Cara Suplee is a senior studying strategic communication and reporting with a certificate in gender & women’s studies.
Pause & Reflect: Over these past months of uncertainty, where time essentially stood still, I found moments of pleasure simply sitting on my front porch on sunny mornings. My parents would always tell me about their neighborhoods when they were young and how everyone knew everyone and you could always count on seeing people outside. I always longed for that, and I noticed that during quarantine, more neighbors were sitting on their porches for morning coffee and talking to each other in our shared experience.
Future Goals: Continue sharing stories of life, love and strength.
Elise Goldstein is a senior studying strategic communication with a certificate in digital studies.
Pause & Reflect: During the past year, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time outside taking long walks and runs and using the time to call friends and family to check in. This time of pause has reminded me of the special people in my life and the beautiful nature around me.
Future Goals: Build a sustainable and equitable future for journalism and help to bridge the gap between health and the general public.
Molly Liebergall is a senior studying strategic communication and reporting with a certificate in criminal justice.
Pause & Reflect: My life went on a near total pause for several weeks in April when I contracted COVID-19 at home after my study abroad program was cut short the month before. I isolated in my basement and spent my time with my dog and my phone screen. When the weather got warmer, I took socially distanced walks with my parents, which broke up the days and gave me a renewed appreciation for the extra time the pandemic gave me with my family — especially since this is likely the last year before I leave the nest for good.
Future Goals: Write creative nonfiction for a magazine or literary journal.
Ashley Obuljen is a senior studying strategic communication and reporting.
Pause & Reflect: While I was studying abroad in Florence this past spring, the coronavirus spread silently. My program abruptly ended in March and I ended up quarantined with my family in California for five months. I hadn’t been home for that long since high school, so while I missed my college friends, I was able to pause, bond with my family and enjoy the nice weather.
Future Goals: Become a political reporter and hopefully get a dog.
Ayaka Thorson is a senior studying strategic communication.
Pause & Reflect: The pandemic caused a ban on international travel, which means I can’t go home to Japan or see my family for a year. This challenge has taught me to water and nurture the grass around me — to learn how to “pause” and create a home wherever I am. My appreciation for Wisconsin and my friends here has grown because of it.
Future Goals: Make a difference and promote empathy through creative and purposeful storytelling.
Laura Schultz is a graduate student getting an M.A. in journalism.
Pause & Reflect: I paused when we first got the email that a Madison resident tested positive for COVID-19 in February. I showed my mom and said “What are the odds that all three of your children live in cities where they’ve found this virus?” (Madison, Chicago and London). I keep coming back to that moment and marveling at everything I didn’t know lay ahead.
Future Goals:Help create a sustainable and livable planet for everyone with my words.
Dana Brandt is a senior studying reporting and creative writing.
Pause & Reflect: In the spring, staying inside all the time made me restless, so I started going on walks. I explored parts of campus and downtown Madison that I previously hadn’t been to before. Without a specific destination in mind, I could also take the time to really appreciate this city I’ve been living in for the past three years.
Future Goals: Continue to report, learn and find new ways to tell important stories.
Public Relations Director
Engagement & Social Media Director
Abby Radewahn is a senior studying strategic communication and political science.
Pause & Reflect: I think what was most prevalent to me was how even though life seems to have been put on hold, life still goes on. There are still births and deaths, graduations and first days of school, weddings and anniversaries — it all just looks a little bit different. To me it’s comforting to know that no matter how crazy and earth-shattering something may seem, the world still turns.
Future Goals: Work at Amanda’s PR firm.
Amanda Mizera is a senior studying strategic communication with a certificate in digital studies.
Pause & Reflect: During this past year, I’ve had many moments of pause while I was watching the news or reading articles online, and it’s made me appreciate the life I have and be grateful for the opportunities I have been given. This pause has caused me to live my life to the fullest each day and say “yes” to new experiences more often.
Future Goals:Spend the rest of my life doing what I love, which hopefully involves starting my own PR firm.
Holly Anderson is a senior studying strategic communication and reporting with a certificate in digital studies.
Pause & Reflect: I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten closer with my already close friends due to the small number of people that you’re allowed to see. It’s been a hard year, but I’m glad I’m able to strengthen these relationships and know just how amazing all of the people in my life are. I also realized that after this is all over, I don’t see myself saying “no” nearly as much!
Future Goals: Move to Chicago, travel around the world, work at an advertising agency, do things out of my comfort zone.
Sam Idler is a senior studying strategic communication with a certificate in digital studies.
Pause & Reflect:I’ve always considered myself to be an optimist. Throughout the pandemic I’ve tried to see the positive things happening around me. While this has become harder, it’s also taught me to appreciate my family and friends and value little moments and memories.
Future Goals: Continue exploring new ways to learn and improve, but most of all to be happy doing something that I love.
Brighid Hartnett is a senior studying strategic communication with certificates in German and public policy.
