Where Are They Now?

Chardonnay Blackwell: Former Managing Editor

Where are they now? seeks to find former student lifers, from SGA to SAB, and even the Navigator ourselves, to ask them where life has taken them, and how Student Life has been a part of that journey.

Chardonnay Blackwell always loved the idea of being a journalist.

“When I was a kid, I would draw newspapers for my family,” Blackwell said.

She began her career with the navigator as a volunteer writer, but the following year she was promoted to Business Manager and ended her time at the Navigator as the Managing Editor, which at the time was the highest position on staff and acted mainly as Editor in Chief.

“Working my way up to that has helped me over and over since Lake Land,” Blackwell said. “The experience from each job has proven invaluable.”

She loved her time on staff and found it to be an overall positive experience.

“The Navigator is my most favorite memory of Lake Land. I would not be the confident, motivated individual that I am today without the influence and experience that the Navigator provided.”

Her staff was a mix of young and older students, but she knew she could count on them.

“Leah Oathout and I worked until heaven only knows what time one night because, in a pinch, we had to redo the entire paper before print the next day!” Blackwell said. “We were like a family, all of us, and it was the best part of working there.”

At Lake Land, she majored in English so as to be able to transfer into journalism after her associates. Following Lake Land, Blackwell transferred to the University of Alabama.

“[I] found that the career was changing in such drastic ways that I decided it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.”

Shortly after she met her future husband and he encouraged her to pursue another dream of hers, starting a jewelry business. She worked as a daycare lead teacher along with the jewelry business.

“Now a few years later my jewelry business is doing well, and I run a direct sales business as well!”

Even though she moved on to a different and exciting career, she looks back fondly on her time with the Navigator.

“I will always hold that little office in the back of the building very close to my heart.”

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