Kathryn A. Hackman



My greatest lesson learned over the past semester is not to be fearful of the unfamiliar. I had never been prompted to wander so far outside of my comfort zone when it came to building personal connections within the community. However, in my time writing for Voices of Utah, I found truth in taking perceived risks to promote personal growth.

Professional Headshot

When I learned of our beat, the west side of Salt Lake City, I was unsure of what to expect! I had no established roots in any of our assigned neighborhoods. Therefore, I had difficulty envisioning my place, telling the story of those living on the west side. Would I be able to genuinely connect with strangers in this journalistic setting?

As the semester comes to an end, I am happy to report that my original uncertainty could not have been further from my actual experience.

What roots I lacked on the west side prior to taking this class, have now grown. I found that journalism allowed me to build connections with strangers through observation and great conversation. I learned that my place as a journalist was not to rewrite someone’s story. Rather, listen and learn. And only once I’d developed an understanding of the narrative they wanted to share, did I go on to use the platform I’d been given to help let their voices be heard.

I realized the importance of building a community with those who travel outside of my circle. Because through these efforts to gain an understanding of others, I gained a better understanding of myself.

I found a new way to further my own confidence when in new and unfamiliar professional settings. I learned how to add boldness to my life. I discovered that one can be bold while still managing to be polite and professional. While I learned about it through my time in journalism, I look forward to adding this newfound boldness to other aspects of my life.


I am a strategic communication major heading into my senior year at the University of Utah. Whether on the stage or through a painted canvas, storytelling has always been a part of my life. The opportunity to write for Voices of Utah and expand my storytelling ability has been an exciting one.

After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career in public affairs. However, I do have a love for all things Disney. And if I never want to work a day in my life, perhaps that’s a career path worth exploring!

Looking to the future, I see a lot of possibilities. But no matter what happens, I know that my time spent writing for Voices of Utah helped me grow as a writer and as an individual.

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