Madeline (Alvarez) Schnieders ‘22 is helping Wichita rise and shine as producer for the KWCH 12 morning show.
Writing and telling stories was something she did while working on the student-run newspaper, The Vantage. Soon after starting that role, Schnieders decided to pursue a career in journalism.
Schnieders said, “I switched to being an English major with a journalism minor after my first year because I realized that writing was my biggest passion and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else as a career.”
One of Schnieders’ fellow students and editor on The Vantage, Tejay Cleland, had recently started a reporting job at KWCH 12. He recognized Schnieders’ skills and recommended her for the producer position to his boss.
“I fell in love with the newsroom when I interviewed there and toured KWCH. It felt like a movie, and something in me said, ‘I belong here.’”
Schnieders started her training March 1, 2022, and then began working full time after graduating from Newman in May. Her job consists of writing scripts and stories and ensuring the show runs smoothly and on time.
“I’m currently in charge of putting together the 4:30-5:30 a.m. newscasts,” said Schnieders. “I listen to the police scanners and follow up on any stories such as vehicle crashes or house fires that I hear over the scanner and write those stories. I also keep track of national stories and put any new stories or updates in, and do the same with local stories.”
Schnieders enjoys the learning process involved in her producing role. She said she has gained numerous skills while continuing to learn and develop new ones.
“My favorite part of my job is watching the anchors tell a story on air that I’ve put together, and seeing them react to it in a ‘that’s-so-cool-or-cute’ kind of way, because I know if they like the story, the viewers at home will, too.”
As for short- and long-term goals, Schnieders said she hopes to travel in the near future with her husband, Cole — a Newman alumnus. The two met in English class and both wrote for the student newspaper. They married in St. John’s Chapel on the Newman campus in December 2021.
“And my long-term goal is to publish a book of poetry I wrote for an English project at Newman, and to hopefully publish other poems or stories I’ve written.”
Now that Schnieders is navigating life after college, she said looking back at her Newman experience prompts great memories. She added that being intentional about making time for friends is something she will be working on now that the stress of juggling studies, several part-time jobs and relationships has ended.
“Now that we’ve graduated, my friends and I have to make plans to get together, and that’s important. If you don’t, it’s easy to feel isolated. I don’t want to let all of the wonderful friendships I’ve made during my college years fade away.”
Schnieders left Newman with many important life lessons in tow. But the most influential impact was the passion and inspiration her professors exhibited.
“My biggest takeaway from Newman is to follow your passions. All of my professors were passionate about what they taught, and it inspired me to find a career I was also passionate about.”
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Study fiction and non-fiction, composition, creative writing, and the English language itself — for any career and as valuable in and of themselves.