(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 14, 2022
MAHWAH, N.J. — Ramapo College alumna Dorine Bethea ’86 knew as a young girl that she wanted to be a journalist. “I recall images of Barbara Walters on television reporting news in faraway places,” said Bethea, a Jersey City, N.J., native. From then on, her curiosity about people and culture and the way the world functions only deepened.
Bethea, who recently spoke at the College, has accomplished her goal. She is a multiplatform editor – a copy editor for digital and print stories — in the Washington, D.C., bureau of one of the world’s most renowned newspapers, The Washington Post. Her quest to get there had humble beginnings.
She received an EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund) scholarship to attend Ramapo College and majored in journalism in the School of Contemporary Arts. Right away she sought out a position at The Ramapo News, starting out as a reporter and eventually becoming the editor-in-chief in the spring semester of her senior year. After graduation, Bethea took a job at McGraw-Hill Book Publishing in New York City but knew that wasn’t what she wanted to do.
“My first love was journalism, so I he began looking for jobs at local papers,” Bethea said. She got a position as a part-time obituary writer for The Bergen Record (now northjersey.com), and went on to work for a variety of newspapers in New Jersey and several states across the country as a reporter and as an assignment editor on the metro desk. Along the way, she also landed a teaching position at the University of Missouri’s school of journalism and remained there for two years. “I liked helping young students see the big picture for a story and answer their questions,” Bethea said.
In 2016, Bethea was about to begin a graduate degree program in international politics when a friend suggested she apply for a position at The Washington Post. She’s been there for five years. “Sometimes I miss being in the field as a reporter but I have an opportunity to shape stories and develop ideas. It can be quite challenging, though. I work on the universal desk so I see a wide variety of stories – cybersecurity, what’s happening in Ukraine, national and political news,” she said. “But I enjoy it. At The Washington Post, I am in the playground with the greats, reporters and editors who have been with the paper their whole careers. I can measure how good the reporters and editors are here. Their technical skills and knowledge, their curiosity and sources, and the accuracy of their work…all incredible. Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m actually here.”
Bethea attributes a lot of her success to her experience at Ramapo. “I loved every minute being at the college. I was an athlete on the basketball team and enjoyed what was happening in the Student Center,” she said. “But most of all, people along the way encouraged me to pursue this career. They must have seen something that I didn’t see in myself.”
About Ramapo College
Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com. Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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