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'Some of the best stories that have ever been told are true'

Journalism major Cassidy Trowbridge has always enjoyed writing and telling stories; she graduates this month with a bachelor’s from ASU Cronkite School

Cassidy Trowbridge

Journalism major Cassidy Trowbridge

December 02, 2016

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2016 commencement. See more graduates here.

For as long as journalism major Cassidy Trowbridge can remember, she’s always enjoyed writing and telling stories.

In middle school, she wrote lots of adventure tales, but had a problem with the conclusions.

“I always had a hard time with the endings,” the senior from Chandler, Arizona, said. “Then I realized that some of the best stories that have ever been told are true stories. I enjoy telling those stories, too.”

Trowbridge, who is graduating this month with a bachelor’s from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, spent the last four years writing and telling true stories.

She focused on business journalism through a process of elimination. She wrote about crime, sports, education, but “the one I found least taxing and the least depressing was the business story.”

“It touched peoples’ lives and gave good community information," she said. "It seemed like an interesting field.”

The 21-year-old reported for the State Press and Downtown Devil. She also interned at the Cronkite Journal, the Society of American Business Edtiors and Writers, the Dow Jones News Fund and Phoenix Business Journal, where she is currently an editorial assistant.

Trowbridge, who is receiving the Cronkite Outstanding Undergraduate Award, answered some questions about her experience at ASU.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I took a journalism class in high school and really enjoyed it. It was for me.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: That people actually want to be heard. I had this notion in journalism that everybody was going to be closed off, suspicious of reporters — and a lot of them are — but in business journalism, people are open to sharing their perspective. They want to be heard, they want to be understood. Journalism is all about creating conversations for understanding.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: It runs in the family. My dad graduated from ASU sometime in the 1960s. I also have a half-brother who is 45 and went to ASU, so we have three different eras of the university represented in our family. Plus, Cronkite is one of the best journalism schools in the nation.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: You get out what you put in. You make it what you want it to be. Everything you put in, you will get out. You put in a ton of effort to make connections or internships, then that’s what you’ll get. Everything’s available to you, you just need to decide what you want to do.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I spent a bit of time on Taylor Mall at these metal tables outside the Cronkite building. That’s where I’d go meet everybody, do interviews, work on homework before class. I’d work on my laptop, listen to The Blaze radio station and hang outside.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: To remain dedicated to being a truthful, honest and passionate storyteller.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I don’t know if I could solve it, but a cause that’s very close to my heart is encouraging and bringing awareness to the benefits of adoption because I’m adopted. In general, I stand for conscious family planning. There’s a lot of unwanted children and unwanted pregnancies in the world. I don’t hold anything against anyone who wants their own kids, that’s fine, but you hear stories about people who spend $200,00 to have in vitro fertilization. That same amount of money could have landed them a perfectly healthy child, and they would have loved that parent all the same.

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