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April, 2014

Determined to succeed

Nationally known journalist shares experiences, provides inspiration

By Gena Checki

Michele McPhee

McPhee shared stories of her career during presentations on the Racine and Elkhorn campuses in March. McPhee has covered several significant stories, including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombings.

To say Michele McPhee is a woman of some impressive accomplishments would be an understatement. McPhee worked her way up from scooping ice cream at Friendly’s in Boston to being the first female police bureau chief at the New York Daily News.

McPhee also has worked as a columnist for the Boston Herald. Currently, she is the author of five books, works as a freelance producer for ABC National News and has her own business. Her fearlessness, determination and achievements are why McPhee was chosen to share her experiences with students during Women’s History Month in March.

McPhee is “an inspiration to people because of her tenacity as a reporter, author and businesswoman,” said Lindsey Mizak, Gateway student life specialist. Although McPhee works in a field dominated by men, she is known for not letting anything stop her when pursuing facts for a story.

 McPhee has covered such high-profile stories as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Craigslist killer and the Boston bombings. She said her career also has had some frightening moments, such as when she was threatened at gunpoint by the Boston mob. Even death threats refuse to stop her.

“My work is my life,” McPhee said. “It usurps any fear and I will not be intimidated.” 

Rickey Jackson, an Information Technology student, attended McPhee’s presentation because it was a requirement for class, but came away impressed by her message.

“She gave personal accounts and how when there’s tragedy, people come together,” Jackson said.

If there is one message McPhee is looking to emphasize to women, it is that “women cannot be shut out of any work, even if it is in what people consider a man’s world. I hope that no matter what economic background a woman or girl comes from, she realizes she creates her own value.”

Life is Big. Be Prepared.