An email brought me to the Daily Campus a little less than two years ago, and with the email I sent to turn this column in for publication, my time at the paper which has taught me all I know about journalism came to a close much too soon.
When my family moved from California to Connecticut during my sophomore year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I decided to transfer to UConn for my junior and senior years. At some point over the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I received an email through the English department’s ListSERV that gave a brief description of the Daily Campus and the meeting times for the paper’s sections.
The news section grabbed my attention. I figured that, as a transfer student, it would be good to attend at least one of this section’s meetings to get a sense of what events were going on at UConn.
And so, on a warm Sunday night in late August of 2016, I found myself in a packed newsroom for my first news meeting, a bit intimidated and unsure if I could actually pull off reporting and writing well for the paper. I did not realize at that time that the news section and the Daily Campus would have a highly positive impact on my life throughout my junior and senior years by inspiring me, an avid reader of newspapers, to enjoy being a part of actually reporting the news.
At the Daily Campus, I have learned how to conduct interviews, report, newswrite and edit thanks to editors who were instructive and supportive. I have had the pleasure of covering assorted Mansfield and UConn news. Most importantly, I have discovered what a privilege it is to try to tell as much of the greater UConn community’s story as possible through our articles.
A wide array of people contribute to this capturing of the larger UConn community’s story, such as those who trust us with their stories and allow us to quote them in articles. To these individuals, I say thank you for your support.
All of my colleagues at the Daily Campus also help tell UConn’s story. Thank you to our copy editors, designers, digital producers, photographers, writers and editors. Each one of you puts so much heart and effort into this paper.
Thank you to the Daily Campus officers who hired me as Associate News Editor, additionally. This role has provided me with an extremely formative experience that has taught me a great amount about myself as a leader, editor and writer, and I am very grateful that you all gave me the opportunity to hold this position. Thank you for the work you do for the paper, too.
The writers of the news section deserve a massive thank you as well. It has been wonderful to watch each one of you grow and develop as a journalist this year, and you all continually impress me with the quality of your work and your enthusiasm.
Just the other night, several of you were discussing an article in the section’s group chat, and it made me beyond happy to see this collaboration. Keep reporting. Keep writing. And keep telling UConn’s story.
And that brings me to News Editor extraordinaire and excellent human being Marlese Lessing. Marlese, I have loved every instant of essentially being Don Quixote and Sancho while running the news section together this year, and I will truly miss you. The section could not have asked for a more exceptional editor, and I could not have asked for a better friend.
Finally, I cannot thank my family and friends enough for listening to me talk almost incessantly about the Daily Campus over the past two years. You all are the best for putting up with me.
With that, I will say goodbye. As I start out on the path toward becoming certified as a high school English teacher, I am so thankful and glad that I get to bring with me everything I have learned at the Daily Campus about telling stories.
Alexandra Retter is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.