The United States recently witnessed the third presidential impeachment proceedings in history. Alexandra Marquez ’21, a student at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, had a front-row seat for the action.

Marquez, a junior anthropology and journalism major, spent her fall semester interning with McClatchy, a publishing company and news conglomerate that owns local newspapers across the country. For the first half of the semester, she was assigned to cover the Fort Worth delegation. As a Congressional reporting intern, she split her time between the Capitol and the newsroom, covering three Republican Congress members from Texas, Roger Williams, Kay Granger and Ted Cruz.

Then, things got shaken up a bit.

“About halfway through my internship, the Trump-Ukraine scandal came out,” Marquez said. “The investigative team from McClatchy found out I spoke Russian, and they pulled me onto the team to help them.”

As information became public, Marquez worked with the investigative team at McClatchy to look into the scandal. 

“I was able to help them translate things, make phone calls and get in touch with people,” Marquez said. “Investigative reporting was such a cool opportunity — pulling on threads and seeing what you can find, and pulling and pulling.”

Throughout her investigative reporting, Marquez co-wrote one article with Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin G. Hall about the background of a Rudy Giuliani Associate which appeared on the front page of the McClatchy website.

Marquez’s whirlwind experience didn’t stop there. When the impeachment inquiry began, Marquez was able to take the lead in some of the reporting, sitting in on the impeachment hearings on behalf of McClatchy. She sat in the House chamber during testimony from former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Ambassador Gordon Sondland and State Department official David Hale, among others. Marquez was also present in the House chamber for the historic impeachment vote.

Throughout her experience, Marquez was able to draw on her training in both journalism and anthropology. 

“We have a lot of really important conversations in anthropology classes that have helped form a lot of my thinking and worldview,” she said. “That really comes into play when writing about hot button issues.”

In addition to her internship with McClatchy, Marquez is a tour guide with Maryland Images and works at the University of Maryland Visitor Center. She has also recently been appointed as the Director of Civic Engagement for the Student Government Association and Co-Chair for the TerpsVote Coalition.

Marquez said her experience with McClatchy taught her about the passion of journalists.

“Every reporter is just so passionate about delivering the news and writing for their readers,” Marquez said. “It’s so important to realize when you’re reading articles just how much time goes into each of them.”

After graduation, Marquez hopes to become a reporter, and hopes to cover Congress.

“It’s really the coolest thing in the world,” she said.

This story was originally published here by the University of Maryland College of Behavioral & Social Sciences.