Carmen Blackwell: Perseverance for perfection


Arohan Rimal, [email protected]

Carmen Blackwell believes in God’s blessings but also knows that blessings come with hard work. Blackwell graduated with a communication degree with a concentration in journalism from ULM in 2016.

Recently, she was hired as an anchor for “Family,” Fox 10’s morning show in Phoenix, Arizona. She has mixed emotions about her first week at the new job.

“I have learned a lot of new exciting things. However, it feels like being a high schooler again to be in a new place alone, trying to find the way to everything,” Blackwell said.

“I have to find my space in this new town, and the first day here, my apartment flooded.”

Professional career:

Blackwell’s philosophy in life is to get right back up after every fall. Like many students, Blackwell didn’t have a job right after graduation.

Although  there are jobs available for graduating college students, they are often overqualified for those part-time jobs.

After six months of constant job hunting, she was hired by KALB station at Alexandria for “Jambalaya,” a morning show.

“It would not have been possible if I gave up. It sounds cliché, but it is true,” Blackwell added.

During her time at KALB, Blackwell got a chance to polish her skills as an anchor, which helped her land a bigger job at Fox 10.

“So many people approach their jobs with a spirit of mediocrity or indifference. Not Carmen. She meant business every day she came in, and as part of that, she has a hard time tolerating those who don’t,” said Alan Quartement, the news director at KALB.

According to Quartement, Blackwell’s passion makes her stand out from the crowd. He realized Blackwell’s potential when he first saw her resume reel on YouTube.

“I know someday not too far in the future I’ll be telling people, ‘Did you know she worked for us first?’ Because I know she’s going to go even farther than where she is now,” he added.

Catherine Purser, “Jambalaya’s” show producer describes Blackwell as a talented and driven person, not afraid of criticism. Blackwell would stay past regular working hours to help Purser with the show.

“That shows how much she cared,” Purser said.

College journey:

Blackwell’s hardworking skills were evident since her undergraduate days at ULM. According to her former classmates, her hard work is the one thing that everyone should learn from.

A proper work ethic is paramount in the success of any aspiring student.

According to Cody McGuire, Blackwell’s boyfriend and former classmate, she is always positive and passionate about her work.

“She always knew that with constant struggle comes failure. It’s impressive to see her dust off, learn from the mistakes and move forward,” said McGuire, a communication senior.

Blackwell was also The Hawkeye’s freestyle editor and later, the advertising director during her time at ULM.

“Carmen was always very gracious, cheerful, conscientious and hardworking. She always did her job with a smile on her face, but underneath that smile was a tough, persistent journalist who knew exactly what questions to ask and how to get the job done,” said Dr. Christopher Mapp, assistant professor of mass communication.

Mapp taught some of Blackwell’s classes and advised her when she was an editor for The Hawkeye.

Blackwell shared that Mapp had a big influence on her passion for journalism.

The work ethic Blackwell applied to both her class work and her work at The Hawkeye has carried over into her career.

“She is an example of the expression ‘Nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it’,”Mapp said.

According to Mapp, Blackwell’s perseverance always made her stand out form the crowd.

Blackwell’s goal with her new job is to learn and grow every single day. She feels that most journalists now ignore the emotions while telling a story. She plans to deliver the stories that she presents with true passion and appeal, because that is what a journalist is meant to do.

She has a three year contract with Fox 10 and plans to ultimately work in entertainment television.