She just now is beginning her career as a journalist and already is leaps and bounds beyond her peers.
I’m going to have fun watching Alli’s career. Her future is bright.”

Ronald Dupont, The North Florida Herald owner, publisher and editor
Jan. 26, 2012

“Alli is a smart, dedicated journalist with a generous heart. During our study-abroad trip to Italy, she worked dozens of extra hours to perfect her first-ever video project, and I watched her spend hours to improve her photography by continually documenting everyday life. She has terrific storytelling skills, that, combined with her work ethic, makes her an exemplary journalist.”

Norman Lewis, University of Florida assistant professor
Sept. 29, 2011

“Alli was a student in my Reporting class. This course is generally viewed as a
“rigorous” one, and my practice has been to make sure it lives up to its
reputation. At least two writing assignments are required each week.  Students
must gather facts, interview people, research background material and write
news or news feature stories. It requires people skills, sound judgment,
professional curiosity and hard work.

Alli is a hard worker, determined to succeed. She takes her work seriously and
has impressed me with her attitude and ability to learn from her mistakes. She is
smart enough to know when she needs help and doesn’t hesitate to ask for it.
She asks good questions and listens to the answers.

Grade inflation has not infected my course. A C is the average grade. Alli earned
a rare A.  She is committed and ambitious. I urge you to give her strong consideration.”

Mike Foley, University of Florida professor and former St. Petersburg Times executive editor
March 8, 2011

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