Arizona State University freshman Gabriella Herran is enamored with music and the people who create it.
The 18-year-old has a particular affinity for boy bands, pop music, R&B and a touch of hip-hop. She’s also attended hundreds of concerts and her ultimate goal is to someday write for Rolling Stone, a top-tier national publication.
Herran believes the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will help her achieve her goal.
“Some of the best journalism comes from music publications like Rolling Stone or The Fader because it’s not just about music but so many other things,” said Herran, who graduated with honors from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School in May. “I’ve seen great pieces on race, culture, politics because at some point, it all blends together.”
Herran said she believes she’ll have no problem blending in at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus because she’s familiar with the city’s core. In 2018, she attended the Cronkite School’s Summer Journalism Institute, which brings top-performing high school students to ASU for two weeks of intensive, hands-on experiences in broadcast and digital journalism. That experience led to her decision to attend ASU.
ASU Now spoke to Herran on the eve of her college career to ask more about her hopes and dreams.
Question: Why did you choose ASU?
Answer: I chose Arizona State University because it had the same goals as me; ASU not only wants its students to thrive but the school enables students to go farther with the resources it gives us. I realized that the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU was the perfect fit for me after attending a summer journalism program there. I not only fell in love with the helpfulness of all the staff and the amount of dedication they put into making sure you have access to the materials/resources you need, but I saw how many opportunities the school had to offer aspiring journalists like myself which made it that much more appealing.
Q: What drew you to your major?
A: At a young age, I loved to ask people questions about topics I deemed important and write down their take on it. I always thought it was interesting to listen to different opinions and sides and gain insight from it. Now that I am older, I decided to major in journalism because of my love of writing and asking questions.
Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?
A: I am most excited to experience the life of downtown Phoenix! I love attending concerts, going to Diamondbacks games and hanging out with my friends. Downtown Phoenix is the best place to be for all of those things.
Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?
A: I like to brag about how easy it is to make friends at Taylor Place. I was there for two weeks for a summer program in 2018 and not only did I meet my (now) roommate but I made long-term friends who I still communicate with daily.
Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?
A: I’m a very fast typist and learner so hopefully that will help with writing journalistic-style articles and stories.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?
A: I hope to gain more experience on how to write journalistic articles and interview artists about music and entertainment as those are both branches of journalism I’d like to go into. My utmost goal is to get an internship or job with The Fader, Wonderland or Rolling Stone magazine.
Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?
A: One interesting fact about myself that only my friends know is that I like to go to concerts a lot. I find it cool that although I might not know anyone in the arena/room, we all have one thing in common that is connecting us all at that moment — and that’s our love for the artist we came to see.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?
A: If someone gave me $40 million I’d use it to hire enough boats to clean up all the plastic/trash out of the ocean to weaken and hopefully put an end to climate change. Then if we still have an Earth to live on, I’d use the rest, if there is any, to tackle other problems in the world such as racism, gun violence and homophobia.
Q: Predictions on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game?
A: I don’t watch football, but I’m sure ASU will do their thing and fork 'em!
Top photo: ASU student Gabriella Herran poses inside of a barn outside of a cotton field in north Tucson, where she attended high school. Herran is a freshman and will study journalism at the Walter School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Photo courtesy of Veronica Arenas