For Maya Sargent, public media is more than a career path; it’s a calling. The U.K. native traveled a lot with her family while she was younger, living in places such as Dubai and Spain, which sparked her curiosity and sense of storytelling even at a young age.

“I’ve always been intrigued to find out more about communities,” she said. She’s also always wanted to work in New York City. So she applied to Fordham’s public media master’s program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

“New York City has always been the goal for me,” she said. “I think the fact that New York has such a rich diversity to it definitely helps when you’re in public media.”

Journalism and Strategic Communication

The one-year master’s program offers two tracks for students: a multi-platform journalism track, which Sargent is on, that focuses on reporting using audio, video, web content, and more; and a strategic communication track that focuses on areas such as social media marketing, public relations, and fundraising for nonprofits. The program’s evening schedule allows for daytime employment as well as fellowships and internships, which advisers help students to secure.

After getting accepted to the program, she applied for and received a fellowship with WFUV, a NPR-affiliate public media station on the Rose Hill campus, where she works as a reporter, host, and news editor. She hosts the station’s weekly news podcast and hosts the daily news podcast What’s What one day each week.

As a part of her fellowship with WFUV, Maya Sargent works with other students on the What’s What daily news podcast.

WFUV Podcast Earns Gracie Award

For the daily podcast, she did a piece in the fall on maternal health care in New York City, for which she interviewed Mayor Eric Adams, city council members, and a doula service that the city partnered with.

“Coming from the U.K., and being able to see what maternal health care is [like]here, obviously in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned as well, it felt like a very important time to be talking about that,” she said.

Sargent also created and launched a new podcast for the station called Urban Tales, which explores the impact of operating a business in New York City and how it influences the personal and professional lives of young entrepreneurs. Urban Tales also led to national recognition as she received a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media for her work on the podcast.

“I’ve been collaborating with so many different founders of businesses across New York City, specifically people who moved from outside the city to New York,” she said. “I feel like New York’s always where you go to achieve your professional dreams, so I was hearing about those experiences and their successes, but also about the trials and tribulations of being a founder and how young people are navigating that space.”

Learning Reporting Skills in the ‘Epicenter of Cultural Engagement’

Working at WFUV has also allowed her to put the skills she’s learning in class into practice, particularly lessons from her cross-platform journalism class. The course teaches students how to report and create content for traditional outlets, like broadcast television, as well as social media. And she said the reverse is also true–her work at WFUV is informing her studies.

“I think the best thing about WFUV is I’ve gotten so much support, but I also was thrown into audio and production—it’s so hands-on,” she said. “You really do learn how to find your own way and navigate through it. Being able to take the skills that I’ve learned here in a working environment and apply them to my studies has just enhanced my education massively.”

Sargent said getting to tell the stories of people from different backgrounds that have come together in New York City is one of her favorite parts of the master’s program.

“New York kind of feels like the epicenter of cultural engagement,” she said. “And I think that really injects a lot of life into the media that we produce.”