Pause & Reflect: This year’s pause allowed me to rewind and revisit a hobby I loved in the past: letter writing! Mailing letters more frequently has allowed me time to reflect on this year’s chaos while keeping in touch with friends and family in a different way.
Future Goals:Have a career in public service.
Celia Golod is a senior studying strategic communication and reporting.
Pause & Reflect:Over the past few months, I have found myself pausing more often to reach out to friends and family members. The pandemic has reminded me of how many important people I have in my life, and how important it is to take pauses to remind those people how much I appreciate them.
Future Goals: Attend law school next year, where I will learn to tell stories in new, nuanced ways.
Abby Meyer is a senior studying strategic communication with a certificate in graphic design.
Pause & Reflect: I woke up early to text messages, emails and phone calls: We had to evacuate the country due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. I had 24 hours left in Italy — a place that I had grown to call “home.” I walked around the city of Florence, unmasked, to say “goodbye.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, this was my last bit of normalcy before the world was put on pause. Had I known that, I probably would have stopped at the gelateria twice that day.
Future Goals: Become an art director and return to Florence for another scoop of gelato!
Channing Smith is a senior studying reporting with a certificate in art history.
Pause & Reflect: While I’ve always loved making art, it has never been a priority in my life. This summer, overwhelmed at the state of our nation, I turned to my art to help me de-stress, but also to create something for others, or attempt to use design to educate people on the issues happening around us. Slowing down and being intentional with design allowed me to ground myself in times of uncertainty.
Future Goals: Work as a political cartoonist and use my art to educate people.
Genevieve Vahl is a senior studying reporting with certificates in digital studies and graphic design.
Pause & Reflect: “Before,” I feel like I was constantly planning ahead, looking into the future, making plans. But I wasn’t actually present. And I only realized that when I could no longer look ahead with any form of certainty. This pause has forced me to turn inward, breathe and truly appreciate every moment in real time.
Future Goals: Read. Create. Listen to music. Be outside. Eat good food.
Photographer & Photo Editor
Lizzy Stein is a senior studying strategic communication.
Pause & Reflect: Diagnosed with cancer last fall, this year has allowed me to understand, accept and celebrate the value of “pause.” While undergoing chemotherapy, I cultivated relationships with my nurses, my family and myself. As we move forward, I hope we can all reflect on the beauty, value and purpose a pause offers as our lives continue to play.
Future Goals:Combine my experience, passion and knowledge in guiding others to transform their own struggle into strength.
Brian Huynh is a junior studying reporting.
Pause & Reflect: To keep my sanity somewhat intact over these last few months, I’ve turned to my camera. Every image I capture of life in the pandemic offers me a moment to pause and reflect on the emptiness that fills the places where there used to be life. Each frame reminds me of the importance of human connection and in a way, my camera brings me closer to people.
Future Goals: Take more photos and keep telling stories.
Ellen Pucel is a senior studying strategic communication with certificates in digital studies and business.
Pause & Reflect: After realizing that anything can pause at any moment, I have started to focus on the importance little moments have. Little conversations with strangers in stores about the weather or asking the classmate next to you when the next assignment is due are all little things I did not realize I would miss so dearly. Taking the time to step back and reflect has been something I look forward to each day!
Future Goals: Return to Copenhagen and keep exploring where I left off!
Paige Haehlke is a senior studying strategic communication and gender & women’s studies with a certificate in digital studies.
Pause & Reflect:After leaving my study abroad program in London early, I was heartbroken. I had made amazing new friends and wasn’t even close to being ready to leave them or the city. But in quarantine I paused to appreciate how incredible my time there was and how thankful I am for it. It taught me to never take anything for granted and to intentionally savor every moment of life.
Future Goals:Move to London, keep learning, travel and make up for lost time.
Daniel Ziolkowski is a senior studying strategic communication and reporting with a certificate in sports communication.
Pause & Reflect: I’m normally constantly watching and talking about sports, so 2020 forced me to do a lot of things I’d never done before. I spent a lot more time traveling and hiking, both out in Colorado and Utah, and around the state of Wisconsin. It gave me a new appreciation for nature and pressing conservational issues.
Future Goals: Live in a bunch of cool cities, covering different sports teams
Will Cioci is a senior studying reporting, environmental studies and political science.
Pause & Reflect: Some friends and I were halfway through a cross-country camping trip when George Floyd was killed this summer. We felt the earthquake of pain and anger and watched the world erupt on our phones when the service was good enough. But we were in a tent, in the middle of nowhere, still on pause. Utterly, infuriatingly useless. I try to hold onto that need to do something, to help.
Future Goals: Have some good stories and a livable planet to share with the next young people.
Hunter Ellis is a senior studying strategic communication and communication arts with certificates in digital studies and LGBTQ+ studies.
Pause & Reflect: One thing that I have really realized in the past year is just how important it is for myself to have empathy and concern for the well-being of others. As communities, we all share the same air, and there isn’t time or space for anyone to be spreading unwarranted distrust or reluctance that ends up hurting others.