Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Making a connection

When I arrived at the University of Missouri in 2014, I found myself filled with excitement. I was attending my dream school, which also happened to have one of the best journalism schools in the world. One of my top priorities became seeking out mentors to learn from and help hone my craft. During my sophomore year I met one: Aaron Reiss.

Aaron was only a beginning reporter, but he stood out from the rest. He was hard-working, creative, and had a strong drive to become the best he could be. I’ve relied on his help through the years, and he’s been an incredibly beneficial friend and mentor.

Aaron’s words of advice were a big part of what led me to pursue the Sports Journalism Institute in the first place. The fact that he was an SJI alum, along with his work at the Houston Chronicle, Star Tribune of Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star, helped me make my decision.

I enjoy Aaron’s brutal honesty. He isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, and he put that on display during his seminar with our class. He emphasized remaining locked in, being productive, and staying in touch with your surroundings. Essentially, a good sports journalist is always on his or her toes. As I begin my internship at the Commercial Appeal and advance through my journalism career beyond, I hope to maintain my relationship with Aaron and make many connections with similar figures.

-Tashon Reed