An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

UT science is cool — and the summer managing editor wants to tell readers all about it

Eva Frederick, summer managing editor at The Daily Texan
Eva Frederick, summer managing editor at The Daily Texan

The Daily Texan’s newest managing editor is a former church pianist from Dublin — the town in Texas, not Ireland — who was so torn between her interests in science and journalism that she decided to combine the two and pursue a career as a science writer.

Eva Frederick will be juggling those dual interests this summer. In addition to her responsibilities at The Texan, she is holding down a full-time editorial internship with Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine.

It may sound like a lot of work for one summer, but Frederick isn’t fazed.

“I can be here every evening,” she says from the Texan basement, where the newspaper is being published weekly during the summer. Frederick and her staff will produce the paper on Sundays. “It’s very manageable,” she assures.

As a double major in biology and journalism, Frederick is no stranger to multitasking. When she was a junior, she joined The Texan to write science columns.

“I signed on at the last moment and didn’t know what I was doing,” she says. “I kind of jumped in head first. I didn’t really know how to write a story, and I didn’t know what leads were. I didn’t know what any of that stuff was.”

It took about three weeks — and a few rounds of Daily Texan editing — for Frederick to figure things out. “It gave me a crash course in reporting and gave me a feel for what’s a good story,” she says.

A semester later, Frederick helped fellow Texan staffer Ellen Airhart launch the newspaper’s Science and Technology section. Publishing once a week during the fall and spring semesters, the science section covers UT research with an aim toward cutting through jargon and improving science literacy.

“This stuff affects our daily lives,” Frederick says. “It’s obviously very important, and I think people need to know about it.”

On a more basic level, Frederick is quick to add, UT science is just really cool. “I can find a lab right down the hall from my classroom, and I can go in and ask what they’re doing,” she says. “So much goes on behind the scenes that you don’t even know about.”

Frederick was the Science and Technology editor in fall 2016 and an associate managing editor this past spring. As managing editor this summer, she wants to streamline production processes — an eternal struggle, it seems — and encourage in-depth reporting. She also aims to support what she considers the newspaper’s greatest strengths: its commitment to publishing diverse voices and breaking news.

Frederick expects to graduate in December, and she may take a gap year before enrolling in graduate school to study science writing, which she plans to pursue as a career. Frederick says she might try to land a communications position in a lab or research facility.

In the much nearer future, Frederick aims to shepherd The Texan through the summer before handing over the operation to incoming managing editor Michelle Zhang in the fall. Then she’ll stick around the basement in one capacity or another — possibly as a page designer — but no longer in management.

“We’re all friends. It’s like a family,” Frederick says of The Texan. “I don’t want to leave, but I don’t want to be spending as much time here. I have to figure out what I’m doing afterwards.”

Wes Ferguson’s most recent book is The Blanco River. A contributor to Texas Monthly and Texas Highways, he worked for The Daily Texan in 2003–04 as a reporter, news editor, associate managing editor and managing editor.