Lindsay Augustyn proves that editing goes beyond the newsroom
By Mady Traun
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lindsay Augustyn is proof that a journalism degree can get you anywhere.
As outreach and communications coordinator for the Center for Science, Math and Computer Education (CSMCE) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Augustyn has no such thing as a typical day.
From reaching out to alumni to editing newsletters, she does it all. You could definitely say that communication on all sorts of platforms is her thing.
After hearing about the job from her mother, who also works for the UNL, Augustyn was hired at the center in 2009. Only two years later, her current title as outreach and communications coordinator was created for her.
Before joining the center, Augustyn worked as a copy editor at the Lincoln Journal Star and in event planning for Embassy Suites.
Augustyn has found a healthy balance between a copy editor’s lifestyle and a 9 to 5 profession. Working in higher education has made life with a family easier. With the university’s hours, she is able to spend more time with her children while still holding an editing job. Many newspaper editors work nights and weekends.
Augustyn’s job title may lead people to think she’s an expert at math and science. But most of her day-to-day tasks revolve around communicating with professors and students. She also works on event planning for such things as Math Day.
“I’m not actually doing math,” Augustyn said. “I’m making sure that everything is correct as far as the message goes.”
Although she is immersed in math and science, Augustyn keeps herself involved in journalism. She interviews professors and alumni for magazine-like annual reports and e-mail newsletters. She proofreads all of the center’s communications materials. And she is active in the American Copy Editors Society, a national organization of editors.
Augustyn has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in marketing, communication studies and advertising, both from UNL.
In college, Augustyn applied for two internships at once: one editing internship through the Dow Jones News Fund and the other through the Association for Women in Sports Media. She won both internships and ended up taking a semester off in the fall so she could have both experiences. Back then, she would not have imagined herself in the math and science world.
Her work at the center is evidence that being an editor is important in careers outside of a newsroom.
“Don’t be afraid to take a job at a place that is not grounded in journalism or writing because they will need someone who knows these skills,” Augustyn said. “If you can write you are an asset.”
Augustyn stressed the importance of editing.
“Everybody needs a copy editor,” she said. “Everybody needs someone who can write. Every business, it doesn’t matter where.”
Students who are pursuing editing can look to Augustyn as a role model. Entering the job market can be intimidating, but she makes it clear that editing opportunities exist outside of newsrooms.
Augustyn’s advice to journalism students: “I have found that being able to write, spell and edit yourself is more important than I can even describe.”