Kaelia Neal doesn’t like the beach.
“The ocean makes me really nervous,” said the 21-year-old Linfield College junior. Stories of an uncle who survived getting caught in a sneaker wave when he was a child cemented very firmly in her mind that you absolutely do not turn your back on the ocean.
But this fear is why she is here.
Neal is The Daily Astorian’s summer Snowden intern, joining the newsroom to cover summer events, news and the Clastop County community. The Snowden Internship Program is run by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.
Neal is not someone to back down from a challenge and one of the reasons she asked to be placed at The Daily Astorian was to get over her fear of the ocean.
“I think living here will help me,” she said.
Neal, who grew up in Salem, competes in cross-country and track and field at Linfield in McMinnville. She is pursuing a major in mass communication and is editor-in-chief of the college’s newspaper, The Linfield Review.
“It’s a really independent job,” she said about reporting. “I like feeling responsible for myself.”
As editor-in-chief and, previously, sports editor at The Linfield Review, Neal has tackled diverse topics from stories about women’s basketball to the appearance of a hate symbol on campus.
“Kaelia is enthusiastic, talented and dedicated to reporting news on the North Coast and learning from the journalists at The Daily Astorian,” Managing Editor Laura Sellers said. “We look forward to reading her work and expanding our coverage.”