Senior Sendoff: Journalism is powerful … in more ways than one

From editing to Homecoming to basketball watch parties, I have so many amazing memories from my time on the Collegian that I am going to take with me. Graphic by Alison Miccolis


Little did I know when I was pacing around my laundry room waiting for a phone call from then-Editor-in-Chief Meghan Stratton that four years later, I would be the one initiating calls to new reporters applying to The Butler Collegian. Little did I know that what seemed like a good way to meet people and gather writing samples would become one of the most integral parts of my college years. And little did I know that I would gain not only the experience necessary to confidently enter the workforce but also the friendships that will stay with me long after I receive my diploma. 

For 18 years, math was my favorite subject. I looked forward to learning about factors, algebraic equations and the order of operations. AP Calculus was my favorite class in high school. So, you may be wondering how I decided on a degree in journalism. 

It was simple — the Collegian. Before I started looking at schools, I wrote a list of everything I was passionate about: theatre, criminal justice law, Providence College basketball, talking to people, reading memoirs, teaching dance … and many others. The goal was to see how many I could tie into a major that was offered at a school I wanted to go to. I landed on sports media and data science. It was the option with the most overlap — math, sports and talking to people. While I would have preferred to stay closer to home in Rhode Island, Butler was one of the few options that checked all the boxes. 

However, shortly after I faced my fears and committed to the school that was 15.5 hours away, the COVID-19 pandemic cut my senior year of high school short and created uncertainty around the beginning of my collegiate journey. 

I decided to do my first year at Butler remotely. I knew that if I came to campus, not knowing anyone, when everything was shut down, I’d want to transfer. And so I started to look for ways to get involved on campus while 900 miles away. As a student in the College of Communication, The Butler Collegian seemed like the logical option. There is no way I could have known that deciding to apply for the Collegian would be the most important decision I would make as a student. 

Not only did I change my major from sports media to journalism, but I also learned more in these four years on staff than I could have in any class at any institution. The situations student journalists are put in are no different than those editors at The New York Times experience. My first year, I wrote 23 stories before ever stepping foot on campus. For me, it made finally packing the car and driving to a place I was not familiar with a little less scary — at least I recognized the faces of my sources. As a former news reporter, news editor, managing editor and current editor-in-chief, I have had the opportunity to write more than 50 stories, each one providing me with the opportunity to meet and connect with some incredible people. 

I was able to combine my love of research and interviewing for my “Making Black History” story. I got to cover the visit of someone I remembered reading about in a book that changed my life, “Just Mercy”. I was a part of history when I attended the Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Celebration in Clowes Memorial Hall. I have had the opportunity to sit down and have in-depth conversations with some of the most influential people on campus. And I got to chat with two men’s tennis players whose extraordinary journeys brought them both to Butler from Spain, where they used to compete against one of my favorite professional players — two-time Grand Slam champion Carlos Alcaraz. 

In addition to all the amazing events and exceptional people I have had the privilege of covering, I have also written some harder stories where the impact was greater than I could have ever imagined. 

Last spring, I worked with now-Sports Editor Sarah Hohman on a story about the volleyball program and years of concerns around the relationship between coach and players. Many players brought their concerns to the attention of the athletic department and never saw any changes. We spent more hours than we could count — although we tried — finding sources, interviewing and working to make sure we told the athletes’ stories with integrity, honesty and compassion. 

After the story was published, we heard from more than 100 current and former student-athletes, parents and community members. Having the players we interviewed and players from almost 20 years ago reach out and say they finally felt heard was worth all the hard work. It was my proudest day as a student. 

And while I am forever grateful and better for the stories I’ve had the opportunity to cover, it is the people I have met while working here that make the experience as meaningful as it has been. 

I cannot thank Dr. Karaliova, our faculty advisor, enough for her help throughout my four years. It is my hope that every student finds their Dr. Karaliova. In addition to being a dedicated advisor for the Collegian — giving criticism when necessary and praising us when our hard work often goes unnoticed — she has been a steady and supportive mentor to me. It is comforting to know when you are hundreds of miles away from home that there is an adult who is there for you. 

In addition to teaching some of my favorite classes at Butler, introducing me to amazing guest speakers and being a strong advocate for the importance of journalism, Dr. Karaliova was one of the few people who understood that we are people first. As a student journalist, she held me to a high standard, but I always knew I could go to her if I was overwhelmed, and for that, I am very grateful. 

Being a leader is difficult. As a perfectionist, it is hard to admit, but I know I made mistakes. That is why it was important I had an amazing team of editors to support and challenge me. I learned how to be a more critical thinker, responsible media consumer and informed person. 

I truly believe that we would not have been able to do the work successfully had it not been for the relationships we built as an editorial board. I cannot take full credit for this. Former Editor-in-Chief Emma Quasny showed me how to create a culture of holding each other accountable while also leaving room to create bonds that last longer than the tenure of our positions. 

I am grateful that because of the Collegian, I have real, true, lifelong friends. The friends I stop on the sidewalk to talk with for 20 minutes. The friends I miss when we are on break. The friends who know and embrace my quirks. The friends who send me TikToks and Tweets. The friends I want to hang out with on the weekends. And the friends who make leaving Butler so hard.


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