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  • Meg Kinnard

Some exciting news

I'll be 38 next month. With 40 on the horizon, it's time to start thinking about the next phase of life. I never went to journalism school, but I've never felt that I needed to. I learned everything I needed to know about being a reporter from my time at The Georgetown Independent, The Washington Post, National Journal and The Associated Press. I'm convinced that this hands-on training prepared me for my career in a way that a traditional J-school may not have been able to.

I'm keenly aware, however, that times are changing, and in order to stay relevant in my field, I need to make sure that I'm able to mix my old-school training with modern techniques and be able to remain competitive with the next generation of journalists.

So, because of that, I'm excited to announce that I've been accepted into a highly-competitive program at The University of North Carolina. I'm going to be a Tar Heel! This fall, I'll start working on a 3-year master's degree in digital communication at their School of Media and Journalism. I'll have to make a couple of trips to Chapel Hill, but I'll be able to do most of the work right here in South Carolina.

This is only step one of three, as I plan to pursue a Ph.D and finish my professional career by - one day - teaching the next generation of young journalists. There's no doubt that the time I've spent - and continue to spend - at The University of Tennessee at Martin as a guest lecturer, commencement speaker and friend of the university has inspired me, and reminded me of the importance of higher education. I'm so thankful for the opportunities that this special place has given me. I'll be forever grateful.

There's nothing wrong with having goals and working to achieve them. And when you have the support system that I have, there's no excuse not to pursue them. How will I manage to juggle being a wife, mom, a reporter and go back to school? Well, let me introduce you to my husband. He's my greatest coach, my biggest fan, and I know he's got my back.

It also goes without saying that my mom, who wrote the book on over-achieving, has set the bar high, and she continues to push and support me in whatever I want to do. I know I'm fortunate to have them both, and I don't take it for granted.

So, with that, here we go. On to the next great adventure! It's an honor to have been accepted to such a prestigious and well-respected university and journalism school. Go Heels!

(But Hoya Saxa, for life.)

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