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Alumna Spotlight: Shelby Hisel

Photo Courtesy of Shelby Hisel

Shelby Hisel learned how to work hard and find herself on the campus of Drake University.

Hisel is originally from Waukon, Iowa, where she graduated from Waukon High School. During her junior year of high school, Hisel began taking journalism classes and writing for a local newspaper where she fell in love with writing and journalism. 

“When I went on a college visit to Drake, I met Professor David Wright,” Hisel said.

“After talking with and listening to him, he made you want to go to Drake and he is one of the many reasons I fell in love with the university, and ultimately decided to attend.”

Hisel joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a general journalism student as a first year. After taking J57 with Professor Todd Evans, Hisel decided on a Broadcast News major in the dual degree program where she received a second degree in Sociology. 

Hisel stayed involved on campus by participating in Drake Broadcasting System, the Times-Delphic, the Drake Relays Committee and traveled abroad to London for a J-Term.

One of Hisel’s favorite memories of her time at Drake was running the cameras at the Drake Relays.

“Every year at the Relays the weather was different,” Hisel said. “My first year it snowed, my second it was rainy and cold, and my final year it was so hot I got sunburnt running a camera on the roof of the press box, and almost blew away from the wind.”

While at Drake, Hisel learned to be confident in herself after struggling through her first year, like most students looking to find their place. 

“My journalism professors helped me tremendously,” Hisel said. “They helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life, and who I wanted to be. They were there to encourage me and push me, they were incredible mentors.”

Hisel graduated in 2014, a semester early. She offered advice to future and current Drake students about being involved. 

“Don’t be afraid to get involved. I came from a small town, with few opportunities,” Hisel said. “Every opportunity my professors told me about, I said yes! I enjoyed all of it, and each one taught me something new. All of them helped me grow and learn.”

Hisel also encouraged students to get as many internships as possible during their time at Drake. 

“Try to get one each and every summer, or even during the school year,” Hisel said. “Those internships will help you land a job you actually want. They help you gain experience in the field you want to be in.”

After Hisel’s second year at Drake she began her first internship at Cumulus Media Des Moines after reaching out to the program director of 97.3 KHKI. At the end of Hisel’s junior year she was one of the nine video interns for the Iowa Cubs Triple-A Baseball Team, an opportunity she heard about through Professor Wright. During her junior year at Drake she worked part-time as a morning news producer at KCCI in Des Moines while also interning with the Iowa Cubs. 

Hisel began full time at KCCI in January of 2015, where she stayed until October 2019. While there, she worked on the morning show, the noon show/special projects and the 5 p.m. show. 

In November 2019 Hisel accepted a job for the City of Norwalk as their first Communications Coordinator.

“I loved my time in television, but it was time for a change,” Hisel said. “I wanted a new type of challenge and starting when I did, was definitely a challenge. Just five months into my new career, the pandemic hit. The past year has not been easy, but I love what I do and the people I work with.”


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