Because it’s the easiest way to keep track of my ideas —- I’m a creative type always searching for practical solutions to everyday problems. I just can’t limit my ideas to a narrow niche, so this tumblog might seem incredibly random. Perhaps it will find its focus in time, but for now it will serve as a useful journal of creativity.
Who is Stephanie Ogilvie Seagle?
I’m the engagement / social media editor at The Roanoke Times/roanoke.com. I live with my husband, Forrest, three chihuahuas named after cocktails (Margarita, Martini and Manhattan) and the two cats they won’t stop teasing (Stinky and Chickenhawk) in my dream fairytale cottage in Salem, Va.
I’m a born Texan who grew up in Southwest Roanoke County. I couldn’t wait to get far, far away from Roanoke as a teenager, so I chose to attend the incredibly diverse George Mason University near Washington, D.C.
At GMU, I studied integrative studies (focusing on English, film and communication) as part of the first freshman class of New Century College, which was the best possible degree program for creative students. (Please ask me about it if you know a teen in the market for in-state schools!). I also raised some hell while editing the student newspaper, Broadside, and interned on Capitol Hill (… during the Lewinsky scandal … fun times).
Shortly after graduating, I returned to the Roanoke Valley for grad school at Hollins University and started work at The Roanoke Times as a part-time calendar clerk.
In the past 12 years in Roanoke, I (finally) finished my graduate degree in the social sciences (my thesis was about fostering creativity) and launched Inside Out, the paper’s weekly entertainment tabloid. See samples of my work here.
Since June 2009, I’ve served as the Dayside Delivery Editor (which has morphed into Engagement / Social Media Editor) for roanoke.com. I’m still developing the meaning of this role, but essentially I figure out what the public needs to know NOW and how to deliver that useful information, whether it be through the newspaper’s website, Facebook or Twitter. I like to think of my job as digital cruise ship director — helping Southwest Virginia navigate the vast sea of information.
In April 2011, I was surprised with the newsroom’s highest honor — the Rugaber Prize, which recognizes curiosity and an enterprising drive. I’m still speechless.
When I’m not chained to my computer at the office or renovating Chihuahua Cottage, I’m walking our dogs around Salem, traveling the globe, bargain hunting or watching entirely too much Bravo and HBO. Probably watching one of those channels right now.
Meaning of life: Find your super power(s) and use it to help others.
Why journalism? Indulges my creativity, curiosity and calling to public service. I strive to be *useful* above all else.
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
Addictions: French press coffee, diet soda, iPhone, Google Calendar, sarcasm, high-heeled shoes
Death-row last meal: Fresh tortilla chips, pico de gallo and a small bowl of jalapenos; an assortment of Indian vegetable appetizers (with naan); crinkle-cut french fries with ketchup; a Twix bar and cherry cordial Hershey kisses; a souvlaki dinner platter from Paul’s Restaurant; a Papa John’s Cinnapie; and a Texas (top-shelf) margarita — but all of them together is kind of disgusting.
Random skills: Bargain hunting, organizing clutter, theme party planning — theme-ing anything, really
Topics that make me tingle: Creativity, “alt” story forms, social psychology, Big Band jazz, home decor, personal finance, Great White sharks, Mayan history, Salem history, World War II, Tudor/storybook architecture
Words I say too much: Indeed, whatever, “No, ma’am” (to dogs)
Passport stamps: Mexico, Italy, Greece, England, France, Netherlands …
Favorite advice from mentor: Wherever you go, there you are.
Favorite journalism advice: Show, don’t tell.
Most friends don’t know I: Interned on Capitol Hill … and once dreamed of becoming a movie director.
Why I live in Roanoke and not Washington, D.C.: Candide — learning to cultivate my own garden. Also, the traffic.
The knights of my roundtable (in no particular order): Leonardo da Vinci, Tim Harrower, Mark Twain, Bill Moyers, Jeff Jarvis, Donald Draper, Tina Fey, Frank Rich, Neil Postman, Jon Stewart, Judge Judy, Tim Gunn, I.F. Stone, Dumbledore, Molly Ivins … I’m sure I’m missing a bunch.
Most influential college classes: The entire philosophy of New Century College at GMU (connecting the classroom to the world); film criticism (thank you, Peter Brunette); and media and politics (Jong Ra).
Graduate thesis topic: Fostering creativity (designing an internship program to operate like a think tank)
Most-treasured honors: Rugaber Prize at The Roanoke Times (honors an “intense curiosity and enterprising drive”) … and an Outstanding Graduate Award from George Mason University’s New Century College (1999). Both unexpected and totally embarrassing.
Must-see TV: Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Bill Maher, Daily Show, Colbert Report, CBS Sunday Morning, Project Runway, True Blood, The Office, 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, TED Talks, any Real Housewives … and most shows on Bravo
Favorite movies: (Or movies I actually own) … most of them are fantasies from my ’80s childhood: Clash of the Titans (original version!), The Dark Crystal, Willow, Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre, Willy Wonka (original), Goonies, Christmas Vacation, Funny Farm, Galaxy Quest, Space Balls. I could talk for hours about my middle-school obsession with “Memphis Belle,” which starred my teen crush, Sean Astin (also in Goonies, Rudy and Lord of the Rings).
My dream-come-true moment: Stumbling into actor Sean Astin while vacationing at Walt Disney World in 1994 (see favorite movies). Like winning the lotto.