Aspiring Journalist Finds Footing at Kent State Geauga
Annalexis Davis is a journalism major and Campus Editor at Kent Wired, the digital version of the Kent Stater student newspaper. She writes hard-hitting investigative articles about local businesspeople combatting climate change, how to stay safe on campus, honoring a former classmate who passed too soon, and other topics that grapple with current events and issues, both on campus and in the Kent community.
But just two years ago, “Lex” was a quiet, tentative new college student with a dream.
Setting her sights on becoming an investigative journalist, Lex started her academic path at Kent State University’s Geauga Campus. As an adult incoming college student, she needed a supportive environment to successfully re-enter academia, strengthen her confidence, and equip her with the appropriate set of skills.
She found all of that in her first two years at Kent State Geauga, both in the classroom and through on-campus programs including the Geauga Student Media Club and ProjectConnect.
Lex says, “Getting out of my comfort zone and talking to everyone around me has been the hardest thing to overcome in my degree. I am generally a very quiet person, so having to be outgoing has been one of my greatest challenges.”
Lex took Dr. Bonnie Shaker’s College Writing sequence and Media, Power and Culture course at the Twinsburg Academic Center in Spring 2022, where, Dr. Shaker says, “She was a standout student in writing and media.”
“Bonnie Shaker helped me tremendously,” Lex says. “She taught in a way that her students could improve their writing skills and understand the English language. She helped me with the confidence I was lacking in my writing. She was a helping hand to all of her students.”
Beyond the written word, Lex spoke in class about her positive experience with ProjectConnect, a nationwide initiative among college campuses to help students meet and make friends. In an effort to combat isolation and mental health issues among students since the COVID-19 pandemic, Kent State Geauga started implementing the program in Spring 2022. Co-directed by counseling specialists Sue Mark-Sracic and Valerie Rutherford, they encourage relationship-building by leading small groups of students through a series of questions and fun activities that build closeness, connection, and community.
For Lex, “ProjectConnect helped me learn how to communicate better with the people around me. It taught me how to have a conversation and to be comfortable with my personal beliefs and hobbies.”
Having moved to Ohio when she was 13, Lex graduated from Nordonia High School in 2018, after growing up in El Paso, Texas. In 2021, Lex came to Kent State Geauga as an adult student to earn 12 credit hours before transferring to Kent Campus for her major.
“I think that it was beneficial to start at a smaller campus as I could ease my way back into the academic setting,” she shares.
Lex had always been interested in writing and investigating. “Growing up, I wanted to be a detective or private investigator, but the difficulties of getting those positions didn't make sense for me. So, I chose the journalism route and have been very satisfied with the decision.”
In her journalism major as well as her roles as reporter and now as campus editor at Kent Wired, Lex says, “I love being able to tell someone's story. I have met so many people so far who have been hurt or have amazing stories to tell or information to provide. I love being able to provide a light for those people. I believe the truth is more important. Hearing others' stories provides a light of truth. I love being part of the community and seeing the problems that are going on around us and trying to bring light to them so they can be solved.”
Further, Lex has learned to work with a news team, edit the work of others, and upload content to the website. “I can come up with solutions when problems arise on the team, and I think that without the help of Kent Wired, I wouldn't be able to do that.”
Piece by piece, different aspects of Lex’s Kent State experience are building a firm foundation for her future success. In particular, she says that Kent State Geauga “provided me with the space to excel and learn what things I like to do in order to find the perfect career path for me.”
After Lex graduates in 2025, keep your eyes open for her byline. Investigative reporter Annalexis Davis is prepared to bring you the news.