Meet Jennifer Karchmer '91

Where do you live?

Bellingham, Washington

What do you do for work currently?

I am an independent freelance journalist who covers the First Amendment, reporter safety and press freedom issues.

What did you learn at IC that helped you get to where you are today (personally or professionally)?

I learned how to cultivate my critical thinking ability and how to have the confidence to probe authority figures with pointed questions—in other words, how to be a good reporter. My IC education at the Roy H. Park School was top-notch and has opened doors for me in the journalism profession.

How did you get involved with IC after graduating (did you volunteer? Did you speak in a classroom? Attend events?)

I mentor student journalists who are showing interest in the journalism profession. Especially now, with journalism under threat in the US and worldwide, I volunteer to talk to HS and college students about the news media and I coach young reporters on writing and presentation techniques. Also, I've attended several of the IC Network nights while I was living in NYC—a great way to network and reminisce about academic and social (The Dugout!) pursuits.

Why do you LOVE IC?

I made lifelong friends, got a first-rate journalism education and fell in love with the town.

IC was a family affair. My older brother attended IC (and transferred to another school due to location), which introduced me to the campus. Two years later, I enrolled and two years after that, our younger sister enrolled so two out of three of us are IC graduates. I attended my five-year reunion (in 1996) and was in Ithaca during the summer of 2017 for a quick trip on campus so I am due for another visit!

Anything else interesting/pertinent that you’d like to include: (Are you close with other alumni? A professor you loved? Student orgs you were involved with?)

Thanks to my profession, I have traveled the world researching the media and press freedom (Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, France, Iceland, Malta). Any chance I get (in the US or around the world), I mention that I'm an IC grad, and when people recognize Ithaca as "where Cornell is," I remind them that Ithaca is also home to the great school of Ithaca College. I am proud to wave the blue/gold flag and can't wait to buy myself a new IC sweatshirt again.