When I graduated high school, I thought my journalism career was over. All four years of high school I was involved with our student newspaper. I also interned with the local newspaper, where I saw the newsroom go from a staff of six or seven to only one or two. I saw with my own two eyes the downsizing of the newspaper, which worried me and persuaded me to choose a different path.
During my freshman year at UCM, I was a computer information systems major. I wanted to get involved, and one way I wanted to get involved was to contribute to the campus newspaper. A friend and co-worker at the Ellis Hall front desk, Erin Wides, referred me to the Muleskinner and to reach out to Matt Bird-Meyer.
I can remember the first time I stepped foot in the newsroom on the third floor of the Wood Building — a building I rarely visited before. I felt immediately welcomed and started contributing. I was able to focus more on my journalism work when I went from being a stringer to the assistant design editor.
Eventually, I felt maybe journalism was my calling. Both Matt and Erin inspired me to switch my major and study journalism full time. Over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I officially made the transition: going from computer information systems to majoring in digital media production with an emphasis in digital journalism.
At the Muleskinner, I made some really good friends. Unfortunately, like all good things, it comes to an end. All of my co-workers are graduating, moving on to bigger and better things.
Really, it should be a happy day for me — to see my co-workers get the degree they’ve deserved through years of hard work and dedication.
But it’s hard to say goodbye to the people that have been there with me through the good days and the bad.
If it wasn’t for Erin Wides, one of our graduating seniors, or Matt Bird-Meyer, adviser, I would still be a computer information systems major. I would’ve never got involved, would’ve never continued my journalism work and, obviously, would not be here. Without them, my stories — from my first story in January 2018 about a book signing in the Art Center to my recent story about the Union — would have never existed.
Obviously, there’s more than Erin and Matt that have impacted my work or my life in general. Everyone in the Muleskinner has touched my life in one way or another.
Jason Brown, our managing editor, assisted Matt in encouraging me that the work I was going was decent and improving.
Kaitlin and Anaiyeh allowed me to vent while providing input and feedback.
So, to our graduating seniors — Jason Brown, Kaitlin Brothers, Erin Wides, Anaiyeh Smith, Chris Moore and Cody Clemmons — the best of luck after their graduating. I cannot wait to see the great work my coworkers do out in the real world. I also wish good luck to Matt Bird-Meyer, who is also leaving to move on bigger and better things.