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George Zornick, BA '05

George Zornick, BA '05, in front of the capitol building in Washington, DC.

George Zornick, former editor of UB's student newspaper, The Spectrum, is now a reporter covering D.C. politics for The Nation.

“Not much compares to a place like UB, where you meet so many people with different opinions.”
George Zornick, BA '05, Journalist

Like many freshmen, George Zornick started at UB with only vague notions of the career he wanted after graduation.

A whirlwind four years changed that for the English student, who rose from reporter to editor-in-chief of UB's student newspaper, The Spectrum.

Classes on current events, including a seminar on the psychology of terrorism, animated Zornick's political consciousness.

Internships at The Buffalo News and Channel 7 gave him professional experience in the field he entered after graduation: political journalism.

Zornick's post-UB jobs have included working as a staff researcher for “Sicko,” a Michael Moore documentary investigating American health care. He has also served as a senior reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.org, a popular, progressive blog, where his postings routinely generated more than 100 comments.

Today, he is a reporter covering D.C. politics for The Nation, an influential, left-leaning magazine.

His occupation is one of ideas.

Even so, he sometimes misses UB's vibrant, intellectual atmosphere.

"When you get out in the world, many of the people you meet are doing very, very similar things to what you're doing," he said. "I miss being exposed to the wide range of ideas at UB."

Q & A

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Proudest moment since graduating?

Going to the Cannes film festival premier of “Sicko.” It was exciting to see the work we had been doing in a very small, closed environment all of a sudden on the big screen for hundreds, and ultimately, thousands, to see.

What advice do you have for current UB students? "If I knew then what I knew now..."

As valuable as classes are—and they certainly are valuable—it's great to take advantage of as many things as you can in school and off campus to further round out your education. The things you do to supplement your education outside of the classroom will probably be useful to them once they graduate.

What was your favorite UB class?

I took literary criticism from Barbara Bono. It was one of the most on-point classes in terms of what I try to do now, which involves reading texts and thinking critically and trying to figure out what your opinion is.

Do you keep in touch with UB friends today?

Oh yeah. I grew up in Buffalo, so I knew a bunch of them going in, anyways. I also keep in touch with virtually everyone that I worked with at The Spectrum.

What do you think is different for students today compared with when you went to UB?

I would say it's totally crazy how much social networking, just since the time I graduated, has changed the way college students share information—and not just socially, but also finding and disseminating intellectual information. I never had Facebook the entire time I was in college, or maybe I did right at the end. Now, it seems like students would have a hard time envisioning college without that connection.