KRISTEN DELGUZZI, ’98, remembers her first day as a full-time journalist well: It was Easter Sunday 1993, and she had been offered a fulltime job at the Cincinnati Enquirer following a spring internship. Because it was a holiday, she was one of only a few people working when the historic Lucasville, Ohio, prison riots broke out – so the assignment was hers.
“I spent the next 13 days over there, living out of my car, in the mud,” she remembers. “… State and national media came in, and I was able to hold my own.”
She thanks her professors and experience in Student Media for the fact that she was “very prepared going in.”
Twenty-five years later, DelGuzzi has covered or planned coverage of plenty of other big stories: presidential campaigns, border and environmental issues, manhunts and more. Today, she is managing editor for government, politics and world at USA TODAY Network.
Before moving to D.C., DelGuzzi spent 12 years at The Arizona Republic, part of USA TODAY Network. There, she worked on “The Wall,” an interactive piece that explored every mile of the U.S./Mexico border, which won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. As the senior director of digital and audience growth, she was in charge of planning on many fronts: digital, print and social media.
Over the years, each role she’s taken on has built upon the last.
“Having been a business editor, I understand budgets so much better. … Now, that helps me work with reporters who are covering budgets. Everything has prepared me better for my next role.”
She received the Taylor Award, Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s highest honor for its alumni, in 2018, and thanks Kent State professors like CARL SCHIERHORN and BARB HIPSMAN for helping set her on this path to professional success.
“Without their guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am now – standing among professionals I admired as a student, with my name on a list of people I have looked up to for as long as I can remember.”
(Adapted from an article published in August 2018)