My name is Ivy Lyons. I was born in East St. Louis, IL, along with my twin brother, two years before the birth of my little sister. For years, I spent my time with my extended family living underneath the same roof, eventually beginning school in St. Clair County. At that time, I received two Alpha Kappa Alpha service awards, with one being humanitarian in the creation of a newsletter for my elementary school. I also spent time, after the creation of that newsletter, working on sample newscasts with East St. Louis’ public broadcasting service through summer programs.
At the beginning of my middle school career, my family relocated to Metropolis, IL – a small community on the southern border of Illinois. There, I played in the marching band, performed with the color guard, volunteered with a variety of organizations, and enjoyed student leadership positions. It was during that time that I discovered myself and rediscovered my desire to expand into journalism, writing for our school newspaper, the local newspaper, and area competitions. I graduated from Massac County High School within the top 15% of my class while completing college courses at Shawnee Community College. By my high school graduation, I gained my certification in Nurse Assisting from SCC and began working in that field before moving on to Greenville University.
Beginning my freshman year, I took on the responsibilities of a Mosaic Scholar, began work towards racial reconciliation, and made slow movements toward progress for LGBT people at the small Christian University. As a sophomore, I became an RA and took on student leadership roles in campus organizations, including WGRN – Greenville University Radio. From that point, I expanded my work into broadcasting and marketing. In my Junior year, I became the first African American ARD, the first LGBT ARD, and one of many researchers for policy at Greenville University.
During that time, I participated in conversations with panels of Greenville University students, Bond County & Greenville [city] representatives, and hosted the institution’s first political interview with US Representative Candidate Kevin Gaither (D) and State Representative Candidate Blaine Wilhour (R) which was broadcast on WGRN 89.5FM. I also gained experience with different people groups, interned for the summer in the US Senate as an Ed Greelegs Scholar, and enjoyed a variety of media experiences, gaining mentors and meeting prolific journalists along the way.
I have finished my undergraduate degree in Philosophy, completing a thesis on Diverse and Inclusive Philosophies in Systemic Environments, and working for WGRN as the News and Production Intern and eventual Student Anchor of On the Pulse Daily News (8AM) for Greenville University.
After spending a summer in Illinois, I transitioned to the Washington DC area in pursuit of a master’s degree in Journalism from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. While in the program, I shone in courses discussing theoretical concepts and rhetorical communication as well as practical courses on video production, storytelling, and digital media.
Over the course of just my first year in graduate studies, I completed an internship with ABC 7/WJLA in Washington, DC, with our investigative unit, gained invaluable experience in public service and political communication, and worked tirelessly to succeed in a transitional educational environment. I eventually secured work with the U.S. Senate, NBC News, PoliticusUSA, and others.
I graduated with my master’s degree in May of 2021, following a year in Georgetown’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter as an officer, and transitioned into doctoral studies at the University of Maryland during the fall of 2021.
During my time at the University of Maryland, I have served as a Teaching Assistant at the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism and began research on the intersections of journalism and identity.
I also began work with WTOP News in Washington, D.C., as a Digital Writer and Editor, eventually taking social media, video, and audio editing shifts. Some of my professional contributions at WTOP have been cited by national and local news outlets including CBS News, NBC Washington, Inside Nova, CNN, and the New York Times.