Miles Hayford awarded Communications Fellowship


Photo by Jennifer Gerdes

Miles Hayford with his reporter’s notebook from freshman year.

Jennifer Gerdes

Back in 2019, Senior Miles Hayford was a shy freshman who loved fiction writing. He took a chance and stepped out of his comfort zone when he started coming to The Announcer Club meetings. He was curious about non-fiction writing and thought it could be exciting to write about topics that interested him. 

Full disclosure: I am the advisor for The Announcer Club and the Journalism teacher at Nazareth. I’ll never forget when Miles joined the club his first year. For many journalism students, the idea of talking to people they don’t know is a big challenge and at first, it was no different for him. 

I remember early on, Miles and a group of club members collaborated on an article about the dangers of vaping. I asked Miles to interview a random group of students in the Collaboratory. “I was really nervous. It was kind of unnatural for me,” said Hayford. But he persisted. “I pushed myself because I didn’t really want to do it. I’d never done anything like that before.”

That day in the Collaboratory may have provided the most valuable lesson for Hayford in his four years as a student journalist. It was taking a risk in that uncomfortable moment that showed him he could do it – and do it well. 

Hayford’s confidence continued to grow along with his body of work throughout his years in the club and as a Journalism I and II student. As a student journalist, he has interviewed dozens of students, staff, faculty and outside experts. “Journalism is a great way to build self-confidence,” he said. “In Journalism, I was able to go out of my comfort zone and become more confident.”

This fall, Hayford is excited to attend Elon University in North Carolina as a Communications Fellow. Each year, Elon awards thirty students the prestigious scholarship, renewable annually. Beyond the financial award, the Fellows program offers the valuable benefits of moving with a small cohort of like-minded peers, being involved in real-world experiences and learning from leadership opportunities within the department of communications. Hayford plans to declare a journalism major and is excited to continue his scholastic journalism experience at Elon.

Hayford is in a great position to give advice to new journalism students, since it wasn’t long ago that he was one himself.  “If you think you have a passion for journalism, just go for it. It may seem uncomfortable now, but you can push yourself to get through the unnatural part.” His hard work and dedication to journalism has paid off and his ability to break out of his comfort zone has allowed him to grow personally and scholastically.

As he looks back on his time as a contributor to The Announcer student newspaper, Hayford can be proud of his more than two dozen stories published online and in print including in depth coverage of professional football, yearly Nazareth sports wrap-ups, movie and television reviews and human interest features. 

Hayford is excited to dedicate the next four years to his journalism education at Elon and beyond that, he says his dream job would be as a sports writer. “Maybe at someplace like ESPN.” As he continues to push himself, we know he’ll continue to learn and grow and we look forward to seeing where his writing takes him.