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Student spotlight: Jacqueline Moon

Student spotlight: Jacqueline Moon

by Public Relations | April 09, 2024

LATROBE, PA — Jacqueline Moon’s love of writing began to blossom more than a decade ago when she was a second grader at St. Bernadette School in Monroeville.

Moon invented an imaginary world, then nudged her classmates into creating a newspaper that chronicled all the funny and peculiar events that happened there. “The next year, we read a book [in which] every chapter was about a different super-wacky student in a school class,” Moon said with a grin. “I started writing stories about my classmates and made them all super-wacky, too.”Jacqueline Moon

Moon, a junior English major at Saint Vincent College, hasn’t stopped writing. Through a creative nonfiction class in Fall 2023, Moon took a deep dive into a style of writing she’s enjoyed for years. “I really liked that class because my favorite thing to write about is the people in my life,” she said. This semester, she is part of a fiction-writing workshop and already is thinking ahead to her senior capstone project in creative writing.

Her career path likely will include some sort of writing. Moon would like to do advocacy work for a non-profit group and is getting a chance to explore that field this semester via an externship with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

“I love kids,” Moon said. “Taking [the externship] with Children’s Hospital made sense because I see myself working for a non-profit [organization] like this someday. I’d like to do some sort of advocacy, something that really helps people.”

The foundation is the sole fundraising arm of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Working four hours a week at the foundation’s office in Lawrenceville and two hours a week remotely, Moon shadows Lisa Donofrio, the foundation’s stewardship writer. Dr. Sara Lindey, chair of the English Department in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and director of the SVC Writing Center, put the externship on Moon’s radar.

“At first, I thought it was going to be just grant writing,” Moon said. “That would be boring, but I needed to do an internship, so I applied. I’m glad I did because it’s turned out to be a lot more, so I’m getting a lot more out of it than I expected.”

It is a newly created position, so Moon is helping set the tone for how the externship will evolve. “It’s exciting,” she said. “I like doing something that hasn’t been done before, testing the waters.”

Moon has attended on meetings on plotting fundraising campaigns. She also is creating templates for thank-you letters to the foundation’s donors. Her next project is a pulling together a report about which books at the hospital’s library the young patients most like to read.

“A lot of what I’m doing is a brand-new kind of writing to me,” Moon said. “It has to be simple and easy for anyone to understand. It’s also big on ‘you-centered’ language because I’m often writing to donors. It’s like, ‘You are making a difference!’ It’s focused on making [the reader] feel super important—very focused on tone. I haven’t written anything like that yet here [at Saint Vincent], so I’m learning a lot.”