Meagen Fekos – Associate director for digital strategy for web and community – Carnegie Mellon University

          “The hands-on experience I had at The Spectator … was absolutely the most valuable experience I had.”

          BTB fekos

          B.A. in Mass Communications (’14), M.A. in Communication Studies (’16)

          Story starts here I started my career as a reporter right after graduation at The Herald in Sharon, Pa. From there, I became a digital editor, working for both The Herald and New Castle News. I moved to Lancaster for a job as a website producer at LNP Media Group Inc. Then I joined the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as the assistant managing editor for digital. I oversaw the web team, as well as the interactive design team. I start next week at Carnegie Mellon University as associate director for digital strategy for web and community. 

          I really wanted to be a journalist, and once I entered the field, I found my stride working on the digital side of things. My new role is outside of journalism, but I'll still be focused on digital strategy and engagement. I find a lot of fulfillment working on that human connection that is easily missed online. 

          My proudest accomplishment: Definitely it was being a part of the Post-Gazette's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of something incredibly personal to the newsroom. The Oct. 27 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue  hit us in a very personal way; this wasn't "another shooting" in the U.S. These were our friends and neighbors, and our community was under attack. We all felt the calling to serve our community in that moment, to keep them informed and to give the most genuine picture possible of how we - Pittsburgh - were not broken, and that the love here is much greater than the hate. 

          I'll always sing the praises of Edinboro University’s Dr. Melissa Gibson, who was an amazing adviser, professor and person. She helped me join the staff of The Spectator and is so committed to her students' success. I can personally attest to that. 

          The other person who deserves so much credit is my husband, Konstantine. He was the editor-in-chief of The Spectator when I joined the staff and taught me a fearlessness in my reporting. Every step of my career, he's listened to my pitches, proofread articles, and has just been an incredible supporter. 

          The hands-on experience I had at The Spectator – I was editor-in-chief for two years, news editor for one year, and community editor for one semester - was absolutely the most valuable experience I had. At that time, the paper was totally independent, and working on it didn’t earn credit; in my time, we went through multiple advisers and a lot of budgeting issues with SGA. I learned so much, not only about the business side of things, but the staff truly relied on each other to put together a product of which we could be proud. There was so much responsibility but also the freedom to experiment. 

          I'm very excited to move into higher education communications. It's so important to me to still serve a mission and serve my community in some fashion. I think this role will allow me to do that while putting my journalism skills to use. I hope to grow in this role for quite a while.