By Amanda Eisenberg
Most newspapers don’t publish stories written by a freshman. Most newspapers don’t even hire freshmen. Talia ‘Tali’ Richman, 18, managed to do both.
“I feel like I have a lot to prove,” the journalism major said.
Just after her first semester, both The Diamondback and USA Today hired her as an assistant news editor and intern, respectively.
One of her stories landed on the homepage of USA Today, a website read by 24.3 million, according to its site.
Besides that, Richman has two stories in print and multiple contributions halfway into her internship.
Following her eight-hour shift at USA Today on Mondays and Wednesdays, Richman heads to The Diamondback, where she works until midnight.
“I look up to her,” roommate Ellie Silverman said.
Silverman isn’t just her roommate: she’s Richman’s best friend, sorority sister, fellow assistant news editor and future bridesmaid.
“Tali is the first person I text when I have good news and the first person I text when I have bad news,” Silverman said.
The two journalism majors are rarely seen apart.
During sorority recruitment, Silverman and Richman wanted to do something fun together apart from school-related activities, said Silverman.
They both found their home in Sigma Delta Tau.
“SDT is a home away from home,” Richman said.
Richman is a Dallas native, and doesn’t go home often during the school year.
The two-and-a-half hour flight hinders Richman from being with her mom, dad and sister Sarah, 16.
Richman also misses her mom’s sweet and sour meatballs when she’s on campus.
“I think she’s brave to come to Maryland all the way from Texas,” Silverman said.
Despite the distance, Richman said she loves being at Maryland because it’s a microcosm of the real world.
“There’s everything from Quidditch to the Greek fair,” she said before joking she was cheated out of a lounge on her floor.
“It’s the favorite part of her day, coming to the lounge” Silverman chimed in.
Richman’s fervor to being around people allows her to be strongly involved on campus.
She and Silverman registered for birthright, and will be in Israel together this summer; if she loves it, Richman said she plans to study abroad there for a semester during her junior year.
Over the winter, Richman went on an alternative break with Hillel to rebuild homes impacted by a tornado in Oklahoma City.
“I met a lot of my SDT sisters on the trip,” Richman said, “and I used a hammer. It was exciting.”
Richman uses a lot of inflection when she speaks, sounding perpetually excited.
Kofie Yeboah, one of Richman’s peers in the journalism school and scholars program, described her in three words: happy, happy, joyful.
Silverman added that she has “never seen [Richman] really mad.”
Richman’s peppy attitude and sincerity is infectious, especially when she talks about everything she loves.
She jumps from one story to another with equal enthusiasm, like the time when the author of her favorite book, “The Book Thief,” visited her high school the year after she graduated.
“Books are always better, except “The Notebook,” Richman said. “The movie was better.”