“Well, when I was at Virginia Tech…” This is a phrase I have used entirely too many times. I say it not to compare my time at Virginia Tech to my time spent at Kennesaw State, but rather as a reference point from where I began.
We all must have a start. That goes for anything in life. When you get your driver’s license, your first job, your first college acceptance letter, your first career job, everything must have a beginning. Those beginnings lay a foundation upon which you build your life from, and levels are slowly added year-by-year.
“Well, when I was at Kennesaw State…” is the phrase I cannot wait to tell my colleagues and friends after I graduate in December. I have told numerous people that working with The Sentinel has taught me so much more than any of my classes have.
It is the people at The Sentinel that have helped make me into a journalist. Those people encouraged me, taught me, allowed me to fail and allowed me to lead. Three-and-a-half full years of learning, triumphs and failures have brought me to this point in my life.
I remember going to interview Interim President Ken Harmon in February with our news editor Sabrina. When we got to the president’s suite and began the interview, she got a little flustered and nervous as anyone would interviewing such a high-ranking official for the first time.
Dr. Harmon and university spokesperson Tammy DeMel were so gracious and helped encourage her and make the setting as open as possible. After the interview, Sabrina and I debriefed it. That day, I realized why we do student media.
Not only do we serve as an organization to help give students a sense of the real journalism world and to keep our university officials accountable, but we serve to help each other learn and grow, not just in this profession but as human beings.
I realized that we serve as student journalists to teach one another, to help one another along in confusing and troubling circumstances and to build a community of people striving for one goal.
Having the honor of serving as editor-in-chief of The Sentinel is something I will never forget for as long as I live. Even if I had only remained a photographer as I was when I first transferred to KSU, I would be content because I know I’d be surrounded by people that care so much about others and about the university they attend.
I remember the first photograph I ever had published in The Sentinel: a photo from an event organized to make books for children in Africa. That photo was on the front page. I’m excited to see who else makes the front page and realizes their potential because of this body of people. Then maybe they will say, “Well, when I worked with The Sentinel…”