©2019 by Olivia Harden. Proudly created with Wix.com

PUBLISHED WORK

Some of My Favorite Stories

I have covered everything from breaking news stories to in-depth features. It’s a satisfying feeling to put my journalism education, audience understanding, and professional experience to good use on every project I’m involved with. Check out my favorite samples of my work below and get in touch for more.

 
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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LOOK AT EDUCATION DIFFERENTLY?

July 15, 2019

hat is the difference in impact between teaching someone subjects and teaching skills? Teacher and writing professional Seth Godin says: a lot. 

In a recent blog post, Godin examines the pitfalls of traditional schooling. He believes it doesn't allow all students to shine. Traditional education produces regurgitation and obedience as a dominant trait to define excellence. But by prioritizing development of the skill set, subjects like languages, math, and science, can be analyzed in creativity class and a problem-solving class, for example, in different ways. Keeping track of the progress of a skill's development will overall provide more of a big picture of the student.

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REVIEW | BEYONCE’S ‘HOMECOMING’ BRINGS HBCU CULTURE TO THE PUBLIC

April 22, 2019

Beyonce, you’ve done it again. And you didn’t even have to try that hard. All you did was take your 2018 Coachella performance and redesign it into something fresh.

The 2016 “Lemonade” era was a culmination of Beyonce’s personal life when her now-platinum album released. But “Homecoming,” released April 17, is the manifestation of everything that has led up to this point. We’re witnessing an artist step into a realm where she is practically untouchable.

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HARDEN: THE CHALLENGE OF BEING BLACK AT CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY

April 19, 2019

As a senior at Chapman University, I stand as one of 122 Black* students out of 8,542. Being Black at Chapman has always been an exhausting task, but this year the issues Black students face have significantly come to a head.

Chapman has had a “Birth of a Nation” poster gracing the halls of Dodge College Film and Media Arts (the number six film school in the country) since 2006. The poster was donated by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille’s estate. The “controversial” film was created in 1915 by D.W. Griffith and led to the Ku Klux Klan’s second wave which began in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The Dean of Dodge College Bob Bassett and the President of our university, Daniele Struppa have shown reluctance to remove the poster. In an opinions column of the school newspaper, The Panther, Struppa wrote that the movie is “artfully done,” and that the film has “nostalgia for a time before the Civil War.”

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OPINION | I’M NOT APPLAUDING FACEBOOK FOR BANNING NAZIS

March 31, 2019

Facebook should’ve freed us from the Nazis a long time ago, and they are not to get any applause from me for making a basic move that should’ve been seen as … common sense. The website’s policies already prohibited white supremacy – but left a loophole allowing for content upholding white nationalism and separatism. On March 27, the social media giant announced it had banned both.

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DREAMER’ FORCED TO TURN DOWN A DREAM SCHOLARSHIP

February 18, 2018

Leslie Martinez was a sophomore at Orange High School when she realized what it meant to not have a Social Security number. She was unfazed by her undocumented status until it got in the way of her becoming a surgeon.

“It didn’t really mean much until high school, when I realized how many opportunities I would have to miss,” Martinez said. “I realized I was going to have to work a lot harder than my peers to be successful and achieve what I wanted to.”

Martinez applied for a scholarship through the Simon STEM program during the 2014-15 school year, which could have granted her a full scholarship to Chapman if she had been selected as a finalist. But because of her undocumented status – at Chapman, students must be documented to receive this sort of scholarship – she had to forfeit the possibility of receiving the scholarship. She was one week away from getting her Social Security number.

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SZA’S ‘CTRL’ HAS YOU COVERED FOR ‘THE WEEKEND’

September 3, 2017

Solána Imani Rowe, better known as SZA, released her debut studio album “Ctrl” June 9. In this album, SZA seamlessly speaks to the difficulty of being a young woman in her 20s. While she highlights heavy topics like insecurity, self-esteem and romantic and sexual relationships, the album doesn’t feel heavy. Catchy and fun lyrics are paired with a fresh twist on soul and R&B to keep the mood soft.

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BLACK CASTOR OIL: A BOOST FOR YOUR NATURAL HAIRCARE REGIMEN

August 25, 2017

Black castor oil is especially great for natural black hair care, although it can also be used for all hair types. Check out more tips on amazing oils for all hair types here.

When I first went natural a year and a half ago, I learned about black castor oil from my mother. She put the oil directly on my scalp. After just a few short weeks, I could tell the difference it was making in my ‘fro. The oil penetrated my scalp and curl shaft and produced healthy-growing hair. 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MUSIC FESTIVALS

May 14, 2017

Mikayla Nudelman, sophomore business administration major, spent her first time at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival crowd surfing during Matt and Kim on the main stage. She used it as a vehicle to get closer to the front and made some new friends along the way. 


“Three years ago I meet these people at Sasquatch (Music Festival) and today they are my best friends,” said Nudelman. “It’s crazy that we all met at a music festival but like it just kind of shows how similar everyone is there, and the fact that we met in the middle of a concert was just crazy.”


Many Chapman students have discovered and become avid music festival-goers, and have acquired tips and tricks to make the best of their experience. 


It can seem like a tedious process to plan for a music festival but these junkies have it covered from years of experience

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ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND THE LITTLE BLUE PILLS

April 21, 2017

For the last eight weeks, I’ve woken up and popped two blue pills. I felt like the change was unnoticeable until I was on the phone with my mother last week. I told her that I had slept through a class that had a strict attendance policy. Instead of being burdened with the anxiety of that moment, I said to her “It’s OK, I’ll catch up on the work this weekend.” My mother was in shock that this small mistake hadn’t sent me into a whirlwind of panic. She responded with, “Your medication must really be working.”

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ORANGE DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE REJECTS SIX-STORY BUILDING PROPOSED FOR KILLEFER SCHOOL SITE

October 10, 2016

Orange’s Design Review Committee sent the developer of a 354-bed private student dormitory project back to the drawing board once again, arguing the proposed six-story building would tower over the historic Killefer School and neighboring homes.


Western States Housing Development Co., an Alta Loma-based developer, proposed an 81-unit apartment-style student housing development on the 1.82-acre Killefer School campus. The Killefer Square project site, 541 N. Lemon St., is home to the federally protected Killefer School, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

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WIPEOUT AT THE WEDGE

September 2, 2016

On Aug. 19, 23-year-old bodysurfer Zachariah Zeiger chose a wetsuit over his usual Speedo for no particular reason. Little did he know that this choice would save his life.

“I heard a bunch of cracks in my back which is normal for me … but what was abnormal for me is I couldn’t move afterward. It was almost like I needed to throw up blood,” Zeiger said.

Zachariah Zeiger broke his T-12 vertebrae at the Wedge. Photo by Olivia Harden

Zeiger, a psychology major in his fifth year, broke his T-12 vertebrae in half and hemorrhaged all of the muscles around his spine while riding a wave at the Wedge, a popular surfing spot in Orange County.