Sam Zern is the newest member of WPLN News. Get to know the Vanderbilt senior who graduates in May.
Q. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. In fourth grade, after reading an article about achievement gaps and realizing not every school looked like mine, I announced to my class that I was going to be the U.S. Secretary of Education. That stayed the dream for a few years, until I started writing for my high school newspaper. When I realized how much I loved writing and how I could use journalism to explore school policy, I knew I wanted to go into journalism.
Q. What made you decide to work for WPLN News?
A. I came to Vanderbilt and, by extension, Nashville to study education policy in a city and state that reminds me of my hometown of Austin, Texas. While at Vanderbilt, I became heavily involved in The Vanderbilt Hustler and realized that journalism was how I wanted to explore my passion for education and other public institutions. I’ve adored WPLN News from the time I moved to Nashville and just knew that I wanted the chance to contribute to the local station that had helped me learn the city when I was new.
Q. What can listeners expect you to cover at WPLN News during your internship?
A. I’m here as the podcast intern, so listeners can expect to hear me answering their questions on Curious Nashville and can look for my work later in the year when Season 2 of The Promise drops.
Q. a) Do you consider yourself to be a foodie? b) Any favorite Nashville restaurants? c) Any places on your “must try” list?
a. Are you even allowed to move to Nashville if you aren’t at least a little bit of a foodie? (Follow-up statement: Touché!)
b. As a Vandy student, I’m forever loyal to Satay on Elliston Place. They’re always there for us when dining halls close or we’re in need of some comfort food. Other favorites include Rolf & Daughters, Hopdoddy (my fellow Texans) and Royal Boba.
c. My family back home has recently gone vegan, so I’m looking to explore more vegan spots around town. I’m hoping to try out The Southern V soon!
Q. What do you like to do for fun outside of the office?
A. I have recently fallen in love with hot yoga, so when I’m not in the newsroom or in classes, I can generally be found attempting some very sweaty contortions in one of Nashville’s numerous studios.