It all started when Hannah Sommers, of Washington, D.C., landed an internship at National Public Radio (NPR) in 2001. A few years later, Sommers was hired by the organization as an audio archivist. Today, as program manager, she leads a team that develops digital toolsets and workflows.
Sommers and her team create products that save time and money for NPR and its journalists. These products are used in a variety of ways, including delivering information to reporters in the field. Sommers’ team also works to digitally archive stories, music collections and spoken word materials.
Sommers found that she was able to exercise both her journalistic and entrepreneurial skills in developing these innovations. “We’re always asking how we can achieve simplicity – how can we shorten the time it takes to deliver an audio file to a desktop?” Sommers said.
Having studied English and natural science as an undergraduate and library and information science in graduate school, Sommers’ interdisclinary education has been critical to her journey. “My education exposed me to quite a few different points of view,” she said. “I realized that I liked learning about other people’s experiences and wanted to work in a place where human stories matter, and where they are preserved.”
– by Abby Hertzler ’13