The People Behind the Page: Alissa Ehmke

Photo by Len Villano.

The Peninsula Pulse employs 24 full- and part-time staff members who live in or have strong ties to Door County. This crew brings you the news in print, on video, online and in podcasts every week. In each edition of the Pulse, we’ll introduce you to one of the people behind the page. This week, meet Assistant Editor Alissa Ehmke.

Alissa has a way with words, which is why she’s in charge of the art and literature sections of the Peninsula Pulse. Her leadership skills are put into action both in the office and on the volleyball court, where she’s a passionate coach. What has she been excited about lately? Trying out disc golf with her husband and son. Read more about her in an extended Q&A below.

Celeste Benzschawel (CB): Where did you grow up?

Alissa Ehmke (AE): I was born and raised for 10 years in Chicago before my family moved to Baileys Harbor. We’ve been here ever since. Lots of times in interviews I’m asked, “Where are you from?” and it’s a tricky one for me because I wouldn’t dare say I’m from Baileys (I don’t know how long it takes to be considered a local), but I’m not from Chicago either. 

CB: Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

AE: I graduated from Gibraltar High School and then went on to get my bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of New England (UNE) in Maine. I went to UNE because I originally wanted to study marine biology and they had a good program for it, but I quickly changed my major when I thought I needed a degree that was more versatile. I then went on to get my master’s in English literature from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. 

CB: What brought you to the Pulse, and what is your role here?

AE: I came to work at the Pulse after my son was born in 2011 and I moved back to be closer to both sides of the family. [The Pulse was] looking for copyediting help, and luckily, it was at the same time I was looking for work. The Pulse had always seemed like an exciting place to work because of the strong female leadership in Madeline Harrison (then Johnson, who was co-owner at the time) and Allison Vroman (who was editor when I was hired). Now my role is assistant editor.

CB: What’s your favorite part about working here?

AE: My favorite part about working here is that I can be engaged in the community in a way that would be difficult or impossible at another job, and that’s through coaching. The majority of my life I’ve spent on volleyball courts, so not being able to stay involved in that world would be crushing.  

CB: What’s the last thing you were really excited about?

AE: This might sound funny, but it’s actually disc golf. My husband and son play, and we have a basket in our backyard, but I’ve only just recently started throwing with them. It’s been a pretty relaxing way to take a break during the middle of the day when we’re working and learning from home.