Outstanding Student Leaders
Alysha Tsuji and Whitney Irick
After discovering her love for journalism while working for her high school newspaper, Alysha Tsuji knew she had found her calling: to be the next great sports journalist.
Tsuji is currently a junior at Pepperdine, majoring in journalism with an outside concentration in sports administration. She is a self-proclaimed sports fanatic with a deep love for basketball.
As the print managing editor of the Graphic, Tsuji oversees the paper's four sections: sports, news, perspectives and life and arts. She spends a majority of her time editing all of the articles that go into the paper. Tsuji grew up in Palos Verdes, Calif. and decided to attend Pepperdine to stay close to family and enjoy the weather. In the future she hopes to, "establish a career as a multimedia sports journalist for a major publication."
Prior to this year, she has worked as a sports writer, online writer, sports producer, sports assistant editor and sports editor.
"Working at the Graphic helps students learn how to write and operate in a newsroom," Tsuji said. "A lot of work goes into designing the pages of the paper."
Tsuji said she believes the Graphic teaches students how to work with a deadline, produce weekly articles and talk with sources. "I think for anything you do in life, you need to know how to write, anything from an email to a press release to an article," she said.
With a bright future ahead, Tsuji is optimistic about what the future might hold. "I've had a lot of people tell me that the field of journalism is crashing, but I can't see myself pursuing anything else," she said. "I believe if I carry myself with integrity and maintain a tough work ethic, that future of my career is hopeful. I look forward to the challenges."
Whitney Irick has always had an interest in journalism because it is a platform to get to know and share people's stories, "When I was younger, I was never into cartoons," she said. "I would watch the news or a criminal detective show." Irick is currently a junior majoring in print and broadcast journalism with an outside concentration in political science. She is originally from Orange County, Calif. but now resides in Riverside County.
"I've wanted to come to Pepperdine since I was in the seventh grade," Irick said. During the Fall of 2011, as a freshman she actively participated in the Graphic, starting her freshman year as a part of the "Our Big Week" staff and quickly climbed her way up. She began as a news assistant, graduated to the assistant news editor position, and is currently the online managing editor. "There are times where I am working all night to get work finished and have a hour of rest before I go to my morning class," Irick said. She created Gnews, the on campus TV news show, with Al Lai, who graduated last year.
As the online managing editor for Pepperdine Graphic Media, her main responsibility is overseeing all productions and functions for the daily online website (www.pepperdine-graphic.com). Irick is in charge of her own staff and works double duty, publishing both online and in print. "I spend most of my time working at least 20 plus hours here in my office," Irick said. Irick's responsibilities include redesigning the Graphic website, promoting all posts on multiple social media platforms, and assisting in the recruitment of new staff. After Pepperdine, she would like to pursue a graduate degree in either media law or journalism, and hopes to work as a reporter or news journalist in the future.