Senior Sendoff: A girl and her camera

Me with my dad’s camcorder that I was always stealing. Photo courtesy of Tom Van Etten. 


These are always difficult to start out, so I guess I will just begin with this: I think I have come a long way, considering I didn’t even know the Collegian existed my freshman year. 

Serving as a multimedia editor for the past two years has been such an amazing experience, and I have learned so much from this position. But let’s rewind a little bit …

As a kid, I loved the camera. My dad used to take home videos, and in quite a few you can hear me in the background shouting, “I want to see!” I was fascinated by it and loved watching and recording videos. As I got older, the home videos slowly stopped, and I never gave it a second thought — unless you count dressing up as a reporter for Halloween in fifth grade or making music videos with my sisters. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school — when I needed to take an elective class — that video came back into my life.

Maeve Van Etten, left, dressed as a reporter for Halloween with her sisters. Photo courtesy of Barb Van Etten. 

My broadcasting class freshman year of high school literally changed my life. Going into high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, which is pretty normal. However, I was looking for some type of direction or something that I would be passionate about. I found that in broadcasting class. It quickly became my favorite class, and I took one every year of high school until I became the TV manager of my high school’s student-run broadcasting company during my senior year. 

Maeve Van Etten, right, live reporting at her high school football game for broadcasting class. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Holland. 

I was dedicated to that program, and I loved spending all my time there. But, even as a high school senior, I only really considered it a hobby and not a career or major that I could pursue. But then I found Butler and the sports media program. That’s when my thoughts started to change. 

Maeve Van Etten, left, posing next to the bulldog the first time she visited Butler as a sophomore in high school. Photo courtesy of Tom Van Etten. 

Declaring sports media as my major was not an easy decision. I wasn’t sure if the risk was going to pay off, and my parents were not too confident that this was the right choice. I called my dad once a week during my first semester, and every time we talked, he would ask me what sports media is and why I wanted to do it. After several of these phone calls, my parents were finally on board with the idea, and I was happier than ever to pursue something that I love. Freshman year flew by, and I was already enjoying my College of Communication classes … then COVID-19 hit, and we got sent home for the remainder of the semester in March 2020. 

I was so devastated to be away from Butler, but during this time, I learned about the multimedia section of the Collegian through a friend. We were in broadcasting together in high school, and he explained how the multimedia section was similar. That summer I applied to be a multimedia reporter, and once fall came around, I was officially a part of the Collegian! 

I absolutely loved being a multimedia reporter. I was eager to do a package every week and loved going around campus shooting videos. I grew attached to the blue Butler Collegian microphone — that never changed. For this, I thank my editor at the time, Catalina Gallegos. She was the most supportive editor I could have asked for. That’s why, in February, when the assistant multimedia editor position opened up, I instantly applied. After that, I spent the remainder of my sophomore year as assistant editor and enjoyed getting a taste of leadership. 

Catalina graduated, and the editor position became available, so, of course, I applied for it. Now here I am two years later still going strong. Being an editor has taken a lot of dedication, patience and many late nights, but it has been so worth it. I have gotten to cover so many compelling stories and met lots of wonderful people. 

Yes, the Collegian changed my life, but there are also so many people who helped along the way. My journey would not be the same without them. 

Thank you to all of the editorial board for your support of multimedia over the past two years. It’s hard to include the outside entity when everyone else is writing, but I always feel welcome during editors’ meetings! 

Thank you to Scott Bridge, my mentor throughout this whole process. The multimedia section has grown tremendously over the past couple of years, and you have been a big help throughout it all! Thanks for listening to my rants and supplying me with Hershey’s bars. 

Thank you to all of my lovely multimedia reporters who always put up with my craziness, especially during studio newscasts. None of my progress in growing the multimedia section would be possible without you all.

Thank you to my amazing co-editor, Ethan Polak. He sees the insanity that comes out of me when I am stressed more than anyone else and still puts up with me! You have been such a crucial part of the multimedia section, especially these past few weeks, and I couldn’t have asked for a better co-editor.

Thank you to my high school broadcasting teacher, Mark Ciesielski. I have no idea what I would be doing or where I would be if it were not for you and the dedication you showed toward the Viking Broadcasting Company, so thank you for helping me find my passions.

Thank you to my best friends Emma, Anna and Grace. You have all been there for me these past four years and are my biggest motivation and inspiration! I don’t know what I would do without you guys — especially when I make you come with me to film my newscasts. 

Thank you to Andrew — you are my biggest cheerleader, and that means a lot to me. You might also be the Collegian’s most loyal YouTube subscriber and newscast viewer. I can always count on you to tune in every week!

Thank you to my family for being so supportive during my time at Butler and for being my biggest cheerleaders, especially when you get my weekly newscast text in the family group chat.

Thank you to my dad for taking home videos. I think that’s where my love of videography really began.

I am writing this on a plane ride to Dallas as I head to the Women’s Final Four for my externship with the NCAA, and I am holding back tears so the random people I am sitting around don’t judge me. Writing about my journey to find my career and how the Collegian helped me is so surreal. 

I went from a shy, inexperienced first-year student to an NCAA extern working at one of the biggest events in women’s sports. Let’s just say, I’m happy I picked up that camera when I did.




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