Pictured above – Tech alumna and WDEF weekend anchor Amelia Greer.

Greer graduated from Tech in the spring of 2023

Chattanooga – Tennessee Tech University journalism alumna and WDEF-TV weekend anchor Amelia Greer is known for her warm, sunny personality that greets viewers across the Tennessee Valley each Saturday and Sunday night – but the weather outside during her first visit to Tech was quite the opposite. 

“It was a rainy, nasty day,” said Greer, recalling her 2018 campus visit. “But I loved the energy there. Something about it felt right. I just remember stepping foot on campus and saying, ‘I love it here.’ My parents told me, ‘If you love Tech on a day like today, you’ll really love it when it’s nice outside!’”

After a meeting with Tech communication faculty like Colleen Mestayer, Greer was sold. She enrolled at Tech the following year with an eye toward a journalism career. The decision was inspired in part by Greer’s admiration of Ida Tarbell, the famed pioneer of investigative journalism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

“I always knew growing up that I liked to talk to people and I wanted to connect with others,” said Greer. “I was very English minded. When I got to Tech, I remember being in one of my first classes and getting that taste of journalism. I thought ‘I really want to pursue that.’”

Greer supplemented her courses with a role as a student worker in the university’s Office of Communication & Marketing and credits staff like Bailey Phonsnasinh, Director of Brand Communications, for sharpening her storytelling chops. 

“I was able to find my love for telling stories and jotting down people’s experiences and ideas,” said Greer. “I got to interview faculty members and people at Tech I might never have had the privilege to know if not for that job.” 

Greer graduated from Tech in the spring of 2023 and, 10 days later, was hired as a reporter for WDEF, the CBS affiliate in Chattanooga – not far from her hometown in Dunlap. The interviewer at the station had seen Greer’s on-screen delivery in various social media videos for Tech and was impressed.

“He told me, ‘You have a way of connecting with people through a camera. It doesn’t seem like you’re talking to camera, it seems like you’re talking to a person,’” Greer recalled. 

A few months into her time at WDEF, Greer was promoted to weekend anchor – something she calls “a whirlwind of opportunities and learning.”

“It was validating,” said Greer. “Even though I had just graduated college, still very green, very new, they saw the potential in me and were willing to take a chance.”

Dutch Terry, news director for WDEF, says that chance has paid off. “We are extremely happy that Amelia joined the WDEF team,” said Terry. “She’s a natural talent and brings a true local voice to our newsroom.”

Reflecting on her career journey, Greer is quick to give thanks to her alma mater. 

“It really did feel more personal, more like a community at Tech,” said Greer. “You aren’t just a number in a classroom. Professors took the time to be intentional, to teach and be helpful.”

Greer recalls specific experiences at Tech that shaped her approach to journalism, such as her advanced interpersonal communication class, during which students visited a local assisted living facility to speak with residents and learn more about their stories, and a public speaking course where Greer first realized her natural talent for speaking in front of an audience.

“For some people, that’s their worst fear and I thought ‘I can do it. I did 4-H speeches. Who cares?’” Greer said.

Colleen Mestayer, the lecturer Greer met during that first campus visit, would ultimately become Greer’s most impactful on-campus mentor. For her part, Mestayer says she is “thrilled” by Greer’s early career success. 

“I have taught many students over the years, and I try to remember all of them, but there are certainly a few like Amelia who always stand out because they have one thing in common: the self-confidence to believe me when I tell them they are capable of doing great things,” said Mestayer. “Amelia believed me and look at her now!”

Viewers in the Chattanooga region can catch Greer behind the anchor desk each Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m. local time and can find her stories for WDEF online at www.wdef.com.

Photo courtesy of Sofia Efiom, WDEF.

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