Annie Krall faced a difficult choice: As a premed senior at Northwestern, she unexpectedly discovered a passion for writing that sparked an interest in TV. After being accepted to medical school, Krall decided to defer her enrollment for a year and begin a master’s degree at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications with a specialization in health, environment and science journalism. Six months later, she says, she traded her stethoscope for a microphone and never looked back.
As an on-air reporter for WBAY-TV, the ABC affiliate in Green Bay, Wis., from 2021 to 2022, Krall covered the COVID-19 pandemic and launched the medical investigative series “Your Health Matters” last year. Her résumé includes reporting for the medical and business unit of ABC News in New York City and the Ladies Professional Golf Association. An adjunct lecturer at Medill, she also teaches courses on video journalism, multimedia reporting and journalism values.
In 2021 Krall became co-president of the Northwestern Club of Chicago, the University’s largest alumni club — with nearly 82,000 members — and the Northwestern Alumni Association’s 2021 Club of the Year. In 2022 she was named the NAA Club Leader of the Year. A third-generation Wildcat, Krall shares why she stays connected to Northwestern.
What inspired your switch to journalism?
I wanted to help people; as a journalist, I ask people how they’re doing, what’s wrong, how we can help. That compassion makes a good doctor and a great journalist.
At Northwestern, I realized how much my brain could handle. There are countless times I’ve had one minute to prepare before going live on the evening news, and just like a doctor in the emergency room, you have to trust your confidence and skill.
What do you love about the club?
We’re collaborative. We started a tri-coastal virtual movie night with the NU Club of Washington, D.C., Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance–West and the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association. I affectionately call it “the Avengers assembling.” That was my brainchild and one of my favorite experiences.
We’re creative. I helped put together a virtual coffee-making class, and 400 people signed up. We gave away free coffee from Dogwood Coffee in Minneapolis, which is co-owned by Angie Oren-Anderson ’00, ’03 MA.
We’re charismatic. My amazing former co-president, Kate McCarter ’16, created our signature Christkindlmarket Chicago event, now led by my current co-president, Laurel Stankus ’12, ’12 CERT. Every winter we rent out tents and invite alums to drink mulled wine, eat bratwurst and hang out. It’s an invigorating night that brings our dynamic community together.
We also have a ton of recent alumni involvement. Their energy is the reason for the club’s high level of engagement. These alums want to stay involved in the community they’ve bonded with for the last four years. Having recent alum leaders like me makes their transition out of undergraduate life easier.
Why do you volunteer for Northwestern?
For me, stepping away from Northwestern doesn’t compute. Enjoying a happy hour, experiencing a new restaurant, reconnecting with a friend — the value of staying connected is in these shared experiences.
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