WJI Alumni- Nathan Spangler
Mar 7, 2017
WJI Class of 2014
Profile by: Sarah Wedel
Nathan Spangler grew up in Westminster, Maryland. As a young boy, Nathan loved to read. He’d tear through series like the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia. These stories that shaped Nathan’s ideas of the world and made Nathan want to tell his own stories someday.
“Good stories got me interested in telling good stories,” he said.
When Nathan was eight-years-old, his father tragically passed away. As the oldest of three brothers, this experience caused Nathan to take on more leadership within his family and shaped his strong work ethic. Upon graduation, Nathan attended two years of community college majoring in journalism. Although his dream is still to someday write fictional stories, he said journalism has provided training in finding real life stories and tell them in a compelling way.
While taking classes, he interned at a local radio station learning to produce and write radio scripts. After his sophomore year of college, Nathan transferred to Patrick Henry College and continued to work at the local radio station.
At Patrick Henry, Nathan met World’s Dr. Marvin Olasky and became more familiar with World’s work. Dr. Olasky encouraged Nathan to apply to the World Journalism Institute. Nathan was accepted into WJI ’14.
Nathan said the WJI assignments taught him how to interact with the people in his stories. The workshop helped Nathan develop his own interview style. He found the importance of the well-phrased question and how good questions can draw a more personal response from people. WJI also gave him the chance to work with World Radio, which he said taught him invaluable writing and voicing skills.
But the best part of Nathan’s experience with WJI was working with World staff. The staff spent hours teaching and critiquing his work in a way, he said, that built him up instead of tearing him down.
“To have people who after only two weeks were willing to build into me that much… I’ve never encountered that anywhere else,” Nathan said.
Nathan has applied the abilities he learned at WJI since he began working full-time for a radio station in his hometown of Westminster. Over the past two years at the station, he’s had the opportunity to conduct many interviews with Christian leaders such as Joni Erickson Tada, Tim Keller, Sandy Patty, the Gather Band, Keith Getty and Steven Curtis Chapman.
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