After six semesters, where do we stand?
My Brown and White journey began in the frosty winter of 2018 with a few clicks on Lehigh Banner to *web register* for JOUR 001.
What a decision that was.
Nearly three years later, I have written and edited countless stories, led various beats, then a section and helped manage a newsroom.
And I’ve had to abandon the Oxford comma — easier said than done.
In my life, I have found that I learn best the hard way, but also by doing.
I’ve never taken a traditional journalism class, yet I have gained a breadth of real-world publication experience. And absorbed some AP Style. I am by all means a student of this subject.
I have honed my ability to write. I have improved my public speaking and presentational competency. I have been privileged to work alongside a group of talented individuals — and we’ve won a few awards too.
Spending 20 plus hours per week working on The Brown and White throughout these past few semesters has taught me discipline. It has allowed me to practice operating under pressure and on a deadline — not to mention gathering information and building connections.
It is difficult not to feel a sense of responsibility for the paper that bears my name and those of my peers on its masthead.
There is a certain pride that comes from having your writing published, and even more when your bylines are read and engaged with.
It is special being able to create content from scratch — watching the seed of an idea be planted and nurtured through development into a finished piece. And as a result of The Brown and White’s dynamic staff across a range of departments, we can cover a lot of ground.
I am grateful for the hours spent learning from a certain deep-dish pizza expert who moonlights as our faculty advisor. I have grown my craft tremendously thanks to his poignant feedback.
For nothing would I trade the endless time poured into brainstorming ideas, writing descriptions, editing stories and leading a staff as news editor.
This fall, it was beyond rewarding to come full circle and lead educational programming for new reporters as a managing editor — an integral part of my own experience when I first began as a wee J1.
I am equally thankful to have been part of a news outlet that places unbiased, accurate reporting at the top of its list of priorities.
What a ride it has been.
The Brown and White emerged from COVID-19 arguably stronger than ever. We proved we could function with everyone scattered everywhere. We streamlined our production process and climbed new heights.
Day in, day out, armed with the deadly trifecta of Slack, Google Drive and WordPress, we generate headlines.
I may not look back on every moment at Lehigh with equal fondness, but I will always cherish my time spent at The Brown and White’s global headquarters, Coppee Hall. Being unable to attend critique on the third floor and complain about its lack of a bathroom and water fountain for two semesters during the pandemic only reinforced that.
To the future generation of leaders — I hope your time upon the masthead is as enjoyable and formative as mine has been. I hope you can appreciate the long hours and frustration of elusive reporters when you see the fruits of your labor (yes, a cliché).
A bit of unsolicited advice? Never shy away from a challenge, and never doubt your own capabilities.
Not to be meta, but 700 words can’t sum up my three years with this organization. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to have been part of a newsroom that explored so many issues and shed light where there was once darkness.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the editors, past and present, that I have shared the newsroom with; it has been such a joy working with and learning from you. You continue to motivate and inspire me.
As this chapter comes to an end, I eagerly await the next — eternally grateful for all that transpired. Whatever lies in store, I will continue to carry on in the spirit of the phrase, “Go forth and journalism!”