At a young age, Katherine Wallace-Fernandez, a native of Miami, Fla., fell in love with words.
“I was obsessed with reading from a really young age,” she said. “I would read, like, nonstop. I was one of those kids that would go at the beginning of the week to the library and exit with a huge stack of books, and go back the next week after having read all the books.” Her love of reading sparked her interest in writing.
A junior at the University of Florida, Katherine, 21, is studying English. Last semester, she was the crime and breaking news reporter at The Independent Florida Alligator, U.F.’s student-run newspaper.
Before that, Katherine attended Miami Dade College, where she worked for The Reporter, the student newspaper. In her two years at the paper, she served as reporter, editor in chief, managing editor and social media director.
Katherine has earned several accolades for her work. She has won multiple awards from the Florida College System Publication Association, as well as reporter of the year for two-year colleges from the Associated Collegiate Press.
Some of her best qualities are ones that also happen to make her a good reporter: She is observant and a really good listener. She said the most important lesson she’s learned in journalism is: “Always be detail oriented, always be double checking.” She added, “People like to focus on the big facts, but you have to get the little facts to inform and put the pieces together.”
After graduation, Katherine plans to continue her education. “I think I want to get my M.F.A. in fiction or nonfiction writing.”