Elena K. Cruz is a new reporter at The Missourian.
A 2020 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Cruz majored in journalism and minored in economics and visual arts. She said she enjoys working in the space where art and math intersect, so she has made reporting her career.
Before joining The Missourian, Cruz was the managing editor of the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Vox Magazine, after being promoted from City Life department editor and working as a contributing writer. She also worked as a freelance writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune, as well as an education reporter for the School of Journalism’s Columbia Missourian daily newspaper.
Cruz has had internships with ViewFind, an online publication sharing international stories to a global audience, and London-based Women in Art, which championed women within the creative field. She worked as a writer and social media editor for the Maneater and radio reporter for KCOU News, both MU campus media outlets.
Cruz also was a disc jockey on KCOU Music for the Friday night radio program Live: From the Minivan with DJ Mom.
Cruz’s writing received recognition when her Vox Magazine feature on residents of a low-income and disabled housing complex placed 15th at the 2019-2020 Hearst Journalism Awards. Her Columbia Missourian story about children vying to advance to the national spelling bee placed third in community service for the Missouri Press Association’s 2019 awards.
Cruz also was the editor of a Vox Magazine feature about drug abuse in the restaurant industry, which placed first nationally by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards in 2020.
Cruz was born and raised in Milwaukee, but her undergraduate studies brought her to the state she now lives in and loves. As she unpacks the multitudes of cardboard boxes signifying any move, she said she is looking forward to setting up her apartment with space to paint, listen to new music and return to after going on her infrequent runs.