My first memory of the building that would later become like a second home, The School of Communication and Media, was walking into the NewsLab and seeing Professor Tara George, my now former Montclarion advisor. Tara gave a presentation on the journalism program and afterward, my parents encouraged me to ask her a question. I was terrified. I also didn’t have a question.
I did eventually come up with one I guess, but the only thing I remember of the conversation is telling her that I was the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of my high school paper, a position that I did absolutely nothing with by the way.
She of course responded by telling me to get involved in The Montclarion. So, I picked one up and left feeling a bit determined.
I don’t know why exactly, especially considering that I wasn’t even that sure about pursuing journalism at the time, but I knew I wanted to achieve the title of EIC once again, and I wanted to do it at The Montclarion.
With some hard work, an insane amount of luck and the baffling faith that a handful of people had in me (shout out to Corey Annan, Ben Caplan, Jen Losos, Sam Impaglia, Thomas Neira and Tara) I ended up achieving my goal. And I am so thankful that I did but not for the reasons you might think.
I could go on and on about how many opportunities and experiences my position at The Montclarion has brought me. But what I really want to share in my last piece for this wonderful paper is how much the people around me have helped me.
Throughout the last three years of my life, The Montclarion has been a light in my life that has kept me going. From giving me the only peer interaction in 2020, to giving me my first group of friends in college in 2021, to giving me some of my best and forever friends in 2022.
The people who have sat in that office with me these last few years have been with me through some of the toughest times of my life. From sickness to really awful breakups, we’ve been through it all.
Last year, I got mono and was out of school for almost a month. I even ended up in the hospital.
On my first Wednesday back, the group threw me a surprise birthday party in the office since I wasn’t able to celebrate my 21st birthday because of mono. It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me, and I will never forget it.
I have done my best over the last two years to reciprocate as much as possible. Both teams (last year’s and this year’s) have been a privilege to work with. The talent and passion of my colleagues these last two years have been incredible. I have learned so much from the people who sat in that office with me, and I hope I did the same for them.
I was recently asked what my favorite part of being EIC was. I was pretty thrown off by the question as there is so much I love about this job (there are also things I absolutely loathe, but I’ll save that for my conversation with Avery Nixon and Sal DiMaggio). But, I have to say it’s the people that make this job awesome. I have loved watching the writers, editors, photographers, videographers and producers these last two years. I got to see everyone’s growth and achievements and it has been so rewarding.
There is an endless list of people I would like to thank but I don’t want Avery to murder me so here are a few highlights.
Jenna Sundel, my partner for the last year, you have been an absolute delight to work with these last couple of years. Your goofiness never fails to put a smile on my face and your passion for journalism is so inspiring. I am so glad we got to do this together.
Corey Annan, thank you for turning down Managing Editor two years ago. No for real, thank you for seeing something in me that I had no idea was there. I still don’t understand it (or why anybody listened to you) but I am so glad you were right. You will always be my neighbor, my friend.
Sam Nungesser, I am still in awe of how you did this job after being thrown blindly into it two years ago. You made a legacy at The Montclarion that will be hard to erase. You were a phenomenal mentor and you are a phenomenal friend. My only hope is that I did the job half as well as you did.
Hannah Effinger, your friendship is a blessing that I will never get over. I love you snuggle bunny. Thank you for everything. I can’t wait to keep driving you crazy.
And last but definitely not least,
Tara George, thank you for being the best advisor I ever could have asked for. I don’t know what you said to me that made me so determined that weekend in 2019, but I do know that you continued to push me and the team to make us the best we can be. The Montclarion would be nothing without you. Your presence will be missed dearly.