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Alumni

Heidi Hemmat remembers her student days

Update March 4, 2009

Investigative reporter Heidi Hemmat got her start from a very familiar place. Hemmat, once a speech communications major has built a successful career as a reporter/anchor for the last 15 years after getting her start at CSU.

Heidi Hemmat

A day in the life

Heidi Hemmat's career started in Lafayette, Ind., where she did it all: producing, reporting, photographing and editing. She continued as a reporter for stations in South Bend and Indianapolis, Ind., before moving back to her home state. She worked at 9 News in Denver for three years and now Fox 31 for nearly seven years. Hemmat recently made the switch from the morning show to the evening news and is now a part of the investigative reporting team.

“I get up, work out, pack a lunch, get to work and fight a deadline all day long. I have to find and dig and turn stories. It’s pretty hard but it’s exciting when you get to the really good in-depth stories.”

Most memorable story

The day of the Columbine High School tragedy is one that Hemmat will never forget.

She had just been hired at Channel 9 and it was her very first day. She was supposed to be filling out paperwork but before she knew it, Hemmat found herself riding with the assistant news director in his car to the scene.

Hemmat was on the air within an hour reporting that two more shots had been fired inside the school. Later, they found that it was the final two shots from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold taking their own lives.

"The funny part is, no one even knew how to spell my name because I was so new and all hell was breaking loose, so they called me Heidi Hermit, Heidi He-mat, you name it for the next 18 hours of live TV.”

Being a native of Colorado, the story had a huge impact, “It hit really close to home and it’s unlike anything that’s ever really happened. It was so hard to see.”

Dangerous work

Hemmat remembers chasing a storm out in the Eastern Plains with a photographer. They had no cell phone service and were about to call it quits when a tornado formed right on top of their van. “We were so excited to be capturing it all but we were totally in danger! We put our lives in danger everyday.”

But at the end of the day, it’s what Hemmat is passionate about, “It’s a fun job, there’s nothing like it. I’ll do this for as long as I can.”

CSU memories

When asked about what she remembers about CSU, she responded with the can man. “There was always this guy walking around with tin cans. He was like a campus icon." Hemmat even did a story on the can man while she was working at CTV on campus. CTV was still in its early years but Hemmat chose CSU for the hands-on experience she knew she’d be able to get here.

Ram Pride and a love for Fort Collins are also in her memories, “Some of my best memories about CSU were the football games, tailgating, and partying to live bands in Old Town.”

Favorites

  • Hobbies: work out, run, ski, mountain bike, cook
  • Favorite food to cook: Mediterranean
  • Favorite lunch spot at CSU: Pickle Barrel

Contact: Leslie Stinson
E-mail: Leslie.Stinson@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4161