Carla Anderson '06
Carla Anderton ’06 keeps her writing upbeat. As an experienced journalist, she recognizes the need for positivity in print and is committed to sharing uplifting community stories.
Anderton is editor-in-chief of Pennsylvania Bridges, a magazine that focuses on connecting communities within Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Founded in 2014, the publication is available in print and online. It reaches a broad audience of about 10,000 across the five-county region. And it’s free, supported entirely by advertising.
As the magazine’s founder, Anderton embraced her entrepreneurial role and used it as an opportunity to learn new skills.
“When you start your own business, you have to be willing to wear all of the hats,” she says. “Before starting my own publication, I focused primarily on writing and editing. With Pennsylvania Bridges, I learned how to lay out a magazine, which was a fun challenge.”
The publication covers topics such as art, entertainment, lifestyles, personalities and local organizations.
“We write about our neighbors who are doing interesting things that make our communities better places to live and work,” the editor says.
During her time at Cal U, Anderton found mentors who shaped her writing and inspired her passion for storytelling. She recalls the constructive criticism and dedicated work ethic that professor Alan Natali instilled during his writing class.
“Natali would tell stories about waking up at 5 a.m. to put in writing time before starting his work day as an English professor,” Anderton recalls. She felt inspired to pursue a career in professional writing based on her mentor’s positive example of dedication.
Her writing career came full circle when she had the opportunity to interview Dr. Carole Waterhouse, of the English Department, for Pennsylvania Bridges.
“It was neat for me to transition from a student in Dr. Waterhouse’s class to a reporter covering her story.”
Anderton exudes pride in her alma mater and the surrounding community.
“I came to Cal U from Memphis, Tenn., in 1999. I fell in love with California, Pa., and California University of Pennsylvania,” she says.
“One of my dreams is to eventually be somebody’s Professor Natali or Dr. Waterhouse.”
By Kayla Kuntz, social media manager at Cal U