Nothing better prepared future Texas Rangers communications coordinator Kate Munson for life in the Lone Star State than where she spent her first three years at Illinois: “the non-air conditioned Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall.”
But as a student reporter at The Daily Illini, she logged almost as many hours at campus fields and courts, covering volleyball, softball and men’s basketball.
“I learned a lot on the volleyball beat — about dealing with coaches and players, writing on deadline, and putting in a little bit of extra effort to get a much better story,” Munson says. “For that reason, Huff Hall has a special place in my heart. It was kind of like my education coming full circle when I walked across the stage there — on the gym court where I’d watched countless matches — in 2011 to receive my diploma from Professor Steve Helle. Helle’s law class was probably the most challenging class of my educational career. But I’ve never been more proud of a B.
“And I can’t forget Assembly Hall. I decided to attend Illinois in the spring of 2005 as I cheered on the men’s basketball team. It was such a thrill to be chosen for that beat in my junior year and have the privilege of covering the team for two years. I vividly remember furiously transcribing postgame audio in the media interview room downstairs after games, hoping like crazy that I could file an adequate story on deadline.
“Even though I’m on the public relations side of those postgame press conferences these days, I still sympathize with the reporters who are scrambling to change stories that have changed in the last at-bat and assembling the quotes from a manager who is late in coming in or a player who’s uncomfortable with the spotlight."