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Megan Viviano

Class of 2007
Major/Minor: English/French

When I came to WJZ as a freelance writer the summer before my senior year at WC, my strong writing skills put me ahead. WC puts a strong emphasis on writing and communicating effectively- for all students, not just English majors.

How has your liberal arts education influenced you? How do you apply your liberal arts education in your current career? 

In TV news, almost everyone has a broadcast journalism degree. I quickly learned that my English degree, combined with the experience I’ve gained on the job, is just as valuable, if not more valuable, than having a specialized degree.

When I came to WJZ as a freelance writer the summer before my senior year at WC, my strong writing skills put me ahead. WC puts a strong emphasis on writing and communicating effectively- for all students, not just English majors.

A liberal arts education also allowed me to learn a diverse array of subjects. As a news producer, my job requires me to do exactly the same thing: gain a working knowledge of many different subjects and current events. Then I must determine which ones are important enough to put on the news, and effectively communicate them to our viewers.

Who was your favorite faculty member? 

English professor Bob Day, who has since retired, is one of a kind. He really focused on student involvement in his classes, and brought “prizes” for the best papers. The “prizes” were usually random trinkets or items found in his backyard. It didn’t matter that professor Day handed out junk: if he chose your paper to recognize, you were proud to carry that junk out of class and across campus.

Professor Day had been at WC for nearly 40 years, and was pivotal in creating the Literary House: one of the places that made me fall in love with WC when I first visited.

What is your favorite Washington College memory?

Eight years after graduation, the single memory that remains most vivid is the English Department’s Kiplin Hall trip. It’s a summer program in which students the Romantic writers, while covering the same ground that inspired their great works (from England, to Scotland, to Ireland).

We hiked, climbed, and scrambled over rocks to the tops of mountains, then discussed poetry when we reached the summit.

Spending three weeks in another country, away from the comforts of TV, cell phones, or fast food, gave us plenty of time for reflection, and I think I grew more during those three weeks than at any other time in college.

Describe what you do.

I oversee production of the 11 p.m. newscast each night. The day begins around 3:30 p.m. with selecting stories and assigning reporters to cover the biggest stories of the day. My team creates a news rundown, balancing local and national news, and revises it as new things develop. I’m constantly monitoring Twitter, e-mail, news websites and police scanners for fresh news. I proofread the scripts written for the anchors, check that video is cut correctly, and add graphics to make the show more visual. While we are live on air, I watch to make sure reporters are in place, video & audio are working, and the various segments stay on time. When the show is over at 11:35 pm, I’m held responsible for any mistakes that were seen or heard by the viewers at home.

Did you grow up wanting to work in television?

I never thought I’d find myself working in this field; I was more attracted to print journalism, and had hoped to work for a magazine after graduation. I never thought the fast pace of news and the weighty subject matter would appeal to me. Now, I feel like I’m doing something significant in my city.

What is your favorite college rowing memory?

Rowers love their sport enough to wake up at 5 a.m., on freezing cold March mornings, to train and race. I still appreciate the hard work and lasting friendships. As team captain, I was able to develop my own leadership style—something I use every day as a news manager.

Were you the beneficiary of scholarship aid?

Yes, I received a merit-based scholarship based on my GPA and my National Honor Society membership.

Why should alumni support Washington College?

To give other young people the same unique experience we got: a well-rounded liberal arts education in a beautiful waterfront town. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Campus Involvement
  • Women’s varsity rowing
  • The Collegian
  • French honor society
  • English honor society
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Society of Junior Fellows
  • Peer mentor program

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