Thanks, thanks and ever thanks

A time of reflection and appreciation has descended upon MSU.

The end of the academic year is usually stuffed full of award ceremonies, thanking and honoring individuals who give their time, effort and heart to bettering MSU in some way or another. Always one to jump on the sentimental bandwagon, I’ve lately spent a fair amount of time reflecting on those who have supported and inspired me this past year.

There are not many people who would trust a 21-year-old kid to head what is fundamentally a $100,000 business, yet somehow I find myself trusted to be at the helm of a dynamic and constantly changing organization composed of over 60 students. And I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue working with them and serving as editor-in-chief for the 2014-2015 school year.

It’s a daunting task — not so much because of the practicalities of management, but because the high standard of excellence set by the entire staff.

Because of their contributions, I’d like to think the Exponent has made incredible strides this year. We produced the first-ever Cat/Griz Game Day edition in collaboration with UM’s student newspaper, the Kaimin, we have published consistently improving and in-depth content, and have worked to synthesize design, photography and illustration to tell our stories in bigger and better ways.

Though a large staff, the contributions of individuals is immense. So, in an Exponent tradition, please excuse me as I take time to recognize those that continually make a huge difference. Note that graduating seniors are marked with an asterisk.

Special thanks must be given to Michelle Thomas*, managing editor, for agreeing to step up and fill probably the most difficult role on campus. She is smart, quick and organized, and I’m sure she is leaving MSU to do great things. I also feel very privileged to get the opportunity to work with the brilliant Cassia Wagner, next year’s managing editor.

Pat Hessman* has fearlessly led our opinion section this year. He’s been with the Exponent for four years (the longest tenure on staff) and has worked to expand the opinion section staff in order to provide the best possible commentary into campus culture. His experience and insights cannot be overstated.

In his time at the Exponent, Trevor Nelson, art director, has turned around the photo team and made it consistently one of the best parts of the paper. His accomplishments with the design team this year are equally notable, and without his vision the Exponent would be little more than words scattered on paper.

Brandon Marsh* is one of the most extraordinary people I know, and is a constant unsung hero. As marketing director this year, he works week after week to bring in advertising revenue. He’s quick with a joke, a hard worker, and without him the paper would simply not exist.

Other managers whom deserve equal praise are Kristina Echols, Denver Jones, Megan Bernhardt, Sonja Benton, Rishad Bharucha and Cassia Wagner. They have weathered storm after storm this year and constantly surprise me with their quick wit, competency and dedication. Best of all, they’re sticking around next year.

The rest of the staff, from web developer to reporter, designer to ad sales representative, are an equally exceptional group of people, and I feel so honored to get the chance to work with them every week.

They are the people that devote themselves to a common cause, and are willing to give up  hours of their already packed week to work together to produce something. They are the everyday people who never give up, and who not only do what they are asked, but much more. They often have no formal reason to do what they do, and yet still make sacrifices to accomplish organizational goals. They are the people who constantly question me and each other, who strive to be better, and who endure defeat and hardship together.

All the problems we have faced this year — from technology woes to editorial vacancies, budget problems and numerous late nights — have been endurable because of their greatness. And any success we have at all depends on them.

News: Cassia Wagner, Mary Grandy, Anjeli Doty, Erin Murdock, Julie Donagan, Kade Falls Down, Carolin Knoll, Molly McGonical, Schuyler Kinneman*, Merrilee Thomas, Sarah Gilkerson

Opinion: Patrick Hessman*, Logan Henke, Brandon Sladek, Mica Jenkins, Greta Robinson, Alex Paterson

Sports: Megan Bernhardt, Lizzy Narigon, John Pankratz, Michael Thomas, Davis Connelley, Michael Ritchie

Culture: Denver Jones, Emily Harris, Kristen Ingman*, Loren Bunjes, Brook Gardner-Durbin, Brittany Horton, Elias Horat, Rosa Durham, Sabrina Hayes

Photography and Design: Trevor Nelson, Sonja Benton, Amanda Reese*, Ashley Moon*, Nicole Smith, Conor Glesner, Biiancaa Yeoh, Roger Miller, Emma Nielsen*, Kate Juedes*, Sam Lustig, Melissa Livingston, Leah Stasieluk, Benjamin Shay

Web Development and Multimedia: Rishad Bharucha, Xury Vanderwey, Dalton Stephens, Colter Olmstead, Adam Sanders

Business and Distribution: Kristina Echols, Brandon Marsh*, Ben Bonesz, Ran Zhu, Dallas Mills

Adviser: Peter Fox

Publication Board: Dax Schieffer, Jim Rickman, Derek Brouwer, Phyllis Bock, Brandi Higgins, Matt Caires, Sepp Jannotta, Bill Wilke, Meghan Doyle, CJ Monteith, John Cowles