Student Spotlight: Breanne Ahearn, Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership -->

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Student Spotlight: Breanne Ahearn, Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

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The Walden University Writing Center is privileged to work with talented students. In the Student Spotlight Series, we aim to support incredible work our students do, both in and out of the classroom. The goal of the Student Spotlight Series is to provide the Walden community with a place to build bridges and make connections by developing shared understanding of the diverse and varied student journey. Students share stories about their writing process, their efforts towards social change, and their motivations for pursuing higher education. We ask questions, and students generously answer.
This Student Spotlight features Breanne Ahearn, student of the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership.

Image of bridge over water. Text read: Student Spotlight Series, Building Bridges, Making Connections, Walden University Writing Center
The WUWC Student Spotlight Series: Building Bridges. Making Connections.
What are you passionate about? What are your hobbies?
I’m originally from California, a small beach town just north of San Diego, to be exact. I spent a better part of my life enjoying things like the playing in the sand, spending time with friends, and bettering myself overall. As I’ve grown older, I have found those passions have only expanded. I’m a big fan of personal fitness. I love marital arts as a workout tool. I love to mediate, do yoga, spend time at the beach, hike mountain sides, and spend time with my friends and my best friend who is also my husband. 
Best Friend and Spouse

What is your educational background?

My educational background is bit diverse… I began college several years after many of my friends. I started as a pre-med major and, after having completed a number of classes in my concentration at the community college level, I realized I really wasn’t ready to take the next step and head off to a four-year university in Monterey Bay, California. So I stayed home and took a class in radio fundamentals (just for the heck of it). My first day, I was hooked. I was thrown (metaphorically) into the deep end of radio and found myself on the air my first day of class. Our campus radio station was like no other; we were Federal Communications Commission regulated and CNN News affiliated. In other words, there was no goofing around or child’s play allowed.

I started in the news division then worked my way up over the 4 semesters I was there to having my own show then becoming the station manager. I changed my major from Pre-Med to Communications and, after creating an award winning and nationally recognized radio documentary, I left California and finished my undergraduate degree in Atlanta, GA. While I was finishing my last two semesters of college, I was offered a job with a brand new radio news station with the second largest radio company in the U.S. While there, I took a leave of absence and moved to London, England, where I studied Television Journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London. After a year in the program, I had my Master of Arts degree and decided I wanted to continue my education into the doctoral field. Over the years, I have taught students, peers, colleagues, and I decided, instead of taking the journalism route as I have in the past, that I would study my doctorate under the education concentration and bend my journalism practices into teaching.

Breanne's must-haves for a successful day at work
Have you encountered any challenges while at Walden and how did you overcome those challenges?
I grew up a student with a learning disability and, when you're told from a young age that you can’t do something or that the odds are not in your favor, you either accept defeated or you refuse to give up. In my career I am able to bend my practices in a direction that works best for me but, while at Walden, that hasn’t been the case. I have been forced to address issues that have long plagued my studies (statistics) and had to completely relearn how to write. I have used the support of my adviser, the Writing Center, and my professors with each new challenge. Not only has that support group been there to help me when I have a simple question or am completely off the mark, but the support I receive at home also contributes to my “I refuse to give up” attitude.
An example of the daily life of Breanne's career in broadcast journalism
How do you hope to apply the work you have done as a student to the work you will do after graduating?
Since my time in community college I have found myself aiding others in their studies. There are areas I succeed at and there are areas that I require additional learning. However, I know, with the skills I have been taught, both at Walden and in my career, that I have the ability, knowledge, and experience to walk into a classroom or an office full of individuals who have that desire to learn more and to teach them. I don’t plan on leaving a newsroom just yet but I do plan on entering into a classroom and teaching the next generation while I continue to do what I love.

In what ways do you hope your dissertation/capstone will contribute to positive social change? Why is that important to you?

It is important for students in the communications concentration to understand the newest and most effective ways of learning in today's digital age. With that said, some four year universities continue to teach behind the times, and their students are suffering upon graduation. Many of them lack the experience to gain employment. Some are successful with getting a job only to find their education is in no way an aid in their chosen field and they must learn tools to be effective in today's field. In today’s world journalist are called amateurs, fake news writers, liars. A positive social change needs to take place, and it needs to start in the classroom. The only way for that to occur is if we, as educators, teach the most up to date and highly sought after practices.

The Walden University Writing Center provides information and assistance to students with services like live chat, webinars, course visits, paper reviews, podcasts, modules, and the writing center webpages. Through these services they provide students assistance with APA, scholarly writing, and help students gain skills and confidence to enhance their scholarly work.

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