A Sense of Adventure

Bailey Stover ziplining during her study abroad experience.
Bailey Stover has participated in three study abroad experiences during her time as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri: Costa Rica, Peru and Spain. Those opportunities have allowed her to explore the world in fun and unique ways. Photo courtesy of Bailey Stover.

A fan of writing from a young age, Bailey Stover has only strengthened her storytelling skills through the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has found new and exciting avenues for sharing those articles. Stover’s journalistic endeavors have extended beyond the classroom, too. She has participated in multiple study abroad experiences and conducted undergraduate research through the Discovery Fellows Program.

On top of her involvement in the J-School, Stover has found time to support her peers in the MU Honors College as vice president of the Honors College Programming Board. When added together, those unique opportunities are exactly what drove Stover to MU.

Bailey Stover posing for a picture during her study abroad experience.
Stover discovered a new passion, photojournalism, during her study abroad experience in Costa Rica. Photo courtesy of Bailey Stover.

“There are just so many awesome opportunities to get involved at Mizzou,” said Stover, a senior who is majoring in journalism and romance languages (Spanish). She is also pursuing the Honors Certificate at MU and minoring in public health and sociology. “I’ve been able to have some cool hands-on learning experiences that have not only benefitted me academically but also personally.”

Stover grew up in Columbia and attended Rock Bridge High School where her passion for all things journalism really took off. Her mother served as her journalism advisor, and Stover was able travel to multiple national journalism conventions throughout the country to hone her skills.

“I really fell in love with the authenticity of it all,” Stover said. “I developed a love for storytelling, but beyond that I also found a passion for sharing ideas and working with others. Building that trust and meeting people where they are is so rewarding.”

While Stover began her time at Mizzou primarily interested in writing, she gained experience in a variety of mediums, such as audio through an independent study with KBIA.

“There’s so much power that comes with journalism, and Mizzou has taught me there are so many ways to tell those stories,” Stover said. “It’s been really exciting to gain experience in so many different fields.”

Stover also saw a different side of journalism through undergraduate research. As a Discovery Fellow, she learned from Amanda Hinnant, an associate professor in the School of Journalism. Stover’s work focused on the evolution of comment section for online news sites.

“I didn’t know what journalistic research would look like, so it was very interesting to engage with the project,” Stover said. “I read numerous articles and wrote several summaries. I also was able to use software to code different sentiments. It was fascinating, and I’m glad I was able to take part in the work.”

It was during her first study abroad experience that Stover found a new passion, one that she is still pursuing, photojournalism. Stover worked in a newsroom in Monteverde, Costa Rica. That opportunity opened a new world of journalistic possibilities for Stover, and her next two study abroad experiences were directly tied to her other Mizzou degree, Spanish. She spent time in Peru and Spain where she worked on her Spanish and took several interesting classes.

Bailey Stover white water rafting during her study abroad experience.
Stover was able to earn credit toward her Honors Certificate through her study abroad experiences. Photo courtesy of Bailey Stover.

“I had a series of great teachers in high school and professors at MU who have made Spanish so enjoyable,” Stover said. “Being able to study abroad in countries where I could work on my language skills was so rewarding. I would definitely encourage students to take part in an experience abroad if they are able to, no matter what they are studying.”

Stover was able to earn credit toward her Honors Certificate through her study abroad experiences. Stover said the many ways to earn Honors credit, as well as the unique programs, have made the Honors College the perfect fit to go along with her degrees. She’s also enjoyed working with the team of advisors within the college.

“All the Honors advisors are incredible and are so helpful,” Stover said. “They’re so available, too, and straightforward with their advice. It’s just been wonderful. I’ve had a great time working with them as a student and through the Honors Programming Board.”

Stover joined the board after speaking during one of the Honors Night events, which are held in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia each year. As vice president of the board, she has been incredibly focused on not only having exciting events, but also getting more Honors students involved.

“Our goal is to support our fellow Honors students,” said Stover, who works closely with Willow Amann, a junior social work major who serves as president of the Honors Programming Board. “I love working with Willow, and I think we’re building a great culture within Honors. We’re hopefully creating traditions that will continue for years to come.”

As Stover heads toward graduation, she said she’s thankful for the variety of experiences she’s had at Mizzou. She said she feels prepared for the future and whatever career she ends up pursuing.

“One of the most important things I learned at Mizzou was to advocate for myself,” Stover said. “I knew pursuing two majors and two minors was going to be a lot of work, but I wanted to figure out how to make it work. So many people at Mizzou helped me with that pursuit – and taught me the importance of following my interests. As I head toward the workforce, I know I’ll be ready for whatever challenges come my way.”