School of Communication
Journalism matters to Grace Runkel—and she wants it to matter to others too.
Runkel, who is editor-in-chief of the Loyola Phoenix, has volunteered at Senn High School’s journalism program since she was a freshman. “It’s been amazing to watch the students become more interested in journalism and more invested in their work,” says Runkel, who has worked at TV stations in Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky.
Here, she talks about her first story as a Rambler, the importance of getting involved on campus, and how she hopes to inspire people through her work.
What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
It was 1 a.m. on a Thursday during one of the first weeks of my freshman year. I had just finished my first package ever, about Loyola’s Quidditch team. The video was shaky and the edits weren’t clean, but I was so proud of that little story. It reassured me that broadcast journalism was what I wanted to do.
Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
I’ve had many mentors during my time at Loyola, but one who really influenced me was Esther Castillejo. She was editor-in-chief of the Loyola Phoenix during my sophomore year—the first year I was news editor. She encouraged me whenever I doubted myself and reminded me that the only voice I need to listen to when making decisions is my own.
Tell us about your volunteer work and/or involvement in student organizations and what it means to you.
I’ve been volunteering at Senn High School’s journalism program with Loyola’s Society of Professional Journalists since my freshman year. It’s been amazing to watch the students become more interested in journalism and more invested in their work. Some of them have even come to Loyola to study journalism. I’m also the editor-in-chief of the Phoenix, an alum of the Rambler Sports Locker, and a proud member of Loyola University Chicago Irish Dancers.
Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their time at Loyola?
Get involved early. It can be intimidating to go a club meeting all by yourself, but it’s always worth it. Your extracurriculars are where you find your passions, grow as a person, and meet your closest friends.
And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
Whether I’m in a small market, big city, or a completely different country, I hope I’m reporting stories about the good and the bad—showing people there’s hope in the world and inspiring them to change things for the better.
On Friday, November 4, 2016, Loyola University Chicago celebrated the inauguration of Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, as the University’s 24th president. The theme for Dr. Rooney’s inauguration was “Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World.” Photo Gallery