Student Spotlight: Shifting to the Sky

Madison A. Miller

“Uncommonly Honest” is the headline of an article but it is also how someone might describe first-year Indiana University Southeast student Chelsey Elswick. Get her into a conversation, and that phrase describes how Elswick sees the world—and herself.

She began contributing to the student-run The Horizon news site as a freelance writer last fall. She was given the opportunity to join as a staff writer after the faculty adviser noticed her contributions and writing for other classes on the IU Southeast campus. Elswick’s main goal, and, by extension, her journalism studies, is the opportunity to travel and witness new things. Meantime, she holds two part-time jobs at age 19 to afford college, typical of countless IUS students. She is a hair salon receptionist and a barista.

She indulges in her hobbies outside of work and school, typically through cosmetology and experimenting with different styles of makeup. When it comes to writing, she also enjoys crafting her own song lyrics and setting it to a rhythm and melody. She comes up with stories alongside composing lyrics, but declined to say what genres she prefers.

When it comes to makeup and beauty, she chose to enhance her skills by attending Prosser. While at New Albany High School, she opted to study cosmetology to earn her cosmetology license. Driven and hardworking, she credits her interest in the field–and several friends–as to why she chose to study the subject. However, as plans change for many students during college, she does not intend to pursue cosmetology as a full-fledged career.

Alongside journalism, Elswick is also drawn to meteorology. She hopes to travel across the entire United States to observe the different weather patterns. Elswick finds it fascinating how the nation’s weather is so drastically varied, even between states that are right next door to each other. Aside from weather patterns, she wants to visit Colorado to watch hockey and learn how to snowboard. She also hopes to visit Washington state, specifically the town of Forks. Outside of its popularity from the Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer, Forks is also known as the rainiest town in the continental United States, something Elswick loves.

Her immediate goal is to save enough money to travel to the United Kingdom. Such a trip would combine two things she loves. She could write about traveling to a foreign country and along with comparing the differences between the UK’s culture and customs and those in the United States. She could also write about the UK’s weather pattern and its variations from what she is used to.

As wide-ranging as Elswick’s interests are, it boils down to a curiosity about the world and her love for writing that motivate her in her IUS studies.

Note:  This story resulted from a feature profile assignment in Journalism J-200 “Reporting, Writing, & Editing I,” a course redesigned by and taught by Lydia Lum.