By Tayler Shaw (Jour, Span’21)
Photo by Kimberly Coffin (CritMed, StratComm’18)
Combining her passions for learning and storytelling, Hannah Prince found her perfect major in journalism.
As a student at the University of Colorado Boulder, Prince advanced her skills in journalism while pursuing double minors in English and business. Those skills were put to the test in March 2020 when she co-founded The Bold, a multimedia-driven student news organization. As editor-in-chief, she led a newsroom of student journalists as they reported on issues such as COVID-19, racial justice, the 2020 elections and the Boulder King Soopers shooting. In the spring semester of 2021, she also began a news internship at 9News, gaining valuable skills in the broadcast journalism industry.
Prince’s dedication to producing exceptional journalism paid off, and she will graduate this month with the distinction of being the Department of Journalism’s William W. White Outstanding Senior. This award is given to students in each department based on a combination of academic merit, professional achievement and service to the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI).
“CMCI gave me the tools and skills necessary to enter the workplace, but it also endowed lifelong friendships and memories,” she said.
Following graduation, Prince, originally from Laguna Niguel, California, will move to New York City to intern in the investigative unit at ABC News, working on research and production. Before leaving for this next adventure, Prince reflected on pivotal moments in her college career and offered advice for new students.
Was there a project you worked on as a student that you’re especially proud of?
I am most proud of my honors thesis, which was a yearlong project throughout my senior year. My story was a longform, braided nonfiction essay about the opioid crisis and its effect on American youth. The piece incorporated methods of feature writing, narrative storytelling and explanatory reporting. Facts are essential, but so is human emotion and portraying the reality of those affected by this public health crisis.
It’s clear that you took academics very seriously during your time at CMCI. Outside of classwork, what’s something you learned about yourself during college?
I learned you are more than your work! In order to grow academically or professionally, I also found I must work on my physical and mental well-being as well. I discovered balance is essential and committing time to your hobbies is rewarding. In my free time, I love to travel, read, play soccer and spend time with friends.
A huge part of college is finding a community of people to support you, work with you, mentor you and encourage you. Who was in your herd during college and how did they shape your experience?
My herd in college was The Bold! As one of the founding members of the digital newspaper and magazine, I’ve watched peers graduate and move on to other pursuits, and I’ve had the opportunity to welcome new members. With each relationship and story produced, I learned something unique about my classmates, my generation and the future of journalism—there will always be a voice that needs to be heard and a story that needs to be told.
What’s an area where you feel like you’ve really grown between your first semester of college and today?
My confidence has grown since the first semester to my final semester. My favorite author, Joan Didion, wrote, “Time is the school in which we learn,” in The Year of Magical Thinking. I believe experiencing new places, peoples and cultures is vital to intentionally grow as an individual and storyteller.
My commitment to learn, even through making mistakes, has nurtured my confidence. I used to view the idea of failure as something detrimental to my goals and future, but now I view failure as redirection.
Based on what you know now, what is your best piece of advice for other students?
Becoming involved in clubs and campus organizations changed my undergraduate experience. By working alongside peers on immersive projects, I found my true passion for the written word and visual storytelling. The Bold’s editors and staff writers pushed me to never settle and inspired me by their dedication to ask the hard questions and report ethically.
What three words best summarize your college experience?
Irreplaceable, challenging and rewarding.