- Hometown: Oak Park, Ill.
- College: University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Other Journalism Experience: WMTV-TV in Madison; WKOW-TV in Madison
Q: How long have you lived in Wisconsin? What do you like about the area?
A: I have lived in Wisconsin since I moved here in 1994 to go to U.W.-Madison. I love how the university community produces such a fun energy followed by a real drive to keep those brains around. The stories on what our scientific, medical and business communities are doing for the rest of the world are always impressive and fun to follow. I love Madison's public school system, which my daughter Madeleine is a part of, and the respect for diversity that it creates from day one. Madison is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The views and paths here have turned me into a serious runner.
Q: When did you first become interested in broadcast journalism?
A: I attended U.W.-Madison thinking I wanted to get into the business school since I admired my parents sales careers so much. I took "public speaking" and was the only person in my class who loved it. Soon afterward, I had an advisor meeting where I talked about how much I loved watching t.v. news back home in Chicago and the rest is history. I've always been a news junkie, from local news and CNN to newspapers and news magazines that I can't put down. A fun side note ... when I was headed into my senior year, the Channel 3 internship was the most sought after thing around. I remember being insanely jealous of my classmate who got it!
Q: What is your most memorable story?
A: My most memorable story is a recent, exclusive interview with David and Susan Axelrod. (David is a Chicago native who is senior advisor to President Obama) They came to town as founders of the organization CURE, which promotes epilepsy research and has a strong base of supporters here in Madison. The Axelrod's have an adult daughter who suffers from epilepsy, as I did at the time (my recent surgery that removed a benign tumor from my temporal lobe has left me nearly seizure free), so they have a remarkable passion for the cause. We talked a lot about the progress that's been made, but also how far we have to go in making this disease something people can live with and something the rest of the community doesn't discriminate against. It was especially interesting to hear David talk about the increasing number of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with seizure disorers. There are fewer deaths in war today, but those who survive often suffer from serious head injuries that cause seizures.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: I love getting to meet the people who make Madison unique. I recently spoke with a woman who works as a pediatric nurse but owned a restaurant downtown 20 years ago that I loved when I was a student. I've done a lot of health and family reporting over the years and am honored when people are willing to open up in front of a camera. The patients who are just beginning to fight a disease with a poor prognosis who still smile and the single moms who juggle their kids and jobs and still manage to volunteer for a non-profit are the people who make me proud of what I do for a living.
E-mail Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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