Columns, News, Opinion, UCM News

Goodbye to my job and a great adviser

The Muleskinner has been a part of my life for a long time.

I have worked here for two years: as Multimedia Editor then as the News Editor. Before that, I was a contributor. My love for storytelling came due to the Muleskinner, so I joined the journalism emphasis of digital media production as a junior. Doing that was a huge part of my life – the Muleskinner helped me learn how to talk to literally anyone, interview them and tell their story…which is how I fell in love with filmmaking my senior year and joined the film emphasis. But I still didn’t leave the Muleskinner because my love for journalism is still strong.

Kaitlin Brothers, Leah Kemple and Matt Bird-Meyer delivering the Muleskinner newspaper around campus last year. (Photo by Kaitlin Brothers / News Editor)

This path in my college career came thanks to a journalism professor and Muleskinner adviser,  Matt Bird-Meyer. He’s not just a professor – he’s a cool guy. You can talk to him about anything. So I always came to him when I was upset about school, confused about something, deciding what to do with my life, needing to vent and much more.

The thing I’ve appreciated most about Matt is his passion for journalism and how much he wants to pass that passion onto us.

When taking his class, I could tell he wanted us to really listen and be interested in journalism. He wanted us to explore new avenues and go out of our comfort zone when telling our stories. He wanted us to be independent and amazing journalists. And he wanted to keep the Muleskinner a place where we as students can be independent journalists who care about all aspects of news and produce a great variety of content.

The Muleskinner team posing in front of their booth at Get the Red Out last year. (From left, back row) Garret Fuller, Kaitlin Brothers, Jason Brown and Chris Holmberg. (From left, front row) Erin Wides, Molly Burnam and Matt Bird-Meyer.
(Photo submitted by Kaitlin Brothers / News Editor)

At the time, I didn’t appreciate and realize how great of a professor he actually is. Looking back, if it wasn’t for him, I would have never learned AP Style. (Associated Press style, the language of a journalist.) He broke down the complicated writing style into understandable lessons and, that way, I could write my stories with more focus on the content rather than the technical flaws. He truly is an incredible teacher–not every teacher can make learning AP Style easy. He even made it fun sometimes.

The Muleskinner won Best in State at the MCMA conference this year. And of course, if you ask Matt, he’ll probably say it was all us. But no- so much of it was him. He’s been able to advise us on style, design, writing stories the best way possible, getting good photos and much more. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have had the knowledge on how to produce great content and make a great paper to win that award.

And most deserving, Matt won Adviser of the year. He told the interviewers that he would “fall on a sword” for his students. He advises a great paper. He’s always there for us. He’s an amazing professor. So yes, he definitely deserved that award.

My college life wouldn’t have been the same without him or the Muleskinner. Working there with him and my fellow co-workers has changed my life for the better, won me awards and heightened my skills more than I could ever imagine. So thank you Muleskinner and thank you, Matt, for making UCM a worthwhile place to have chosen to go to college.

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