Journalism Students Relaunch ‘Alumni Spotlights’ Series

Dan Lamothe flies in a Coast Guard helicopter above Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, in 2017.
Dan Lamothe flies in a Coast Guard helicopter above Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, in 2017.

The journalism department is releasing a weekly series of 16 "Alumni Spotlight" profiles written by students during the fall semester’s writing for public relations course.

The series kicked off Jan. 14 with a profile of Dan Lamothe, a former columnist and managing editor at the Collegian who now covers the Pentagon and military affairs for The Washington Post.

Throughout the spring semester, audiences will learn more about the career paths of UMass Amherst journalism alumni, what they did while on campus and where they are now. Although alumni profiles have been done in the past, this is the first time they were created by students as a part of their coursework.

“The students have the opportunity to enhance their research, writing and strategic thinking abilities while gaining hands-on experience working with a real client,” said Jennie Donohue, senior lecturer and director of the public relations curriculum. “That’s priceless. It gives them insight into the industry, as well as helps them build their portfolios of writing samples to show potential employers.”

Department chair Brian McDermott said, “I feel really grateful that we have a department with great faculty and great students who are able to have valuable experiences when they’re here.  Our alums get out into the real world and succeed, and I’m glad we’re showing that.”

Read ‘Alumni Spotlight’ profiles here.