Farewell Letter from 2013-2014 Editor-in-Chief
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When someone asks me what my favorite thing about Whitman is, there are a lot of things that come to mind, but one of the first is The Pioneer. I’ve worked for the paper every semester in college, with the exception of when I was abroad. It has been a significant portion of my life during the past four years, in every sense of the word. But before I say goodbye to the place I’ve called home for so long now, I would like to recognize and thank the people who have made this year possible.
First, to the 80-plus Pio staffers who have written, photographed, videoed, illustrated and copy edited for the paper this year and upon whose backs our success lies: from the deepest bottom of my heart, thank you for 30 issues and a website of consistently high-quality work.
Next, to Managing Editor Pam London, whose calm presence has kept my stress levels in check and who always responded to my harried demands with “I’ll get it done.” When I first met Pam my sophomore year on the way to my first Associated Collegiate Press Conference with The Pioneer, I was awed by her self-confidence and vision for the paper. Today, I have even more respect for her. Thank you for helping me keep my sanity, for filling in the cracks and for adopting the name “Pizza Pam” with grace.
I am also grateful for Production Manager Sean McNulty, whose tenacity and eye for design has kept the paper afloat for the past two years. When I met Sean during the first day of our Encounters class, I can’t say I saw us spending many late Wednesday nights in the office together, working to never print subpar work. His curiosity for and dedication to design will undoubtedly take him far in the coming years.
Though I can’t give them the space that they deserve, I owe these people my biggest gratitude, if not my first-born child: to News Editors Sarah Cornett and Dylan Tull for taking on a huge responsibility and refusing to settle for less than the best; to spring A&E Editor Hannah Bartman for her versatility and creativity; to Sports Editor Quin Nelson for learning quickly and for never needing my help leading his team; to Backpage Editor Molly Johanson for sticking with The Pio for four years and making this year’s Backpage themes my favorite during my whole time here; to Opinion Editor Kyle Seasly for always getting the job done; to fall Chief Copy Editor Matthew Nelson for his eye to detail and starting sentences with “This is nit-picky but …” and ending them with “I’m pretty sure this isn’t in AP style”; to fall Feature Editor and spring Chief Copy Editor Karah Kemmerly for being by my side, beginning as a fellow news reporter, and for offering infinite words of wisdom; to Web Editor Ben Schaefer for knowing when the website was down within seconds; to Web Master Nick Budak for diving headfirst into the Pio‘s insane and confusing code; to fall Web Content Editor Tristan Gavin for his quick email replies and to spring Web Content Editor Jess Faunt for her dedication and passion to the Pio‘s web-exclusive content; to Illustration Editor Luke Hampton for his unbelievably friendly and “sparkly” presence during Pio meetings; to Photography Editor Catie Bergman for answering endless texts and phone calls on production nights and to Videography Editor and Business Manager Skye Vander Laan for taking two under-developed positions and growing them to heights that I couldn’t have even envisioned.
I also owe tremendous thanks to the Pio faculty adviser Julie Charlip, Student Activities Director Leann Adams and the entire Pioneer advisory board for guiding me through a difficult year of ups and downs. In addition, I am forever indebted to Pioneer alumni who have spent countless hours making the Pioneer what it is today and for creating a strong base from which I could carry out my ideas.
And finally, to spring Feature Editor Emily Lin-Jones and fall A&E Editor Aleida Fernandez, next year’s editor-in-chief and publisher, for their dedication to quality and creativity. Their excitement for and strength in journalism is unmatched, and I have no doubt that the paper is in good hands. I look forward to watching from afar how they will grow the paper and its presence on campus.
To the rest of campus: I wholeheartedly offer my thanks for the most demanding and rewarding position I’ve ever had the honor of experiencing in my life.