Maybe you’ve seen Hannah Gard; she’s been on tv more than once. Gard worked as the weekend meteorologist for KSWO 7News in Lawton during the 2021 spring semester. She’s also interned for KKTV 11 News in Colorado Springs, and she currently works as a freelance weather producer at CNN. She’ll be pursuing a broadcast position once she graduates, something she’s wanted to do since she watched the meteorologists covering Hurricane Katrina. “I told my mom that I wanted to be out in a hurricane getting eaten up by the wind and yelling into a microphone,” Gard recalls.
Initially, she pushed the dream aside because she did not realize that meteorology was a degree she could pursue. She first considered journalism because she had a talent for interpreting English literature and writing. It is when she took a tour of Texas A&M, where she saw their meteorology building, and it showed her that she could, in fact, study meteorology in college. Though she was not initially enthusiastic about visiting OU as a prospective school—she was not enamored with the flat topography of Kansas, and thought Oklahoma would be more of the same—one look at the National Weather Center and mention of OU Nightly during a tour changed her mind. “I thought it was really cool and the building was awesome, and it seemed like I had so much stuff to get involved in.”
And get involved she did. Fast forward three years and now, Gard is an anchor and a senior weather producer for OU Nightly. She has also been involved with OWL and OU SCAN.
Juggling her classes, internships, and clubs taught her many valuable lessons, especially those in time management. “And I learned how sacrificing other activities to gain experience was important,” she said. “I think before I took [the Lawton position], I was kind of apprehensive about it because I was not going to have time to do anything else, and was that going to be a problem. But I realized gaining that experience was so valuable and so worth it. I had a lot of fun doing it and I learned so much.”
Perhaps surprisingly to some, Gard’s favorite memory and college experience was that of the long review sessions for her intro class with Dr. Mike Biggerstaff. She acknowledges that it sounds tedious, almost horrible, but credits it with being a great experience. “It was just so fun to go to them and eat pizza and sit there with my friends,” said Gard. “We could sit there and all hang out in the giant lecture hall. It would be four hours long and we would leave at 11:30 at night… That was the most fun for me.”
Gard encourages current students to put themselves out there and interact with their peers. She believes this is a time to take risks, learn as much as possible, and to engage with the other minds in the program. To students who are considering a career in the broadcasting field, she suggests getting involved in clubs and groups like OU Nightly and really learning the science behind forecasting.
Find out more about Hannah here https://muckrack.com/profile/bio