Kaylene Armstrong, formerly of Labelle, always knew she wanted to be a journalist.
From the time she was little, she had a flair for writing and often found herself creating stories in elementary school.
When she was in seventh grade, she became interested in her school’s newspaper that the eighth-grade class produced, so she counted down the days until she could contribute to the paper.
She was able to work on the student newspaper starting in ninth grade, and she continued to do so throughout high school.
Armstrong studied journalism at Ricks College after graduating from Rigby High School in 1972.
During her time in Rexburg, she wrote for The Scroll and also worked at The Post Register for two summers.
Armstrong finished her undergraduate at Brigham Young University in 1976. She then went to work for The Daily Herald in Provo and started out as a sports writer.
“I didn’t know that much about sports, but I figured if you can write and can ask questions, it would be fine,” she said. “So that’s what I did.”
Armstrong was eventually hired on as a full-time reporter at The Daily Herald and became its first female city editor. She was also a senior reporter.
While working as a city editor, she taught night classes for a couple of years at Brigham Young University. It was during this time that she started to consider becoming an educator.
“I hadn’t really thought that much about it before,” she said.
When her first husband passed away in 1993, Armstrong decided to go back to school.
She moved her family to Brigham City, Utah to attend Utah State University and received her master’s degree in communication.
Armstrong taught classes while finishing up school and also worked as a freelance writer for the newspaper in Brigham City.
Afterward, she moved to Ohio and taught at Lorain County Community College and advised the student newspaper there for five years.
She then moved back to Utah for six years and advised The Daily Universe, the student newspaper at Brigham Young University and continued teaching.
In 2013, Armstrong finished up her doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi.
She is now an assistant professor and advises the student n
Before moving to Oklahoma, she taught classes at BYU-Idaho for one year while taking care of her mother, and was also a professor at Georgia College and State University for one year.
Armstrong said one of her favorite things about teaching is working one-on-one with her students.
“I love trying to figure out what the needs of students are,” she said.
Throughout her teaching career, she has required her students to meet with her once a week to improve their writing. She saidthis is something she still tries to incorporate into her teaching.
Armstrong still loves to write even though she is a full-time educator.
She recently published her dissertation “How Student Journalists Report Campus Unrest” through Lexington Books.
She said she sees herself publishing other books in the future.
“I don’t have anything in the works right now, but I would love to work on more projects,” she said.
Armstrong is the daughter of Elmo Dial, of Rigby, and the late Nila Dial.
She grew up in Labelle with her nine brothers and sisters, many of whom still live in Jefferson County.
In addition to her career, she adds beating cancer to her life accomplishments.
She enjoys spending time with her husband, Robert. She has five children and 12 grandchildren.