Before Tom Garris ‘18 came to Ithaca College he thought he wanted to pursue sports journalism. That quickly changed after he arrived on South Hill. “It was actually at Ithaca, in my freshman year doing radio that I really found a love for news,” said Garris.
Today, he gets to cover news as a general assignment reporter and anchor at WPTZ in Burlington, Vermont. “I just love telling the cool stories that are in the region that we cover and you can find those stories wherever you are, I really like doing the stories that make people smile.”
When asked about a typical day at work, Garris laughed. “Oh I never know where the day is going to take me a lot of the time,” said Garris. “I’ve been lucky enough to fill in at the anchor desk but a lot of what I do is MMJ. I shoot, write, edit all my own stuff and I love it. You just have to be ready for anything that news throws your way as a general assignment reporter.”
Garris said his involvement with on-campus media helped shaped him throughout his time at Ithaca College. “If you wanted to be, you could be involved from day one, so I think it gave me the experiences that did allow me to transition into a professional capacity in reporting and I had a lot of fun along the way,” said Garris.
While Garris spent most of his time in the Park School basement working on ICTV and WICB, he also found himself on the field playing club rugby. “Being on the rugby team was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I never thought in a million of years that I would be playing rugby in college, but it was an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
Garris took every opportunity that Ithaca College offered him, and he said those experiences were some of his biggest accomplishments. “I was stationed in DC on Trump’s inauguration day with a mobile PBS crew and seeing the opportunities that we were very lucky to be afforded was incredible.”