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by Alyssa McMurtry, Staff Writer

Nice To Meet You! But No, I Am Not A Spartan

Posted: November 3, 2021 2:57 PM

Graduating from the University of Michigan in May of this year, I am thrilled my first job is at place as established as Gongwer News Service, however since starting two weeks ago I am struggling with the Lansing region's fondness for Michigan State University sports.

Growing up with a father who was a former U-M football and baseball player, I can confidently say that my love for the Michigan football will never die, even if we lose to the Spartans every year for the rest of my life. Besides, every Wolverine knows our greatest rival will always be the Buckeyes.

My mother has worked for the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, the Attorney General's office and the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules. I do not know what she does now; I must confess I typically find out her full job title after she's left that position.

Bonjour! My name is Alyssa McMurtry, and I was born and raised in the metro Detroit area. I started going to U-M in the Fall of 2017, studying English and Political Science. I also took one class on Adobe Photoshop. If you every need someone to make a subpar logo, I'm your girl.

I interned for Gongwer from July 2020 to August 2021 during the chaos of the pandemic. Working completely remote, I never had a chance to meet my fellow staffers yet was able to see the insides of their houses from time to time during staff meetings. I feel much better seeing them in person than seeing their wall d├ęcor over Zoom (which is lovely I might add).

If you haven't seen the announcement, I will be covering the state agencies and departments. I have already contacted quite a few of you repeatedly these past three weeks. Though we have not known each other long, I greatly appreciate how welcoming you all have been.

I didn't always want to be a journalist. My senior year of high school, we watched "All the President's Men" in my AP Government class. When Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford are scouring through cards at the Library of Congress, I realized I wanted to become a journalist. Luckily, I have never actually had to do that, and I sympathize for reporters that did.

Before coming to Gongwer, I worked as a government beat and business beat reporter for the Michigan Daily. I covered Governor Gretchen Whitmer's first State of the State address. I am embarrassed to admit I was nowhere near prepared for it. It was dizzying trying to remember faces to names of senators and representatives.

I remember speaking with MDOT Director Paul Ajegba and my editor loved that I interviewed him. If you ever see this Mr. Ajegba, thank you. You saved my butt that night.

With the end of my college career comes the beginning of my professional career. I am excited for this new chapter and the inevitable challenges I will face. I am open to any news tip or story ideas you might have. I can't promise that I will cover everything (for example, I can't do a long form piece on why your dog is better than your neighbor's dog), but I will do my best to write what I can.

You can find me on Twitter @alyssa_gongwer or send an email to Also, feel free to send me any restaurant suggestions. I am always in the mood for a good lunch.

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