Story on mental health lands honors for student Taylor Epps

By Keith Kobland

July 11, 2017
Photo of Taylor Epps

It’s no secret that Newhouse School graduates land jobs in some of the nations top broadcast markets. Sometimes however, their skills allow them to compete with top broadcasters before they leave Syracuse University. This is the case with junior Taylor Epps. Epps recently placed second in the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) national competition for her story “Mental Health: Why Students of Color Suffer More.” Her work was up against some of the best work from students in top markets around the country.

We recently posed four questions to Epps.

01 How did this all come about?

My success in the PRNDI awards is the product of an amazing professor who helped me perfect my piece and get my story out there. Even after my semester with Professor Randy Wenner ended, we continued to meet and he insisted on entering my final project into competitions, some even without my knowledge. When he sent me the email letting me know I had won the award, I didn’t even know he had entered me. He believed in me and the story I wanted to tell.

02 Where did the award-winning story idea come from?

The piece was actually a last-minute decision for my final project to do something I was truly passionate about. This story went from a final project to something that put me in a room with the most important people in public radio.

03 Can you describe the experience of the award ceremony?

Exciting and daunting. It was an incredible honor. Everyone I met was quite impressed that I was an award recipient at such an early stage in my broadcast career. I truly feel blessed that at 19 years old, I was able to hold my own in a national competition due to the help and support of Newhouse faculty and their belief in a story that needed to be told.

04 What are your plans after Syracuse University?

My future plans are to report and eventually anchor in one of the top 15 television markets. My dream job is to have my own segment or show (either on radio or TV) on which I can tell stories similar to the one I did on black mental health. I’d like to provide a platform in the media where the issues, achievements, traditions and stories of various communities can be told. Whether I’m reporting breaking news live or doing a rewarding investigative piece, I hope to always tell stories.

This article originally appeared on the Syracuse University News website.