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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Honors College Alumni Participate in Homecoming Media Panel

Two Hutton Honors College alumni, actress Angelique Cabral and B1G Network correspondent Larra Overton, returned to IU during homecoming as a part of "Lights! Camera! Action!" a panel of alumni involved in the media during the IU alumni weekend in October. Panelists spoke with students about their own successes and struggles in the professional world.

Wells Scholar Angelique Cabral (BA '01) left IU for New York with a double major in French and musical theater. When she came back this fall, she was a successful actress, having been featured in "Friends with Benefits," ABC's "The B---- in Apartment 23" and the ABC Family sitcom "Continuing Fred."

"Everything takes perseverance," Cabral said. "It's about being humble and knowing that you will take some knocking down. I'm absolutely hitting my stride, but it's because I have worked so hard for 11 years toward this goal."

Cabral started acting in community plays and musicals when she was six. When it came time for college, she applied at prestigious universities across the nation, but Indiana caught her eye when she visited. "I loved that it was a small town feel but a huge university," said Cabral.

Cabral was selected as a Wells Scholar and double majored in musical theater through the Individualized Major Program as well as French in the College of Arts and Sciences. She was a member of Delta Gamma sorority, Ladies First choir, Singing Hoosiers, the Broady Cabaret, and studied abroad in London and Paris, while at times enrolling in upwards of 22 credit hours.

Being a Hoosier helped Cabral find a community of friends and colleagues right out of college. The IU network is huge, she said, and gave her an edge on colleagues who studied in conservatories. "Indiana prepares you in a way that you're socialized. Socialization is key. You have to be able to relate to others as an actress."

When she first left IU, it was sometimes difficult for Cabral to come back to Bloomington. "I was a struggling actress in New York. It was hard to get a flight back," she said with a laugh. After visiting for homecoming, she said she is intent on coming back. "I had a blast during homecoming. It was unbelievable. I keep thinking about it. I was so proud to be an alum."

Larra Overton, (BA '05) has made a name for herself in the sports journalism industry. Overton, who graduated with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science, is the web editor for the National Sports Journalism Center in Indianapolis, and also freelances for a number of organizations.

"I came to IU because of the two most important things I wanted in my college career -to study at a respected journalism school and to compete in track and field," Overton said. She liked the broadness of her undergraduate journalism degree because it taught her not just sports writing, but also key skills like broadcast and videography. She also earned a master's degree in sports communication from IU. "It really did elevate my education. Not only was it a higher degree, it specified my concentration," Overton said.

Overton has had a wide range of reporting experiences. She's been a host for the Indiana Pacers and, in 2011, reported on the Kentucky Derby, which she said was one of her aspirations, having grown up in the Louisville area. "It's such a unique event," Overton said. "It's a blend of sports and tradition and entertainment."

Currently, besides her main position as a web editor, Overton free-lances for the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports and Fox59, WXIN in Indianapolis. She loves covering track and field, given her background at IU, but finds these opportunities rare - coverage of football and basketball comprises much of her work.

"Fortunately, I'm in an industry that is constantly changing. Sports and media are so progressive," Overton said. "As long as I can continue to have a role in covering sports and be able to pursue that passion, I know I'll be happy." Overton also continues to work with the journalism school, visiting to help with workshops to go over students' clips with them. "Hopefully, I'll inspire young journalists and provide insights about the leap from IU to sports journalism," she said.

Overton tells students seeking positions in sports journalism to be open-minded, even if they are focused on a specific goal or area of sports coverage. "Write about baseball or be a sideline reporter," Overton says. "There are so many aspects of sports journalism to explore before you specialize."

Matthew Callahan '13, Celia Grundman '14