Communications grads honored with alumni award

Two recent alumnae were named Top 10 Under 10 award winners.

Katie Sherman '04 (left) and Amy Reitnouer '09

Elon University School of Communications graduates Katie Sherman ’04 and Amy Reitnouer ’09 were both named 2013 Top 10 Under 10 award recipients. They received their awards April 20 at a university ceremony.

The Top 10 Under 10 are given to alumni who have demonstrated great professional success, an impact on their community and continued support to Elon.

Sherman, the president of the Communications Alumni Network, works as a senior copy director of Vogue in New York. She also serves as a mentor to many Elon students and alumni who have moved to New York for internships or jobs. She has helped students land internships and post-graduate opportunities in the city on many occasions.

She said she appreciates guiding and mentoring recent grads and students because Elon, particularly the Elon Job Network, helped her immensely when she moved to New York after her graduation.

“It got me to New York City, where I discovered I’d spend the rest of my life in Brooklyn,” she said. “After reconnecting with an alum at an Elon New York alumni party on the lower east side, I gave her my card and she passed my resume along to the hiring team at Conde Nast in 2010.”

While at Elon, Sherman was involved with the Campus Recreation Special Projects team for four years, with Alamance Magazine and with Phi Psi Cli yearbook. All the experiences pushed her to cultivate her writing and leadership skills. Writing event marketing flyers, promo listings and web articles provided Sherman with fodder for her portfolio, but more importantly, the opportunity to create a brand for herself.

And now she’s excited about being recognized as an influential young alumna.

“It is thrilling and validating of my time and interest,” Sherman said. “I’m a part of something bigger, this growing movement of young alums in action. I’m proud to be an example of an alum giving back so early post-graduation.”

Reitnouer has worked and lived in Los Angeles since graduating. Her initial career pursuits landed her jobs in the film industry, where she worked for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and for producers. But in August she left that behind to pursue a career that initially started as a creative outlet.

Two years ago, Reitnouer started a blog centered on bluegrass shows. Actor and star of “The Office” Ed Helms saw her blog, liked it and decided to collaborate with her, essentially bringing together her blog and his bluegrass festival. Now, she works full time for The Bluegrass Situation, a site and blog dedicated to the style of music.

She said her experience starting something and seeing it through to fruition can be directly attributed to the freeing atmosphere Elon provided her.

“What helped was Elon opening the door and saying you can do whatever you want. We’ll help you make it happen,” Reitnouer said. “Elon encourages us to create and be imaginative. That was a really big thing.”

Her entrepreneurial attitude is a main reason why she’s a Top 10 Under 10 recipient, an honor that she said “floored” her.

“I literally dropped what was in my hands (when I heard the news),” Reitnouer said. “I didn’t expect it. Everything I’ve been working on the past couple of years has been such a passion project for me. (The Bluegrass Situation) is just in ababy phase, so to be recognized was a real shock to me.”

— Additional reporting and writing by Shana Moss ’16