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Monica Morales, UF CJC Class of 1996

Three-time Emmy-nominated journalist Monica Morales earned her master’s degree in telecommunications and TV production from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.

“It’s really just a quality school. I just knew that I was going to a great school,” said Morales, whose bachelor’s degree is from the University of Miami.

“The extra year I went to UF to get my master’s degree really helped me develop into what I wanted to do — and it gave me time to mature and continue to wanting to be a reporter.”

During her time at UF, Morales did a show called North Florida Journal. She said the hands-on experience was very useful.

Morales, who has also been a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, is now an investigative reporter for PIX11 in New York City, where she has been a reporter since 2009. She reports for her own news franchise named “Monica Makes it Happen.”

Her reporting has been making a great impact, improving the lives of thousands of New York-area people. For example, last winter, Morales started hearing from public housing residents who told her they had no heat or hot water. Her work has now been recognized as the reason that heat was restored to 55 buildings across the city and that repairs were made to dozens of homes.

“We’ve been really pressuring the city to make some changes,” Morales said. “I’m really happy that we’re able to start this mini movement to change housing in New York City."

In addition to working as a reporter for PIX11, she is also very involved in her local community. Morales, whose mother is from Bolivia and father from Norway, has represented the Latin American population by hosting the Hispanic Day Parade. And she has been honored with numerous awards and recognized by the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens as well as Casita Maria, to name a few organizations.

Over her reporting career, Morales has also been involved with CNN (Atlanta), NBC (Miami), Fox News (Boston) and CBS (Milwaukee). Prior to working for PIX11, she was a general assignments reporter for five years on WNBC Channel 4 (New York City).

Morales is married and is a mother. She still maintains the friendships that she made while living in Gainesville.

“I still have my closest friends from the University of Florida,” said the Florida native. “It’s like a family.”