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Cronkite grad went from in front of the camera to behind the pen

ASU grad Alli Cripe

Through her student worker position at Access ASU, new grad Allison Cripe helped reach out to Arizona families to open up access to higher education.

December 13, 2021

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates.

December 2021 Arizona State University graduate Alli Cripe spent her teens traveling the world modeling but found her way back home to the Valley once she found a career passion in journalism. 

It was when Cripe was a student at Mesa Community College that she first cut her teeth as a writer rather than a photo subject. She transferred to ASU and found that the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was a welcoming community. 

“It was like a small, close-knit family. We all knew each other and supported each other, especially on Twitter,” she said.

Cripe kept busy with work and internships, including working as a social media manager for Access ASU, which is dedicated to increasing access to higher education for Arizona families. There, she helped raise awareness about events and programs that aim to inspire underrepresented communities to attend college and connect families to resources that make higher education a financial and academic reality. 

She said the experience was great to get a head start on professional life.

“Working with Access ASU has given me the tools to move forward and find a career. Professionally, it means I’ve applied what I’ve learned in class and also means that I can bulk up my resume a bit,” she said.

“Personally, I think it shows that ASU truly cares about its students. The student worker position helped me financially because I had full-time school and couldn’t work a full-time job. I’m really grateful for that.”

As she prepared to graduate, Cripe reflected on her time at ASU and shared her advice for fellow Sun Devils. 

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

Answer: Before ASU, I entered community college to learn more about English and creative writing. I happened to find a job at the Mesa Community College student newspaper, the Mesa Legend. They gave me my first newspaper position as a sports editor, and I worked my way up to Opinions. 

I learned to love writing articles and meeting new, exciting people to interview. Then Mike Wong’s internship program helped me work with Phoenix New Times, and I truly enjoyed that.

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

A: My Mass Communication Law class — shoutout to (Professor Joseph) Russomanno — has taught me the important confines of journalism so that a media outlet doesn’t get sued. Learning that George Carlin is the reason we have obscenity laws for the media really surprised me. I had no idea.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: ASU’s journalism program is right up there with the best. So once I found journalism, I knew I had to go to ASU.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Professor James Teeple taught me life-changing editing and writing advice in my 301 class, and Sonia Bovio taught me the importance of communication audits, which I’ll never forget!

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

A: If you’re young and have the option not to work while in school, fight that urge and work anyway. Working while in school gives you so much more confidence when you’re about to graduate. You’ll be glad you put in the extra hours at an internship or in freelance. And take advantage of all that your school has to offer!

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

A: Hands down the First Amendment Forum. I’ll miss walking by the large TV screens playing CNN. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: At some point, I’d like to travel to Italy. No time frame on that, but it’s a goal.

Most importantly, now that I’ve graduated I intend to go out and better the world through a career. I’d love to make a positive difference.

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

A: Mental health, because I hate that there are unhappy people who don’t have the mental wherewithal to fix their own world. Additionally, if cured, it would massively lower crime and homicides, etc.

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