Megan Raposa — Journalist

Megan Raposa

Megan Raposa, Covenant Award for Excellence Recipient, 2014-15 Academic Year

Megan Raposa '15, originally from Rapid City, South Dakota, was a journalism and business/communications major at Augustana. She received the Covenant Award for Excellence for the 2014-15 academic year.

Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana — your career path (what are you doing now), family, education (graduate school), travel, etc.

A. I didn't go too far after graduation. About three weeks after the cap and gown celebration, I started on as the breaking news reporter for the Argus Leader, meaning I was the designated person to listen to the police scanner and tweet for Argus911. After about 10 months of doing that, I moved to my own beat as the education reporter. It was love at first story. Education reporting quickly became my passion, and in two years I uncovered so many stories about schools in our community from debunking stats from public officials to uncovering how PTAs contribute to inequality in Sioux Falls elementary schools.

A few months ago, I had a new opportunity to advance in the newsroom, and in January I was promoted to lead the watchdog team (overseeing a team of reporters who cover city politics, state politics, education and special projects). It's still a new role, but I'm loving seeing the newsroom from a new perspective and doing what I can to help reporters get their stories in front of the broadest audience possible.

In my personal life, I really haven't strayed far from Augie. I bought a house near 26th and Euclid, and I'll be getting married in May.

Q. Favorite class or favorite professor at Augustana, and why?

A. The Augie class that was most formative to my future career was “History of the American Press” with Jeffrey Miller. Learning about the dogged reporters behind some of America's biggest events was truly inspiring, and in that class I saw the impact journalism can have on society from government to business to healthcare to really all facets of life.

Q. What were you involved in that prepared you for the present and future?

A. The Augie Mirror! Editing the Mirror gave me a taste of what working in a professional newsroom would be like, and it helped me develop the skills needed to write quickly, concisely and fairly (as well as the skills required to call an audible at 2 a.m. in order to get to press on time — the show must go on, as they say)

Q. Best Augie memory?

A. How can I choose? I spent some of my favorite moments in the Mirror office (Humanities 222, woot!). It became a second home to me, and I'm not too proud to admit I've napped on the couches in there between classes. There's something about being the only people left in the building, working toward the same goal of getting the paper out that's really exciting. Even when we were exhausted and working a late night, it was always a positive atmosphere.

Q. Greatest professional accomplishment thus far?

A. I had the opportunity to participate in a special mentorship program through the national Education Writers Association (EWA). Through that program, I was paired with an education journalist in New York, and she helped me develop an in-depth story over the course of six months. That resulted in a story about education on the Rosebud Indian Reservation of which I'm incredibly proud.

Q. What’s given you the greatest personal satisfaction since graduating from Augie? And why?

A. It's so satisfying to hit publish on a story, especially when you're the first to get something out to readers. I've loved being able to foster source relationships and get the "scoop" on big things happening in Sioux Falls schools. Working in a newsroom, I really get to have my finger on the pulse of everything that's happening in our community — it's really satisfying to be "in the know."

Q. A foundation for life at Augustana begins with our five core values — Christian Faith, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service. How did your time at Augustana help to ensure those values remain central in your life?

A. Community is still very much a part of my life. Many Augie grads stuck around Sioux Falls, and it's always fun to meet someone and learn that we're both Vikings. I think the Liberal Arts foundation has also set me up to be analytical, creative and empathetic in all of the work that I do. It's kind of fun being an Augie alum in this city — there's a certain degree of "street cred" because the university just consistently has some great people with a great set of values.