Typically the one reporting breaking stories, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Kate Briquelet ’08, of Brooklyn, N.Y. is now the one making the news as she becomes a recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Briquelet graduated from UWO with a degree in journalism with a news-editorial emphasis. Adjunct journalism professor Grace Lim remembers Briquelet as being an extremely goal-oriented and driven student with a focus on success in the field of journalism.
“Kate was one of those rare students who knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life,” Lim said. “She wanted to be a reporter and tell stories that matter.”
While attending UWO, Briquelet was involved in all things journalism. She worked for the Advance-Titan, where she earned a position as a features editor. She was also involved in the Society of Professional Journalists and Kappa Tau Alpha, the journalism honors society. She was a freelance writer for the Oshkosh Magazine and worked as a copy editor at the Oshkosh Northwestern.
Briquelet recounted her time at the Advance-Titan as one of UWO’s greatest contributions to her success.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without working grueling hours at the Advance-Titan in the basement of Reeve Union,” Briquelet said. “The A-T is the best thing journalism students today can do to advance their careers. Some of my best friends and favorite people walked through those doors and are some of the University’s most talented graduates.”
All of this work was inspired by her career, said Mike Cowling, chair of the journalism department.
“Kate knew early on as a college student what she wanted to do in life—be a reporter. And she knew that she wanted to write for a big-city publication, specifically in New York.”
After graduating from UWO, Briquelet pursued her master’s degree in journalism and reporting at New York University, reporting metropolitan stories with national angles. During this time, she continued to gain experience as an intern for the City Hall News and The New York Times.
After graduation, Briquelet worked for the Business Traveler, a magazine with a focus on leisure travel, where she traveled the world to cover airline and luxury hotel openings and edited copy for the monthly national magazine. The Business Traveler provided her with writing experience, but did not provide her with the hard news stories she longed to report.
“I longed to be what I called ‘a real journalist,’” Briquelet said. “I was persistent and pushy until Gersh Kuntzman of The Brooklyn Paper, a community newspaper owned by News Corporation, hired me.”
During her time at The Brooklyn Paper, Briquelet wrote daily articles for BrooklynPaper.com on development, arts, crime and weird news in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
Gersh Kuntzman, a former editor at The Brooklyn Paper, called Briquelet the “real deal.”
“She was relentless and driven, and she hates getting beat,” Kuntzman said. “During her time at The Brooklyn Paper, she tirelessly covered the case of the South Slope Sex Fiend—a mysterious groper who terrorized women in family-friendly Brooklyn and who for months evaded police. Her extensive reporting led police to step up their patrols and eventually led to an arrest.”
While Briquelet’s talents shined bright at The Brooklyn Paper, she saw her time there as a stepping-stone in continuing to work toward her career goals.
“The Brooklyn Paper was like a boot camp for young reporters,” Briquelet said. “You work long hours for peanuts until you just can’t do it anymore, then you move on to another city publication.”
And that was exactly what she did. The New York Post—the 13th oldest and seventh-most widely circulated paper in the United States—hired her as an enterprise reporter. She now writes for the Sunday paper and covers stories for breaking news.
Working her way to the top, Briquelet was able to accomplish her goal of writing groundbreaking stories for a widely circulated newspaper, a feat that Cowling believes makes her an example for journalism students.
“In five years, Kate has gone from the UW Oshkosh campus to a news writing position of prominence in the nation’s largest city,” Cowling said. “She serves as an inspiration for all journalism majors who aspire to work their way to the top of their profession. She clearly deserves recognition as an Outstanding Young Alumni.”
Briquelet and nine other award winners will be honored at a banquet during Homecoming Weekend, October 11-12. They will attend a reception, dinner and awards program in Reeve Memorial Ballroom on Friday, and will have the opportunity to watch the Homecoming football game from the press box at Oshkosh Sports Complex on Saturday. Award winners will be recognized on the field during halftime by Chancellor Richard Wells.
Sample some of Briquelet’s recent stories:
- Rowling admits pseudonym
- Francis sheds blingy Benedict’s papal glitz
- City losing millions on Seaport development