FEATURED ALUMNI: NICK BALLASY (IPJ 07)
At age 23, Nicholas Ballasy is quickly becoming a seasoned journalist in Washington.
Since June 2008, Ballasy has worked for CNSNews.com, and has the unique opportunity of interviewing national political figures and celebrities. This impressive list includes people such as General David Petraeus, Gov. Mitt Romney, President Bill Clinton, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, George Lucas and Kelsey Grammer to name a few.
However, this exciting career may not have taken off as quickly as it did without the help of TFAS, IPJ and CNN.
"The Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ) heavily impacted my life and career because it gave me a chance to familiarize myself with Washington, making it much easier to transition from college to a full-time job in the city," said Ballasy who attended the institute in 2007.
IPJ also helped to familiarize Ballasy with journalism and the news industry through his classes while CNN helped him learn hands on during his internship within the White House Unit of the cable news channel.
It was here that he had the opportunity to work closely with White House correspondents Ed Henry, Suzanne Malveaux and their producers.
In fact, one of the CNN correspondents even asked one of Ballasy's interview questions directly to the White House press secretary during a briefing, which Ballasy counts as one of his most memorable internship experiences.
"Working with CNN prepared me for my career because I learned how to put together a professional broadcast news piece from start to finish by working side-by-side with reporters and producers," said Ballasy.
During his summer with CNN and TFAS, Ballasy was also awarded the Frank Shakespeare Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award by IPJ. The award, named after the former president of CBS, is awarded to a student who has excelled both academically and in their performance at their internship.
He joined CNS in June 2008, a month after he completed his undergraduate degree at Rider University in New Jersey.
Although new to the professional journalism scene in D.C., one of the biggest stories he broke in 2009 was regarding Rep. Patrick Kennedyís statements about the Catholic Church.
Quotes from Ballasy's interview with Kennedy were re-reported by the Associated Press and the New York Times which eventually led to a public dispute between Kennedy and Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas Joseph Tobin.
Ballasy is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Rider University where he double majored in Communications and Political Science. Throughout his college career, he also interned in the news department at WABC-TV, Channel 7 in New York City and with the weekend edition of ABC World News Tonight. He hosted a public affairs talk show on campus and public access television called ìOn the Issuesî which was awarded Best Public Affairs Show by the National Broadcasting Society in 2007. On the show, he interviewed the likes of Congressman Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Senator John McCain, Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) and Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry
His work has been featured by CNN, NBC Nightly News, The OíReilly Factor, The New York Times, Associated Press and Washington Post among others.