One of the most visible Salisbury University graduates in the area is moving on to bigger and better things.
SU alumna Brooke Reese is soon to make a big leap in her exciting career in broadcasting, moving from a reporting position at WBOC to a reporting and weekend anchoring position at WKRN, an ABC affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.
Nashville is a top 30 broadcast market, according to the Nielsen DMA rankings. The Salisbury area is ranked 138.
By the time she graduated, Reese was ready to hit the ground running, picking up a job with the WBOC station where she had interned during her time at SU.
“As part of the journalism and public relations track that I was on, there was a required internship, and I ended up doing an 80-hour internship which wound up being way more hours than it was designed for,” Reese said. “But I really fell in love with my practical placement at WBOC.”
Reese’s love for broadcast may have grown during her time at WBOC, but it found its roots long before her undergraduate career.
Reese had known she wanted to be on TV since the eighth grade. When she was a student at James M. Bennett High School, she joined the morning announcements.
“We literally just read the morning announcements off of pieces of paper that teachers had put into a mailbox, and I got to learn the ins and outs of all the different equipment that was there. I got to transition into different positions every week, and then my sophomore year, I took a journalism class, and I just really fell in love with it," Reese said.
This passion for reporting helped Reese in finding success at SU, where she quickly became involved with campus media outlets and developed relationships with her professors.
One professor, Dr. Jennifer Cox, was particularly close to Reese.
Cox had Reese as her student six times during Reese’s undergraduate career and remembers her as a leader, remaining friends with her to this day.
“The greatest thing about Brooke as a student was that she always said 'yes,'” Cox said. “She was always looking for ways to learn about journalism, to practice her craft and to really educate students about the news they needed to know.”
Educating her fellow students was one mission that Reese took the lead on during her time at SU. She served as president of both the SU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and SUTV during her time here.
These experiences outside the classroom helped Reese develop the skills she needed to pursue her goals in broadcasting.
“For the majority of camera skills and editing, I wasn’t a production student," Reese said. "SUTV in particular helped me to learn the kind of stuff I do today.”
Although SU has developed more of a broadcast focus during recent years, prospective journalism students can learn from how Reese maximized what SU has to offer.
Cox believes the example she set in terms of actively seeking out hands-on experiences should be modeled by both incoming and current students.
“She was a great example of how you can take a degree and turn it into a career while you are here,” Cox said. “You can only learn so much in a classroom. You have to get out and actually practice your craft and learn about it from the people who are doing it.”
Reese has many well-wishers from the SU community as she gets ready to start the next step in her career.
“We’re so proud of Brooke, and we’ve always known she would go far,” Cox said, speaking on behalf of the entire Fulton School of Liberal Arts staff.
By OWEN MILLER
Featured image: K.B. Mensah image.