My time at Shippensburg University is quickly wrapping up. With graduation looming and only one more print edition of The Slate hitting newsstands next week, I am about to leave the place I called home for the past three-and-a-half years. I find myself sitting and reflecting as I begin to write the final lines in this chapter of my life.
I want to thank my mentor during my senior year of high school, H. James “Jim” Wolf of The Chronicle in southern Lancaster County. Jim served as my first internship supervisor and I would not be in the place I am today without the experiences The Chronicle provided me.
The Chronicle is the free local newspaper in my hometown. I always picked up a couple copies every Tuesday when it hit newsstands. When it came time for me to figure out an internship for my senior year, I wanted to write for the paper I loved reading.
When I emailed Jim to ask if they took interns, he initially turned me down citing previous poor experiences with interns. I asked again, promising to be different. He agreed to a meeting with me and my high school guidance counselor at which he eventually came around to the idea.
I worked extremely hard to impress him, wanting to go above any expectations he had. Week after week my skills grew, and I gained the confidence to write and report. During my exit interview, Jim said I was the best intern he had ever had and set the bar high for any who followed in my footsteps. My career in journalism and values of local reporting would not be the same without his guidance.
To the Shippensburg community: Thank you for reading The Slate’s content and supporting our mission to provide the community with news and entertainment coverage. I also want to thank every source who I have had the pleasure of working with on this campus and community. I learned something in every interview, and truly enjoyed being able to tell the stories of this campus through my work. One of the best parts of journalism is that I get to learn something new every day by having conversations with community members.
Every member of this campus plays a major role in our community, and you all deserve to be heard.
I also want to thank my staff for all of their work and dedication this semester. It was hard at times, but we overcame our obstacles and came together stronger on the other side. I appreciate all of you and hope our paths cross again in the future.
Thank you to my family and friends for all of the dinners, conversations or late-night phone calls listening to me talk about stories or difficult page layouts. Your support in helping me achieve my goals means the world.
Finally, I want to thank The Slate’s adviser, Michael Drager. Dr. Drager has molded me into the best journalist I can be — the journalist who I at times never knew I could be.
While he may dismiss or brush off the recognition, Dr. Drager is the best faculty member at this university. I have not met a more dedicated and caring person — and he knows a heck of a lot about journalism. He spends countless hours advising The Slate and is always willing to help his students realize their true potential. Dr. Drager is there supporting students in their successes and offering his support and assistance when things are not going so well.
I would not be the journalist I am today without Dr. Drager and hope I can someday repay his gift of knowledge and time investment to the next generation of journalists.
Thank you everyone for following my journey as a journalist at SU. I am not quite sure what is coming next but I hope to continue telling the stories of the community in which I live.