Getting Lowdown from Lou: Editor Reflects on Tenure

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief Michelle Lou (pronounced ‘low,’ like the Flo Rida song) (18C) took a somewhat circuitous route throughout her Emory career. The Goizueta Business School dropout wrapped up her political science major and East Asian studies minor last semester. Lou currently serves as a digital news intern at CNN by day while overseeing the Wheel by night.

During her time at Emory, Lou won the Georgia College Press Association Better Newspaper Contest for “Best Investigative News Article” and interned at the HuffPost and USA Today. The Wheel sat down with Lou to reflect on her time as an Eagle before she transitions into a Blue Devil at Duke University School of Law (N.C.).  

This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Alex Klugerman, the Emory Wheel: What is one lesson you’ll take away from your time at the Wheel?

Michelle Lou: You can’t do everything by yourself, and when you work with other people you can produce really great things. Student journalism is important at Emory and any college campus.

TEW: What are your best production night survival tips?

ML: Place your order in #tuesdaytakeout early, take a 30-minute nap earlier in the day and get your articles through to me earlier in the week.

TEW: Where are the best places in Atlanta to get takeout?

ML: Golden Buddha, Cafe Bombay, Thaicoon.

Michelle Lou (18C)

TEW: What is your most unexpected Emory memory, good or bad?

ML: I enrolled in the Business School my first semester of my sophomore year, and I thought I was going to get a BBA, but then I decided not to. My B-school adviser [Former Director of Academic Advising] Valerie [Molyneaux] said she wasn’t surprised. I went crawling back to the College to finish my political science major and accidentally minored in East Asian studies.

TEW: Who would play you in the movie of your life?

ML: Definitely Awkwafina.

TEW: You’re headed to law school in the Fall. Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

ML: Atticus Finch because [“To Kill a Mockingbird”] is a good book and he fought for what he thought was right.

TEW: Where is the coolest place you’ve ever traveled?

ML: Costa Rica last fall break. It was during a government strike and I got stranded on the highway for two hours in the dark. I also saw a sloth and multiple sharks while I was snorkeling.

TEW: Are you excited for the Jonas Brothers comeback?

ML: Yes, I think “Sucker” is a great start for what will be a beautiful future ahead for them.

TEW: If you weren’t on the Wheel, what would you have done at Emory?

ML: I would’ve taken the scuba and diving P.E. class and gotten my certificate in [scuba] and started my own snorkeling and scuba diving club.

TEW: OK, it’s time for some favorites. Favorite show to binge?

ML: I really like “Schitt’s Creek.” Or “Friends.” Always a classic.

TEW: Favorite movie?

ML: “Spotlight.” I have the poster hanging in my office at the Wheel.

TEW: Favorite video game?

ML: Stardew Valley on the Nintendo Switch.

TEW: Favorite class and professor you’ve had at Emory?

ML: It was Contemporary Chinese Politics with [Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus] Thomas Remington. I learned a lot about the country that my parents grew up in, and I’m really interested in Chinese politics, which is why I accidentally minored in East Asian studies. I took the class right when Trump was starting his presidency, and there were a lot of interesting parallels between China and his administration at the time.

TEW: Favorite article you’ve ever written?

ML: It’s either the feature I wrote on [Emory University President Claire E.] Sterk’s husband Kirk Elifson, because he was really fun to talk to, and I feel like a lot of undergrads don’t know about him, or the recent one I wrote about racist photos in Emory’s yearbook. I got to do some archival research and talk to a lot of alumni about their experiences back in the day.

TEW: Any final parting words of wisdom?

ML: I hope every student finds something that they’re as passionate about on campus as I did with the Wheel. Even if you’re not into journalism, the Wheel can teach you a lot about writing, communication and collaboration, and I think it’s a really great organization.