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Student Spotlight: Isabelle Burgin

Posted August 28, 2016

Isabelle Burgin, South Pointe High School senior, is an editor for Impulse literary magazine. After graduation, she hopes to attend either New York University or College of Charleston to study photography and graphic design.

Describe the position your hold within your publication. What are your responsibilities? What’s your favorite part of the position? What do you find the most challenging?
During this past school year (2015-2016), I was Impulse’s InDesign editor. Holding this job means that I’m the one to design the layouts for the magazine, to design graphics and to put the magazine together. I love how this position allows me to improve my InDesign and Photoshop skills, as well as how it gives me the freedom to express my creativity freely and create a wonderful publication that showcases all the talent that South Pointe’s arts community has to offer. The most challenging part of this role is that I have to make sure all of our other editors are meeting their deadlines, so that I can meet my deadline and make sure the publication is sent out on time.

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re especially proud of. How did it come together? What did you learn from the experience?
I recently worked on South Pointe’s 2015-2016 literary magazine. I am insanely proud of how it turned out, despite the struggles that we faced. With a lot of hard work, persistence and patience, the publication came together on time and turned out better than I could have hoped for. During this experience, I learned that not everyone you have to work with will be cooperative and helpful. They can and will stress you out and make your job difficult, but you have to just keep pushing and not let these people get to you so that you can do your best for your staff.

How has SCSPA helped you improve and evolve as a journalist/editor?
SCSPA has provided me with many opportunities to learn and continue to improve the skills needed to create my publication. They’ve also equipped me with essential skills that I need to be a good editor through the many workshops made available to me.

What have you learned from serving on the SCSPA board? What have you liked about it?
Through serving on the SCSPA board, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to collaborate and come together with other types of publications to gain insight and ideas. I’ve loved the opportunities they’ve provided me by allowing me to teach workshops at SCSPA events, which has greatly improved my public speaking skills.

What SCSPA events have you attended? What are some of your favorite memories from those events?
I’ve attended two fall SCSPA conferences and two spring SCSPA conferences. My favorite memory is from the 2015 fall conference. My friend, Andrew Hinson, and I were preparing to teach a class entitled “Watch Me Click, Watch Me Edit.” We had been planning the class for the past two weeks, although we were not expecting a very big turnout. I remember leaving Andrew in the class we were stationed in for five minutes, and when I returned the room was already halfway full. I was in awe. Over the next ten minutes, until the session started, the room continued to fill up. People were sitting on the floor, in the windowsills, and standing along the walls. It was packed. I remember turning to Andrew and mouthing, “I can’t do this.” He just looked at me and gave me an encouraging smile. Once our presentation and activity was over, I had the biggest smile on my face. It had gone wonderfully. Everyone participated and loved the session. It’s such an amazing accomplishment to me because I was able to power through my anxiety disorder and present to a room packed with 40 or more people. It gave me a newfound confidence in my public speaking ability.

What advice would you give to other student journalists?
Take advantage of every opportunity that SCSPA has to offer. Attend the workshops, try to get on the board, listen to what others have to say. It will help you a great deal and you will find yourself part of another family.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.