Columbia, Chronicle win my personal ‘best friends, best newspaper’ award

By Editor-in-Chief

As a graduating senior, I know Columbia College has helped shape me into the adult I hoped to become upon enrolling at the college, and I never could have predicted that I would lead a 40-student staff that would win first place in General Excellence in the state. 

The Chronicle was one of a few crucial factors in my decision to attend Columbia. And after four years attending the college, I have only grown more thankful for my time at Columbia’s award-winning student-run newspaper.

Columbia appealed to me because of the opportunities it offered to begin honing my craft right away. I feel lucky to have gained the hands-on journalism experience I hoped to receive. 

Dedicated journalism faculty and daily interactions with dozens of Chronicle staff members have helped me to learn as much as I think I possibly could have about journalism as a student. 

What I loved most about working at the paper and becoming editor has been learning something new every day.

There is nothing I love more than watching my peers learn and grow as well. I have been lucky to gain mentors and to help younger students learn and become passionate about journalism.

I will miss the experience and the “family” we’ve become while working together on the state’s No. 1 weekly college paper. 

The last three years of working every Friday night, losing sleep over deciding the best reporting tactics per story and debating the rules of grammar have been some of the most rewarding times of my life. 

To Colin King, Lou Foglia, Alex Aghayere and the rest of our talented visuals team, thank you all for the integral role you played in creating the most drastic redesign in The Chronicle’s history. 

My appreciation also goes to our advertising team for ensuring the livelihood of our print product and making it possible for our staff to be paid for their hard work—not many college newspapers can say that. 

To our resilient Copy desk, thank you for being patient and valuing the most minute of details. Your jobs inevitably feel thankless at times, but we all truly value your dedication to accuracy and consistency.  

To Megan Bennett, it has been a joy to watch your passion for in-depth reporting grow even stronger throughout this year. I look forward to seeing what you accomplish going forward and appreciate your willingness to listen to me vent about personal and professional life choices for ridiculous amounts of time. 

To Lauren Kostiuk and the rest of the campus desk, thank you for your persistence and ability to ask the tough questions.

To the Arts & Culture desk, thank you for your continued coverage of stories that both amuse and frighten me, from bellydancing Wookies to “butt hunts.”

To McKayla Braid, thank you for always being so quick to cover breaking news and keeping the Metro desk afloat. 

To Len Strazewski, I have enjoyed getting to know you in my final semester and appreciate your wit and humor, despite my usual mild responses. 

To Stephanie Goldberg, thank you for teaching me how to write feature stories and how to more directly express my opinions.I will miss the comedic relief you provide and expect to stay updated on the activities of your lovely dogs.

To Jeff Lyon, thank you for being patient with me as a freshman and introducing me to The Chronicle. I admire your patience and understanding and will miss your unparalleled headline-writing skills. 

To my loving family at home, thank you for supporting me no matter what.

To Chris Richert, thank you for being a constant therapist and mentor, and for putting up with my often irrational freak outs.

To Jacob Wittich, thank you for staying by my side every step of the way—from our high school news magazine to The Chronicle, you’ve remained my closest friend and the best of allies both in and outside of the office.

The countless experiences we’ve learned from together have continued to bring us closer despite your tendency to throw office supplies in my direction.