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The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

New York Times best selling author visits campus

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  • The Muleskinner staff, featuring Linda Alviar (left), News Editor, and Darby Mostaffa (right), Features Editor, introduce Sally Jenkins to the audience during the Author Talk presentation. The presentation included an introduction, a speech, and a Q&A session with the audience.

    Photo by Mingzhu Zhu
  • Sally Jenkins discusses her journalism experience with The Muleskinner staff. Jenkins participated in a meet-and-greet in the Muleskinner newsroom on Feb. 21.

  • Sally Jenkins, a New York Times bestselling author, shares insights on sports journalism and lessons learned from sports in life and work. The Author Talk: Sally Jenkins took place at W.C. Morris at the University of Central Missouri on Feb. 21.

On Feb. 21, the University of Central Missouri’s Division of Academic Affairs invited sports columnist Sally Jenkins to present about her life and expertise as a female sports journalist.  

  

“Hearing her talk about the lessons she has learned in her field and the role discipline plays in being successful was really inspiring,” Sophomore nursing major Natalie Mcentire said. “I realized I could apply these factors to my work as an ICU nurse.”

 

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Her presentation encompassed the strength and resilience she has not only seen in the athletes and coaches she interviews but that she has also developed herself. Many found during  Jenkins visit attendees gained insight that they might not have experienced on their own. 

 

“I am always interested in learning more about Journalism. Once I learned about her [Jenkins] mentality and perspective, it was very interesting to hear. I learned a lot that will help me with my own writing,” Warrensburg Star Journal Reporter Zach Bott said. 

 

Jenkins’ most recent book highlights the lessons she has learned over her time as a sports columnist. More specifically, she said she has learned what it takes to make great athletes, and even everyday people, become successful through their personal beliefs and attributes. Since becoming an author, Jenkins said she has noticed the different attention required when writing for reporting versus writing a book.

 

“Depending on the length of what you’re writing, you’re a different type of runner,” Jenkins said.  “A column is a sprint, a magazine story is middle distance, and a book is a marathon. Each one takes a different mindset, urgency and pressure. The thing about these [books] is that they make the other two feel easier.”

 

Jenkins provided advice and tips on how to become a journalist during the presentation’s Q & A segment. 

 

“She gave a lot of great advice on how to be a leader. Her experience interviewing athletes gave me more steps to implement into my own life,” Muleskinner News Editor Linda Alviar said.

 

Jenkins graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelors of Art in English Literature in 1982 where she worked for the Stanford Daily all four years. She was the sports co-editor her junior and senior year. The summer in between those years she was a hard news intern for ​​The Los Angeles Herald Examiner. She continued her career as a sports journalist when she was 24 years old, working for The Washington Post as a features writer. 

 

 Jenkins paid respect to her time at the LA Herald Examiner because she said it showed her the grace in sports reporting versus news.

 

“I was just a city-side reporter,” Jenkins said. “There was a high-profile murder case in Hollywood, and I ended up having to stake out the murder scene all night waiting for forensics to come back. Real hardcore reporting. I decided that summer that sports wasn’t all that depressing; it was more fun.”

 

  In 1990, Jenkins moved to Sports Illustrated as a sports columnist, going on to win the Associated Press’s Sports Columnist of the Year Award in 2001, 2003, 2010, 2011 and 2021. In 2005 Jenkins became the first woman inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. Jenkins has written 12 books, four of them being New York Times bestsellers. 

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About the Contributors
Darby Mostaffa, Features Editor
Mingzhu Zhu, Promotions Manager
Mingzhu Zhu is a Master of Business Administration student with a concentration in marketing at the University of Central Missouri. She joined the Muleskinner team in October 2022. As the Promotions Manager, Mingzhu is committed to enhancing the Muleskinner's presence through strategic promotion on social media and various platforms. Her goal is to integrate her passion for journalism with the marketing expertise gained in her MBA program. Mingzhu looks forward to more adventures and possibilities in the future.
Braeden Sholes, Photographer
Braeden Sholes is a freshman at the University of Central Missouri pursuing a bachelor's of music in music technology and violin. As a photographer, Sholes is responsible for providing pictures for all content sections. After graduation, Sholes plans on working in the entertainment industry as an Audio Engineer while pursuing a master's in music technology.
Ellie Whitesell, Multimedia Manager
Ellie Whitesell is a senior with a Photography major as well as the Multimedia Manager. She has been involved in journalism since high school. Now getting into the newsroom rules she is thinking about making it her life long career. She has loved taking photos since I child, it has always a hobby of mine until she realized that she could make a career of ourselves. 

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