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The Cultural Storyteller

News Story

Communication studies major Isiuwa Igodan ’19 is as passionate about reporting as she is about advocating for those in need. She experienced homelessness in high school, and now she’s using her platform to give back.

Isiuwa Igodan ’19 is no stranger to the spotlight. As a communication studies major with a focus on journalism, she’s booked speaking engagements, interned for major newsrooms, and even runs her own lifestyle brand. Where she started, however, is just as important as where she is now.

“From homeless to college: that’s my story,” Igodan said. At the age of 17, she was without housing, and her high school immediately stepped in to help. They raised money for gas, groceries, and other monthly expenses just to ensure she could continue attending, and they even covered her college application fees. “I’m living proof that no matter what your circumstances are, you can make it happen.”

When Igodan started looking into colleges, Pace immediately stood out for its tight-knit community. “I liked that even though [we’re] located in the heart of Manhattan, we still have activities, we still have clubs,” Igodan explained. “Pace really does a good job making its students feel included [...] like we’re a campus community.”

Igodan knew she wanted to pursue reporting of some kind, but she wasn’t sure about the specifics. So she emailed 40 people in the industry including magazines, TV, and radio. Her message was straightforward: “‘Hi, my name’s Isiuwa. I’m a senior in high school and I’m about to go to college. I just have a couple questions.’” She asked what they majored in and what their career trajectory was like, and out of those 40 people, two responded—one of whom worked at ABC2 News. 

Thanks to her ingenuity, Igodan landed a six-month internship with ABC2 News where she got to report, write, produce, and even appear on TV. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have known what career path I wanted to take,” she explained. That experience helped solidify her decision to pursue Communication Studies, and ultimately set her on the path to success in her time at Pace. She’s taken advantage of several leadership opportunities by working as a student assistant for SDACA, and becoming an Orientation Leader and Spirit Ambassador.

That doesn’t mean her career development only happened outside the classroom, though.

Igodan signed up for Writing for Electronic Media, which she says was particularly inspiring. “I got to learn other parts of broadcasting that I never knew about—video position, camera position, lighting, sound.” They even got to storyboard a commercial, a truly hands-on experience led by Lecturer Anuradha Herath. “I really enjoyed that class because it [taught] things I wanted to learn how to do,” Igodan said.

In past semesters, she’s commuted two hours up to the PLV Campus every week just to attend journalism classes, a hike she said didn’t bother her simply because “I was learning [...] more about my craft,” which helped a great deal when launching her own website.

Oh, yeah. Igodan runs her own lifestyle blog where she discusses everything from how to land an internship, how to conquer your fears, and even about her speaking engagements, of which she’s booked many. She also has a YouTube channel, citing her short documentary Are You Happy? as one of her favorite projects. “For me, content creation is about the people. How [can] it inspire?” While Igodan isn’t a YouTube star (yet), she said it was her passion that keeps her motivated to continue making videos.

“It’s so important that whatever I do and whoever I bring into a project that [everyone] is seen and heard,” she continued. “Everyone has a story, and I feel like it’s my job to tell [that] story.” To that end, Igodan has since launched the Fluharty Book Scholarship, raising $800 for a high school student from her alma mater in order to pay for college books and dorm supplies. The name is in honor of her teacher, Mr. Fluharty, who was extremely supportive during Igodan’s transition into college. “When you take a step forward, it’s very important to reach a hand backward.”

Igodan is currently interning at BET Networks (a subsidiary of Viacom) as a programming and scheduling intern this semester. We wish her all the best, and can’t wait to see her reporting on TV in the near future.

What's your Pace Path? Do you or someone you know have an interesting Pace story? We want to hear from you. Send us an email!