Alum’s budding career in journalism began at Notre Dame

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Micaela Colonna, who graduated from Notre Dame Prep in 2012, was bitten by the news media bug early in her young life. In fact, while at NDP, she was a staff member and later editor-in-chief of The Leprechaun, NDP’s main student newspaper. Now well into her fourth year in Michigan State University’s journalism program, Colonna is on her way to a future career either behind of or in front of a camera or microphone—or perhaps both!

“When I arrived at MSU, I immediately joined our university's student radio station, Impact 89FM, using my voice both inside the DJ booth and creating on-air news podcasts,” said Colonna. “The following year, I began working at The State News, MSU’s student-run newspaper, covering stories from the basketball court to the Lansing courthouse.”

It wasn’t long after that when Colonna began assisting with the production of Focal Point, the university’s student-run television show. (She now is senior producer.) She said she has a huge passion for all kinds of news: entertainment, hard news, politics, sports and feel-good stories, and she’s very interested in both reporting and television production. 

Her interest in television production and the work she had done at MSU eventually took Colonna to Burbank, Calif., during her junior year at MSU where she interned at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I really found my passion for television production there,” she said. 

And that passion ultimately led to fulfilling another life-long dream when during this past summer she interned at The TODAY Show in New York City. She’s also spent time in Rome studying as part of her program at MSU.

Needless to say, Colonna, a journalism and political science double major with a minor in Spanish, has experienced much since matriculating at MSU. But she said her time at Notre Dame was the real catalyst for the drive that will no doubt take her much further in her life and career.

“While my experience as a Michigan State Spartan has been absolutely incredible, and I have grown not only as a student, but as an adult and journalist as well, it was NDP that taught me the  basic discipline and determination needed to promptly and successfully complete a task, no matter the size,” she said. “Whether it’s finishing a research paper or interviewing students as President Obama's motorcade rolls by on campus, the stamina, willpower and knowledge necessary to complete these types of tasks have greatly assisted me during my college career.”

She said her inspirational teachers at NDP, the professors at MSU and an overall passion for news and events also definitely have been driving factors in her pursuit of a career in journalism. 

Colonna also gives shout-outs to a few teachers and events from her time at NDP. “My favorite teacher from NDP is Mrs. (Kochenderfer) Preiss,” she said. “I miss our world religions and Christian history classes every day! I was never afraid to voice an opinion and she always kept our conversations lively and interesting.”

Her favorite Notre Dame memories also include the time she spent on the 2012 senior-year production of Grease, choir classes with Dave Fazzini, and, of course, Irish Week. 

“The sense of school unity and spending time with friends at Notre Dame are priceless memories that I will never forget.”

Colonna sums it all up by saying that Notre Dame Prep gave her the foundation of what it means to be a hardworking and dependable person. She also said it's important to give back to her high school alma mater in order for other students to experience many of the same opportunities to grow and learn that she had. 

“For example, through the arts department at NDP, I broke out of my shell and took interest in a career filled with lights, cameras and microphones,” she said. “So by continuing to support the arts department and others at Notre Dame, I hope future students will be able to find what they are passionate about and turn it into their own realities. Like I have!”

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.

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