Recent Photo-J Grad Starts Work July 1; Harvey Hits Less Than Two Months Later

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Kelsey Walling, BJ '17. Photo: Evan Cobb.

Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17, studied photojournalism as an undergraduate at the Missouri School of Journalism. Walling graduated in May of this year with dual bachelor’s degrees in Journalism as well as Arts and Science.

“Life after graduation has been a whirlwind. After applying for dozens of jobs, I got an email from Jennifer Reynolds with the Galveston County Daily News for a photojournalist position. I applied for this opening in November [2016] and the paper had a hiring freeze right after. Seven months later, I was given the opportunity to interview and, on July 1st, I got word that I got the job. I left Columbia July 15th and started working August 1st.”

“After getting used to the job, workflow and new area for a couple weeks, the paper saw Hurricane Harvey was on its way. The paper did not think much would come of it, and the storm did not hit Galveston much at all. North of the county was not as lucky. Sunday morning [Aug. 30], I woke up at 7 a.m. and drove to the disastrous flooding on the mainland. I had never covered breaking news like this, so I decided it best to just take a plunge and jump on a boat. Ever since, I have been doing my best to show what these people are going through. Some days are tougher than others, but I have learned from this experience and am a better journalist because of it.”

“Things won’t be normal in Galveston County for a long time, but I am thankful that I am able to help tell the stories of this community.”

Photo of Kelsey Walling by Evan Cobb, Missouri School of Journalism.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Alan Mejia lifts a loose sign to move it elsewhere with Carlos Pantoja in downtown Galveston on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Galveston Public Works wanted to move all the signs that were near windows as to prevent any potential damage.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Todd Wiskur tapes the doors of Old Galveston Trading Company with Bret J. Lowry on the other side on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

RJ Widry smokes a cigarillo after getting settled at the Red Cross shelter at the Abundant Life Christian Center in La Marque on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Keith Ward looks for milk at the KLM Food Mart in Texas City on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Ward has been to four stores looking for a carton of milk.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Keith Corder drives his boat with Dickinson residents affected by the Tropical Storm Harvey flooding in Dickinson on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Tyler Kassager helps to move a boat after being picked up in Dickinson on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Kassager, his wife, three children and two dogs had to evacuate from their home.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Celeste Johnston sits with her dog after being picked up by Keith and Dell Corder on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Johnston moved into her home in Dickinson a month ago.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Kyle Johnston, left, and Toby Phillips help Cindy Miller into a boat in Dickinson on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Their neighborhood was flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Dickinson residents wait for help on the second floor of their apartment complex on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The U.S. Coast Guard was out finding and helping people leave their homes.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Debra Kassanger holds her daughter Chloe after boarding a boat in Dickinson on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. The Kassangers were in their attic when they decided to make it to a boat.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

A medical helicopter flies by to help those who need attention in Dickinson on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Cars float at a dealership off I-45 in Dickinson on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

People use plywood to row a boat down Deats Road in Dickinson on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Although the flood was not as bad as Sunday, there were still many impassable roads.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Dickinson evacuees board a bus traveling to George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Some will be staying in Houston while others will be flown to Dallas.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

The porch is dislocated from Donna Jackson’s home in Dickinson on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Jackson’s home saw eight inches of water that drained overnight, however, a mandatory evacuation was released for Dickinson as the effects from Harvey are still unpredictable.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

FM 517 remains flooded and impassable from Tropical Storm Harvey in Dickinson on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. President Donald J. Trump has issued a Disaster Declaration for Galveston County Texas.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Cory Garcia points toward his home in Bay Colony Pointe in Dickinson and League City on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. Although the water remains impassable, it has gone down a few feet since Sunday.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

The intersection of Bay Creek Drive and FM 646 continues to be flooded in Dickinson on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. This area has been flooded since Saturday when the storm began.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

A Santa Fe family looks for food in Arlan’s on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. Trucks were unable to make it to Arlan’s over the weekend, so many items were out of stock.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Santa Fe City Manager Joe Dickson talks about the flood damage in Santa Fe with the Mayor Jeff Tambrella, right, and two other city councilman on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Ashley Rincon, left, and Fernando Fincon play Connect 4 in Mooney Gymnasium in Hitchcock on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. The gym served as a shelter for those affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

A humorous, homemade sign sits in front of Cody and Roxanne Fuller’s home in Dickinson on Saturday, Sep. 2, 2017. The couple wanted to make a funny, positive sign to help those feeling down after Tropical Storm Harvey flooding.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

A woman looks through clothing at the Dickinson Community Gym on Friday, Sep. 1, 2017. The gym had dry goods, clothing, toiletries, diapers and shoes.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Two volunteers work on cleaning out Steve Gray’s bathroom in Dickinson on Friday, Sep. 1, 2017. Gray is not too worried about his home because he has homeowners, wind and flood insurance.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

A friend of Steve Gray carries out debris from the house on Friday, Sep. 1, 2017. According to Gray, he and his friends have been working on the house for over 30 hours.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Josh Pavelka, left, and Drew Rhodes take a bathtub out of Jerry and Gerry Duffer’s home in Friendswood on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. Members of Grace Bible Church came from College Station to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Cody Fuller throws old carpeting off the trailer at the drop-off site in Dickinson on Saturday, Sep. 2, 2017. Many residents have complained about the city requiring to bring debris from their homes.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Debris sits on either side of Paintbrush Lane in League City on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. League City has not disclosed what will be done with the debris.

Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17
Hurricane Harvey: Images by Kelsey Walling, BJ ’17

Ariyel Johnson, right, and Cecilia Campus clap and sing during Church of the Bay worship at League City Elementary School on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The church brought their worship band and invited the community to come together.

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