Kristen Rinaldi wakes up every morning not to an alarm, but to the sound of numerous ‘pings’ as her email alerts her it is ready for her to start her day. Kristen is the Editor-in-Chief of the big and blossoming online newspaper at the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania called, ‘BUnow,’ and she is an inspiration to all students who are on the mass communications and journalism track. She is the go to girl for the organization she leads so well.
Kristen did not start out at the top however, she worked hard for her position. When she first came to Bloomsburg in September of 2011, her older sister pushed for her to get involved and join BUnow. Her older sister also went to Bloomsburg and was the PR Director of BUnow. At first Kristen was timid about it and pushed it off first semester of her freshman year. It was in the second semester that Kristen had a change of heart. The support from her sister and friends in her major classes finally won her over.
She joined the second semester of her freshman year and hit the ground running. She picked up any story she could. Kristen came to school with a passion for writing about fashion that has not faded even in the slightest to this day, but she ended up writing about all kinds of different topics. She even found herself writing about politics! She said she, “…Never would have thought that [she] would be writing about politics.” Her open-mindedness and commitment to the club was evident so she was awarded with more responsibility.
She became the editor for the U.S. and World section fall semester of her sophomore year. It was in that time that she improved on her editing skills and proved to the club that she was capable of much more. In the spring semester that followed she shadowed CJ Shultz who was Editor-in-Chief of BUnow at the time. CJ was graduating in May of that spring, and someone needed to take over his duties the following fall. Kristen’s commitment and skill made her perfect for the job. Kristen said, “CJ is one of my biggest role models.” She said she admired his professionalism and how much fun he made the organization. She said he, “Made [her] want to be better.” Kristen observed all of CJ’s duties at first, and then slowly began to take over his responsibilities. When CJ graduated, Kristen officially became Editor-in-Chief of BUnow, the highest position of leadership in the club held by a student.
In just three semesters with BUnow, Kristen made it to the very top. She is serving now as Editor-in-Chief and loves every single second of it. Kristen said she, “…Really found [her] place on campus with BUnow.” She said that joining BUnow changed her. It forced her to come out of her shell with her personality and in her writing. BUnow gave her a chance to follow her dreams and helped prove that writing and editing was what she wants to do for her career and how she wants to make a difference in the world.
There was one particular experience that proved to Kristen she wanted to make a difference in the world with her skill and expertise in journalism. One day a friend of Kristen’s informed her of a girl named Kelcey from home who was sick with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Kelcey’s dream was to meet Harry Styles from One Direction. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted her wish but she was too sick to go through with it. Since she could not meet him in person, there was a new movement formed to try to get Harry Styles to tweet Kelcey. Kristen, being the nice person she is, immediately offered to help the cause. She offered to write an article. Kristen wrote a news article covering the latest Twitter trend to spread the word and help Kelcey receive a tweet from Harry Styles. Harry Styles ended up tweeting Kelcey and even skyping with her. Kristen said it proved to her that she can truly make a difference in the world doing something she loves to do.
Kristen’s days are BUnow filled from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed. Kristen said, “I wake up sending emails and I go to bed sending emails.” Kristen makes herself as available as possible to her fellow members of BUnow and all opportunities for BUnow to grow. When an editor doesn’t have time to edit an article, they turn to Kristen who takes the pressure away and edits the article. She is always reading and editing articles along with overseeing everything that goes on in BUnow. She runs a weekly meeting for all the members to discuss upcoming events to be covered, new stories to be written, and much more. There is also an occasional executive meeting for all the leaders of the club, and a weekly meeting with the Bloomsburg professors and staff that oversee BUnow. Outside of meetings, Kristen is always in touch with all the members of BUnow through email and a Facebook group where new and breaking stories are posted and picked over.
Along with being available to her fellow members of BUnow, the organization is always looking for new opportunities to expand and get involved with other organizations. Recently, they have teamed up with the Program Board at Bloomsburg University that plans a lot of the events that happen on campus such as concerts, etc. She plans on covering and promoting the events as much as possible through BUnow. They have also recently teamed up with Red Card Cancer to help promote and raise awareness for their organization, and the Communications Association on campus to help promote their events. Kristen strives to make BUnow known on campus as much as possible.
Kristen has achieved so much in her three, going on four, semesters with BUnow and at Bloomsburg University. She has grown as a person and in her skills of journalism, and along the way has become an amazing leader and role model for everyone. Kristen strives to help everyone in the club grow and get as much out of BUnow as she does every single day. She is setting up her future so she can do what she loves to do for a living and helps all her BUnow members do the same. Over the summer, Kristen started as an intern at Popstar Magazine where she still interns today. She is one more step towards living her dream which she said would be, “…Working in New York City with a Women’s or Fashion magazine.”