"Why not go out on a limb, that's where all the fruit is!" - Mark Twain
Eliza Mackintosh has done some amazing things at UNH, but mostly she has just taken advantage of opportunities that have come her way. Growing up in Hanover, New Hampshire, she spent most of her free time in ice rinks all over New England as a competitive figure skater. The time management, self-motivation, and independence it took to be successful on the ice have translated to success in other areas of her life as well.
At first, UNH was not the place Eliza expected to end up. She enjoyed her Track & Field recruiting visit for long jump and triple jump, but she still wasn’t convinced. In the end, the large amount of academic and social options available at UNH are the reasons she decided to attend.
When Eliza first got to campus as a member of the track team, she knew she was going to major in Journalism. Journalism is a field that would allow her to pursue her love of writing. By the end of her freshman year, she had already started in the Honors program and was writing as a contributor to Main Street magazine (MSM). By the end of her sophomore year, she had added a communication major and was already a Senior Editor for MSM. That summer, she had an opportunity to write for Dartmouth Medicine magazine and though she knew nothing about medicine, she relished the opportunity to write, get published, and learn about entirely new things.
Mounting injuries kept Eliza from staying with the track team, but they became a blessing in disguise. Not being on the team gave her the opportunity to study abroad in London. The fall of her junior year, Eliza lived in London and studied at Regents College, which was “the best thing” she did at UNH. She even contributed to the school newspaper while she was there. After all the pressures of competing in figure skating and track for most of her life, her semester abroad was an “amazing” chance at freedom with very little commitment. She was able to travel to Italy, Paris, and Amsterdam – seeing and experiencing things she never had before. Eliza knew she wanted to go back to London.
That spring, the Journalism department on campus brought a well-traveled alum to campus, Kevin Sullivan, to speak to the department. Journalism majors were given the opportunity to meet with Kevin. Eliza decided to take advantage of the occasion and asked Kevin if he knew of any opportunities to work in London for the summer. Having been the former London Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, Kevin connected Eliza with the current chief, Anthony Faiola, for an interview. When summer arrived, and Eliza’s flight landed in London, she was officially an intern for the Washington Post’s foreign bureau. That same summer, the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal blew up in the news across the world, and Eliza was right there in the thick of it all - fact checking and interviewing media and political analysts. She contributed to numerous Post articles and also wrote a story about the trouble Britons had obtaining Olympic tickets for the London games.
Eliza has had some great faculty mentors at UNH. Tom Haines and Sandy Marsters from the Journalism department have shared their enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge about the field. Jen Borda in the Communications department, also taught some inspiring classes, including the Rhetoric of Contemporary Feminism. Eliza is presenting with a group from the Contemporary Feminism class at the Undergraduate Research Conference. Eliza also credits her parents for being great role models and for constantly supporting her throughout all of her experiences. Eliza says her mother and father have gone after everything they wanted to do, and Eliza hopes to do the same. The two qualities Eliza considers essential to her own success are her confidence and time management skills, both of which she earned through hard work in the ice rinks and on the tracks of New England.
As a senior, Eliza is Editor-in-Chief of MSM and working on her honors thesis about Twitter’s role as the new newswire. She is also job searching for journalism jobs and hopes to eventually start an online magazine, focusing on culture and people – two loves she has developed during her world travels. Looking back, Eliza will remember her time in class and her experience as a peer leader for MSM the most. As Eliza skates into a field with an uncertain future, the experiences she has had and the confidence she has gained will undoubtedly provide her with the ability to navigate her future with success.