From 2006 to 2008, I learned the ropes at the Columbia Missourian, which doubles as a daily community newspaper and a teaching lab for the Missouri School of Journalism. There I served as a GA reporter, assistant city editor, features writer on the religion beat, copy editor and managing editor of a bilingual monthly magazine for the Hispanic community of mid-Missouri. The highlight was a reporting trip to New Orleans a year after hurricane Katrina, following local volunteers. Both pieces below were rewarded with national Mark of Excellence awards by the Society of Professional Journalists. A bit of my heart still lives in that newsroom.