Next week we’ll publish our last edition of the semester — a special issue on the theme of “life after graduation.” About to graduate myself, I’m feeling sort of sentimental and especially proud of the folks at this newspaper. With this week’s column, I’d like to recognize several who have made exceptional contributions this year. Note that graduating seniors are marked with an asterisk (*).
*Sabre Moore, our managing editor, has been the anchor of our organization, and she is perhaps the most extraordinary person I’ve known. I’m grateful to have had the privilege of working alongside her.
Simply an outstanding individual, Brandon Marsh has given ethos to our marketing efforts. He has accomplished more in four months than I could have even imagined. Brandon is able to learn, perform and innovate simultaneously. Best of all, he’s sticking around next year.
Business manager *Ryan Bovy is my roommate and best friend. He also knows how to manage a bottom line. Did I mention he has two other jobs and is taking 21 credits? Enough said.
Matt Kennedy probably isn’t who you would expect to be an opinion editor, but he has all the qualities you would hope to see from someone in the position. He is sharp, careful and has the judgment of a compass (or something). Matt is one of the reasons my job has been worth doing.
I’ve been lucky to have what feels like the best job on campus. Leaving it will be hard, but it would be a lot harder if I weren’t leaving the newspaper to Colin Gaiser, next year’s editor, and Nicole Duggan, its next managing editor. Rather than write at length about their talents, I’ll let them demonstrate it through their work next year. I couldn’t be more excited to see what’s next for the Exponent.
Karen Wilson, culture editor, is a remarkable writer and editor — a true professional who takes her job seriously and expects mutual accountability. Karen’s section has improved tremendously under her leadership. I have learned a lot from her.
Michelle Thomas, sports editor, worked with a short staff of reporters and has always stepped up to fill coverage gaps. She has overseen some creative new sports content and worked to expand coverage into new areas.
Kristen Ingman loves cats. But really, she’s an outstanding news editor and reporter. I don’t think Kristen has ever shied from a challenge or deadline. Her biggest accomplishment: spearheading last fall’s special issue on the state’s elections.
If *Brent Zundel, beverage connoisseur and purveyor of political commentary, were a song, he’d be *NSync’s “A Little More Time on You.” Check out his column on page 21 — it’s about beer!
Sonja Benton lives in the weekly design hot seat. She’s responsible for the increasing crispness of the paper’s layout. Her position comes with unique pressures and demands, and she has succeeded wonderfully in those duties.
The photo team assembled from scratch this year by Trevor Nelson has become perhaps the paper’s greatest strength (check out their work in the Exit Gallery on April 24). Trevor has also taken lead of our designers, which he’ll continue next year. I admire his sensitive management style and the pride he takes in his work.
Fred Vollmer and *Vanessa Naive led our digital brand this year. Fred’s work in building and maintaining the new msuexponent.com has paved the way for the Exponent’s digital future and allowed us to deliver news to students more effectively. Similarly, Vanessa’s work with our multimedia team has yielded consistent, high-quality video storytelling.
Apparently editors have a reputation for being forgotten. That won’t be the case with former editor *Eric Dietrich, who has served this year as a reporter and indispensable mentor. I owe an awful lot to Eric; he has transformed both the Exponent and my education. I have no doubt Eric will change the world — but I still can’t guess whether he’ll be making the news or writing it.
Much thanks is due to our professional adviser, Peter “the Colonel” Fox. Peter joined the Exponent last year after reading an editor’s column and has quickly become an invaluable mentor to our staff — and to me in particular.
I’ve run out of space, unfortunately, but these students also deserve a shout out: Pat Hessman, Nicole Smith, Jessianne Wright, Amanda Reese and Jennifer Rogers.
Lastly, a note of good luck to the rest of our graduating seniors: Alex Miller, Jeff Dougherty, Steven Roth, Louie Whiteford, John Sweeney, Sam McDowall, Tina Smith, Pierce Ware, Michael Kluever and Matt Rine.