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EXTRAS

Asondra Hunter

Asondra Hunter's days as a Nalley Fine Foods' pickle processor are long gone-and she does not miss them one bit. She is no longer the college student whose clothes smelled like pickles-no matter how often they were washed-but instead a professional who has worked with celebrities such as Denzel Washington and Janet Jackson and has edited two magazines.

Hunter, a Tacoma native who earned her bachelor's degree in speech communication from the UW in 1987, has come a long way from her days working with pickles. She has been a writer, actress, singer and model. She had a role in John Singleton's 2001 film Baby Boy and modeled for Parenting Magazine. She also worked with Mandy Moore and Billy Gilman as a media-training consultant for her own artist development and image consulting company, which works with such heavyweights as Universal Records.

She began her journalism career as a free-lancer, writing articles about music, fashion, health, beauty, film and family. Her byline can be found on articles about Halle Berry in Today's Black Woman and Madonna in Creative Designer. Eventually, her writing career escalated, and she became editor-in-chief of Spice and Honey magazines, which covered entertainment, fashion and lifestyle for multicultural teens and women.

Hunter now works as the public relations manager for the National Kidney Foundation. She was responsible for promoting the 2004 U.S. Transplant Games, which brought together 2,000 transplant recipients from all 50 states to compete in Olympic-style sporting events.

"I've enjoyed being able to use my creative energy in a wide array of capacities," says the New Jersey resident. "Over the years, I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people due to the nature of my work."

She credits her time at the UW for her success, for that's where she learned how to balance numerous activities at once. "Balance is the key to happiness," she says.

Next up, Hunter plans to write a novel or a book about pop culture. Until then, the spirited alumna will be doing what she loves-exercising, shoe shopping, cooking, and walking the streets of New York and New Jersey, experiencing the subculture that, she says, "makes environments flourish." Just don't ask her to work with pickles.

—Erin Driscoll