For Flagler alum Alexa Epitropoulos, her hard work ethic and love of journalism has earned her a trove of accolades and a full-time job as a digital producer — even before she graduated this past spring.
The former Communication major, who was widely known on campus as the Gargoyle newspaper’s editor-in-chief, now works for the Jacksonville Business Journal, a job she started full-time in January. As digital producer, she covers stories and handles general management of the website.
“There was a really seamless transition for me (between school and my job),” Epitropoulos said. “I think working with the Gargoyle helped me with that. I was in an editorial position for almost two years, which was amazing, and transitioning from that into the workplace gave me a lot of skills I needed to succeed.”
She credits the college’s online newspaper for setting the foundation for a solid career in journalism — a field she’s pursued since her teenage years. As editor-in-chief for three semesters, she reported on stories, managed a staff of student editors, organized weekly staff meetings and ensured assignments were turned in on time.
“When you’re putting together a newspaper, you really have to venture outside your comfort zone,” she said. “The truth is I was initially terrified of interviewing people, but the Gargoyle taught me how to do something that I didn’t see myself doing. It also gave me managerial, social media, website and content management skills.”
Epitropoulos has won a number of journalism awards. She was a national winner in the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2014 Mark of Excellence Awards, in the Online Opinion and Commentary category. In the same year she won a regional award for Best Commentary and in 2013 claimed regional awards for her coverage of youth homelessness in Florida and student loan debt. In 2014 she received the Gargoyle Anthology Grand Award, a Communication departmental award given to outstanding student media work.
When asked about the impetus behind her motivation, the Flagler alum cited passion as a defining force.
“If I’m passionate about something, I’m driven,” she said. “And if I think this is what I want to do, then I want to be good at it. I have standards for my own work.”