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Compliment leads to journalism for new intern

Minnesota native and UWRF student Ashley Hall joins the news staff of the River Falls Journal as an intern. <i>Jillian Dexheimer photo</i>

New River Falls Journal summer intern Ashley Hall went through seven majors before she found the right fit.

"I started in graphic design, went to marketing and then finance and accounting, then secondary education and social studies, then a double major in history and poli sci., then just poli sci., then finally journalism," said Hall about her many college majors.

As a sophomore at Bethel University in St. Paul, Hall was at a crossroads.

It was at that time she decided to join her brother Matthew at UWRF. Coming to UWRF as a political science major in fall 2010, Hall had an awakening. During a general requirement English class, the professor praised her writing.

It was then that Hall took a hard look at her future. She realized that journalism was the field to pursue.

"I looked into journalism and loved it,' said Hall. "I had never connected with anything like that before."

Hall, a native of West St. Paul, has been gaining journalism experience at the Student Voice, the UWRF newspaper, for the last two semesters.

"As part of class assignments we do stories for the newspaper and items for the radio station (WRFW-FM)," said Hall.

Experience, and seeing how a newspaper works, are some things that Hall would like to gain from this summer's internship at the Journal.

"I am looking for a more well-rounded knowledge basis of journalism," she said about her intern position.

To increase her marketability to future employees Hall, who graduates in December, is hoping to do a "newsy-type opinion show" on the UWRF radio station this fall.

With experience in print, radio and video, Hall is hoping to use her skills to find a journalism-related job upon graduation.

"My goal in the future is to do whatever I can find in journalism," said Hall. "My dream job would be in TV, as a reporter, anchor or producer -- or to work for a big newspaper like the Times (New York Times) or Washington Post."

More than news

Hall, a 2008 Henry Sibley High School graduate, is the eldest child of Randy, a facilities and maintenance manager at Tapemark Company in West St. Paul, and Penny, a self-employed hair stylist.

She has two brothers: Matthew, a student at UWRF and younger brother Michael, a recent high school graduate who will be attending Inver Hills Community College.

Growing up, Hall participated in sports such as volleyball and dance line. With no time for sports now, Hall enjoys watching basketball and football.

As a self-described "nerd," Hall says her brain is full of random facts and that she's a bookworm -- always reading things.

"I tend to read intellectual things," said Hall, "like 'Autobiography of an Execution' or 'White Like Me.'"

Always seeking more information about the world Hall said, "I also like to watch a YouTube news channel -- I like to be informed, maybe that's why I am an aspiring journalist."

Besides reading and learning about the world around her, Hall is a fan of horror movies. She enjoys the element of fear, though she did note that she is not a fan of roller coasters.

To give herself a break during her day, Hall likes to watch anything that's on TV, including reality shows, which she finds gives her a good laugh.

She also enjoys "Dexter," "Homeland," "Mad Men" and her newest obsession, HBO's "Game of Thrones."

As a history buff, Hall would one day love to own an older home with a ton of stories within its walls.

Hall can be reached at the Journal at 715-426-1079. Her email is

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
(715) 426-1046