Agora staff chats: New York City

Four members of the Agora staff went to New York City to attend the College Media Association Convention March 9 – 13. There, we attended workshops and listened to keynote speakers with the aim of developing our journalistic skills. In our free time, we explored the city.

Group of people smiling in front of bright lights and signs.
Our staff and advisor in Times Square (from left) Lauren Werlinger, Marie Underwood, Claire Bacarella, Matt Bird-Meyer, and Emma Marion. (Photo by Matt Bird-Meyer)

Lauren Werlinger

This was my second time attending the College Media Association Convention, but my first time attending it in person. Attending in person is way better. Not only was it easier to meet other student journalists, but I could also engage with the speakers and workshop leaders in a way that wasn’t possible over Zoom. And, as a bonus, we got to stay in Manhattan, just a few blocks from Times Square. Going to the convention reminded me of the passion I have for this medium. The workshops reminded me to find a unique approach to my stories- something I had lost in the drudgery of day-to-day life. In the space between convention activities, I found so much to do in New York. I watched two Broadway shows, shopped at the M&M store, and spent way too much money personalizing M&Ms for my boyfriend at aforementioned store. I embarked on a quest for a bagel, got caught in the rain, and lost (and then found!) my water bottle at a Walgreens. I wandered the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of the Arts, bought a handmade necklace at the Chelsea market, and got lost on the subway. I walked so much I got blisters on my feet. It’s so hard for me to choose a favorite part of this trip because everything I experienced contributed to my first impression of New York City. It’s a place alive with culture, bustling with commerce, and houses the bakery where I ate the best breakfast sandwich of my life.

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Marie Underwood

(From left) Agora staff members Marie Underwood, Emma Marion and Claire Bacarella take photos of the view from the Associated Press headquarters. (Photo by Lauren Werlinger).

Having never been to New York City, going there for the College Media Association Convention was an amazing experience. I loved trying all the food, catching my first Broadway show, and learning more about journalism there. My favorite part of the trip is tied between touring the Associated Press Headquarters and visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Because I look up to many AP photographers, seeing all the AP photos hanging on the walls was a beautiful sight I’ll never forget. And as someone who loves art and history, going to the Met and admiring paintings I have only ever seen in textbooks was incredible. With my phone now flooded with pictures from the city, I’m already planning my next trip back.

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Claire Bacarella

Emma Marion and Claire Bacarella in line to be in the live audience of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” at 30 Rock.

I had an amazing time in New York City for the College Media Association Convention. Not only did we get to learn from some incredible people in the industry, but this trip bonded our staff more than ever before. Being in a car with people for nine hours tends to do that. My favorite part of the trip was when I, along with fellow staff member Emma Marion, got to be in the audience for a filming of “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” I was star-struck being so close to Meyers and Chris Redd, his guest that day, two people I’ve seen on the television screen for as long as I can remember. I also found myself fascinated with the crew. I studied their meticulous movements as I often find myself as part of the behind-the-scenes crew on the set of our student interview show, “The Forum.” I’ve already caught myself daydreaming about my next trip to the city that never sleeps.


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Emma Marion

Claire Bacarella and Emma Marion pose with keynote speaker Roy Wood Jr. at the Marriott Marquis where the convention was held.

During the Agora’s trip to New York for the College Media Association Convention, so many unforgettable memories were made. We got to explore the city, hear from professional journalists, and just got to know fellow classmates and our advisor. The part from the convention that influenced me the most had to be from Roy Wood Jr., who was one of the keynote speakers at the convention. He spoke to the audience about the struggles that everyone faces and the importance of supportive people to stay on the path to success. Throughout the trip, I spent most of my time with Claire and we scavenged the streets of New York together. We did get lost on the subway, and rode in the car for nine hours in horrible weather conditions, but made incredible memories along the way.