Do not be surprised if you see Jessica Floyd ’18 reporting from the road during the next presidential election. A politics and government major from Valley Stream, N.Y., Jessica is one of only 13 students nationwide accepted to Politico’s Journalism Institute this May. During an intensive, hands-on 10-day program in the Washington D.C. area, Jessica will shadow journalists and learn how to collect data and conduct research for investigative government and political reporting.
Jessica, a student in the University Honors program who also is earning minors in Africana studies, communication, and sociology, already has on-air and reporting experience. She is the first UHart student to produce and host a political talk show on Hartford Public Access Television. Jessica also wrote and produced news stories through an internship at WNPR, and she served as vice president and editor-in-chief of Hartbeat, UHart’s student-published magazine. Currently, Jessica is working on a podcast web series called A Seat at the Table. The program focuses on community issues and race through the on-campus organization called Race Together, which she founded with three other students.
Jessica’s work experience extends nationally through an internship last fall at MSNBC Live with Alex Witt, who she calls an “excellent mentor,” and at a weekend internship this semester at The Today Show in New York. “MSNBC gave me an opportunity to learn skills for breaking news situations, and I gained most of my research skills there,” Jessica explains. “And by helping producers at Today, I am learning how to craft the visual aspect of a story.” At Today, she transcribes interviews and selects video and sound bites. She also gets to work with Today anchors Willie Geist, Craig Melvin, and Sheinelle Jones, and weather anchor Dylan Dreyer. “All of the talent I've worked with have been friendly, warm, and welcoming,” she says.
This summer, Jessica heads to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she will work toward a master’s in journalism with a politics and national security specialization. She plans to graduate in 2019, just in time to report on the 2020 presidential election.