Our Stories

Willamette Writer Honored

Mary Ann Albright '04 has been honored by the Northwest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Albright has been a general assignment reporter and is now the higher education reporter for the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Her story, "Love Sees No Color," which examined the experience of interracial couples in the Willamette Valley, won second place in the monitory reporting category for daily newspapers with a circulation of 25,000 or less.

At Willamette, Albright earned English department honors and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's preeminent honor society for the liberal arts. She was recently honored at an awards banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego.

"I feel honored to be recognized by my peers for excellence in journalism, especially since I'm such a young reporter and so new to the field," says Albright, who competed against reporters from comparably sized newspapers in seven states.

She says her writing experience at Willamette University put her on the path to a journalism career. She wrote for The Collegian, the University's student newspaper. Upon graduation, Albright worked as an intern for the Pulitzer prize-winning alternative newspaper, Willamette Week, before being hired at the Gazette-Times.

Albright says the key to award-winning stories is to keep your eyes open. "You have to be enterprising because you never know when you'll find a potential story," she says. "When I write, I try to anticipate questions that readers might have about a subject. I also try to localize national stories and find the broader impact in community stories."