Colonel Community Provides Support for Student Parent to Achieve Career Goals

Published on June 08, 2023

By Lexie McClendon

Times-Tribune Reporter, Christen Gibson, ’22, attributes her success to the Colonel community and the resources made available to her as she balanced life as a full-time student, an Eastern Progress employee and a mother of two children. 

Prior to coming to EKU, Gibson attended community college on and off for eight years. When she decided to pursue journalism, she made the decision to enroll at EKU. As a broadcast and electronic media major with a concentration in multimedia journalism, Gibson learned a variety of skills that she now uses in her current job. Her multiple roles at the Eastern Progress also pushed her along in her academic and professional career. 

Gibson initially took the social media management position at the Eastern Progress, then switched to the assistant news editor and ultimately, the managing editor. The variety of experiences helped Gibson gain confidence in the skills and knowledge needed for her future career. 

While juggling a busy schedule of school, work and parenting, Gibson said the EKU Counseling Center and EKU Center for Student Parents were instrumental in getting her through to graduation. 

The EKU Counseling Center offers several services—free of charge—to all EKU students, including individual counseling, group therapy, Feel Better Fast workshops, suicide prevention programs and more. The EKU Center for Student Parents provides support with services like child care assistance, workshops and employment opportunities. 

“As a student parent, it’s sometimes hard to find connections in that part of your life. If I didn’t have those resources, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Gibson. 

Gibson currently lives in Somerset, Kentucky, but commutes to Corbin for her position at the Times-Tribune, a newspaper covering Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties. Gibson sees her job as an opportunity to educate and serve the local communities in EKU’s service region. 

“I’m very passionate about my writing and uncovering stories that would not get told,” said Gibson. 

As a reporter, Gibson balances numerous responsibilities and fulfills multiple roles. Her past experience at EKU in social media management, camera production, video production and journalism fostered the skills for success in her current job. On her busiest days at the Tribune, Gibson produces content for the newspaper with up to six different stories or visual projects, traveling from one place to another to cover stories. Gibson said the resources she received from the EKU Counseling Center and Center for Student Parents helped prepare her to manage a busy lifestyle. She hopes the support that was given to her will help other student parents know that they can be successful, too. 

“Tell parents they can do it. It might be the most difficult thing you go through, but it opens doors not just for yourself, but for your family,” said Gibson. 

In the future, Gibson plans to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in journalism so she can become a professor. She sees the value in teaching the next generations the importance of communication and wants to be part of a new era of journalism. 

Learn more about EKU’s Broadcasting and Electronic Media degree options, Counseling Center or Center for Student Parents