Meet Julia Felton, a junior majoring in professional writing. Ms. Felton is the editor-in-chief of La Roche’s student newspaper and president of the Karate Club. She has interned for the Depreciation Lands Museum, District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Little Italy Productions and Dr. Janine Bayer, chair of the English Department.
How have your experiences with The Courier (the student newspaper) and the Karate Club shaped your college experience?
Working with The Courier has allowed me to create an extensive portfolio. It’s a great opportunity to use the skills I’ve learned in my writing classes in a meaningful way. Plus, I’ve met so many wonderful people at La Roche through The Courier.
I started the Karate Club during my freshman year. That’s been a really fun way for me to share one of my passions with the campus community.
Why did you choose La Roche?
I was drawn to La Roche for several reasons. I loved that it was a small, Catholic school. I was drawn to La Roche’s culture during my first campus visit. Our writing program also is unique from other journalism programs in the area, so I was really excited to find a school that would provide me with a well-rounded education.
How have your classes prepared you for life outside of La Roche?
My writing classes have exposed me to a variety of writing styles—from journalism to creative writing and everything in between. I feel confident in my ability to write a wide array of work, like newspaper articles, press releases or brochures. I’ve learned real-world skills that will enable me to work in the industry after college.
You’ve completed multiple internships. Tell us about these experiences.
I was a campaign writer for District Attorney Stephen Zappala. I wrote press releases, op-eds and other related materials for his campaign. I also wrote several pieces for other local politicians, and for political issues such as the tax referendum and Marsy’s Law. This internship helped me improve my understanding of local politics. I loved that this was a bipartisan experience. Though I was primarily focusing on the District Attorney’s campaign, who is a democrat, I also got to write for several republican candidates.
As a research and design intern for the Depreciation Lands Museum, I helped organize Hampton Heritage Day, which was an event that highlighted the people buried in two local cemeteries and their contributions to the area. I did a lot of research about these people, and created brochures and flyers. I also wrote the script for the museum’s Lantern Tours, which is a candlelit walk through the museum grounds during which volunteers shared historical tales about witchcraft. I learned so many interesting things about our local history through my work at the museum.
As a research and design intern for Dr. Janine Bayer, I assisted her with her sabbatical project, which consisted of writing Dr. Sam Hazo’s literary biography and putting together his website. I helped read and analyze poems, proofread the website’s content and helped with certain design elements on the website. I also helped Dr. Bayer go through Dr. Hazo’s personal International Poetry Forum archive to find photographs and other pieces that we could include on the website.
Right now I am a marketing intern for Professor Joe Puglisi and his film company, Little Italy Productions. I’ve been preparing press releases and articles to promote the release of their film, “That’s Amore.” I’ve also done research on film festivals and distribution methods.
What do you like to do off campus?
I’m a master in Tang Soo Do, and I help teach at C.S. Kim Karate McMurray. I’m also a lector at St. Patrick’s Parish in Canonsburg.
What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
Get involved! Don’t be afraid to join clubs or to start your own. There are so many opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. I also strongly encourage everyone to look for internships. Real-world experience is extremely important, and there are tons of opportunities for internships in the area.