Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Andrew C. Knapp's bio


Andrew Knapp was born on Feb. 10, 1984, in Princeton, Maine, a small town of about 900 people but even more animals. Fred, his father, supported Knapp, his mother, Judy, and his older brother, Brian, through his photography business, Knapp Photographic. Fred specializes in wildlife and landscape photography and performs services at weddings and graduations.

While he was being raised in a house on the end of a peninsula on a lake, Knapp spent most of his early years fishing for smallmouth bass in a small, red canoe. At Woodland High School in Baileyville, Maine, he started playing baseball his sophomore year when he earned a starting spot on the varsity squad and eventually became captain of the team his senior year. He played golf all four years during high school and was the No. 1 golfer for most of that time. He won the state regional competition his senior year and was a state competitor his last three years on the golf team.

Knapp was president of the National Honor Society and a member of the math team and academic decathlon squad at Woodland High School, where he graduated as valedictorian in June 2002.

Entering the University of Maine in Orono as a print journalism major, Knapp was unsure of his career choice. He started at the college newspaper, The Maine Campus, as a freelance sports reporter – a capacity in which he wrote about the obscure varsity swimming team and the nationally known Black Bears hockey team. His interest in sports led to an internship as an arena reporter for United States College Hockey Online for which he wrote deadline game recaps and player profiles.

After a journalism professor persuaded Knapp to make the switch to news reporting, he became a staff reporter at the college paper his junior year when he covered university-related topics in the Maine state Legislature and interviewed top university and state officials. Earning the position of news editor his senior year, Knapp used his previously learned design capabilities to produce a content-rich and attractive student newspaper. Also serving as the paper’s top reporter during that time, Knapp interviewed people such as Air America Radio talk-show host Al Franken, former Defense Secretary William Cohen and former CBS News anchorman Dan Rather. Knapp also helped to produce a series of investigative pieces during the UMaine Student Government elections. He made the switch to head copy editor during the second semester of his senior year in order to focus more on his part-time position as a copy editor at the Bangor Daily News.

Starting in May 2005 at the Bangor Daily News, Knapp developed interest and proficiency in newspaper design using the program QuarkXPress. Editing national and local copy, he improved his writing capabilities by learning about other reporters’ mistakes and strengths. He became a city reporter in May 2006 when he renewed his passion for reporting.

Knapp also served as the public relations and philanthropy chairman at fraternity Beta Theta Pi. He organized and publicized community service events, including the annual Beta Sleep Out in which about $2,300 was raised to benefit Rape Response Services in Bangor, Maine.

In Maine, Knapp frequently hiked Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest peak. He thought the only way to become a true Mainer was to drink Moxie and climb Mount Katahdin. Doing both at once was the epitome of that Maine experience.

In July 2006, his car stuffed with most everything he owned, Knapp moved to Washington, D.C., to study for a master’s degree in journalism at American University. There, his research endeavors included a content study of newspaper coverage of the midterm elections and the factors that contributed to the mythology surrounding Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch during the Iraq war. He assisted professor W. Joseph Campbell in conducting similar research about media-perpetuated myths. Campbell is planning for a book to be published by early 2008.

During his spring semester at American University’s School of Communication, Knapp interned as a reporter at state government news service, an arm of The Pew Research Center. He then was awarded an internship through the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund editing program, which would send him to Newsday in New York for summer 2007. From there, he landed a full-time job as a copy editor on the delivery desk at FLORIDA TODAY, a flagship Gannett newspaper in Melbourne, Fla.

Today, Knapp enjoys all New England sports teams, photography, golfing, running, fishing and sports of all sorts. He lives in Melbourne, Fla.

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