Graduation Spotlight: Marissa Kraus

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 8:00am

After graduating from the CoJMC, senior journalism major Marissa Kraus of Columbia, Missouri will move to Los Angeles, California to start her first post-grad role as a sports reporting intern with the LA Times. Read more about Marissa and her college experiences below!

What does graduating from Nebraska mean to you?

Graduating from Nebraska means so much to me. I took a risk moving away from home to come here, but I couldn't be more proud to be a Husker and graduate with a degree from Nebraska. I knew right away that this place felt like home and this feeling has only grown. Despite not being from Nebraska or having any connection to it before coming here, I feel like I have a new family of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The people here are truly the best. I can't wait to continue showing off my pride in being a Husker, whether it is at football games or walking down the street in another state. Coming here was the best decision I could have made and Nebraska will always have a special place in my heart. 

As you think about graduating from Nebraska, please share any transformational moments that helped to shape who you are or what you will do going forward:

A transformational moment I had during college was a summer internship at the Denver Post through the Sports Journalism Institute. I was only a sophomore and I thought I wanted to be a photographer, so when I was accepted into SJI and offered the position at Denver Post, I didn't think I belonged. Even so, I dove into the experience head-first and ended up falling in love with sports writing. That experience in Denver completely changed my outlook on what I was capable of and showed me that sports writing is what I wanted to pursue. I also have to thank Sam McKewon with the Omaha World-Herald who also saw my potential in writing and took me under his wing for a sports writing fellowship that took my skills to the next level.

There were countless people along the way who have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and for that, I am forever thankful. Michelle Hassler was my 200A professor and was one of the first people to encourage me to pursue writing. John Shrader has been a wonderful mentor for the last four years and most recently helped me complete my honors thesis, along with Jason Stamm. Both have made me a better writer and I have loved getting to know both of them. Shoun Hill has helped me develop my photo/video skills over the years and continues to be a wonderful mentor and someone I can go to for advice. There are several others, but these are just a few who have made my experience at Nebraska special.

However, I have to attribute a lot of my success to the Daily Nebraskan where I first started my journalism career as a freshman. The DN is where I got my first bylines and photos that I was then able to use for outside opportunities. It's where I gained basic reporting skills and got to meet so many amazing people on staff and around campus, as well as DN alum. Each person at the DN has impacted me in some way and it was one of the best parts of college.

What were you involved in at CoJMC and UNL?

Daily Nebraskan, Student Alumni Association Board of Directors, CoJMC Ambassadors, CoJMC Student Advisory Board, Honors Program Student Advisory Board

What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be interning at the LA Times in Los Angeles, California following graduation! I will be on the sports desk covering sports in LA.

After graduation, what are you most looking forward to?

Exploring a new city and learning from some of the best in the business.

Who helped you throughout your time as a Husker that you'd like to thank?

I would like to thank everyone at the CoJMC. While I wasn't able to get to know every single person, I felt so supported over the past four years by the people at this college.  I came to college during the pandemic, but the CoJMC was as welcoming and accommodating as ever while making it as safe as possible. It was during my freshman year that I met some of my closest friends. Whether I had a professor for a class or not, people were always willing to get to know me and help me get to where I wanted to be. I came to college not knowing a soul but have developed so many meaningful relationships with the students, faculty, and staff of the CoJMC. These people have not only become mentors and friends but have helped me become a better journalist and person, too. It's the people that make this college special and is what I will look back on most years into the future. So thank you to everyone at the CoJMC who have made this the best four years ever!

What is the best thing about being a Husker?

The incredible alumni network and Husker family I am connected to for life.

Journalism major Marissa Kraus from Columbia, Missouri
Journalism major Marissa Kraus from Columbia, Missouri