People always say to me, “How come I never see you around campus?” My response is usually along the lines of, “I spend 90% of my time inside Shirk Hall with all the other journalism majors.”
This is my last piece ever for The Franklin, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what to write about. I had almost a month to write this, and of course I put it off until the night it was due – part of that being because I did not know what to write, and the other part being that I thought I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Franklin College.
The Franklin became so much more than just a job or an extracurricular to me. It became my home – the place where my best friends are, the place where I grew as a person, a leader and a writer.
I’m grateful to how my time at Franklin College and in the Pulliam School of Journalism brought me to once-in-lifetime opportunities. I won an Emmy, The Franklin staff attended two national journalism conventions – one where we were a Pacemaker finalist – and I had my dream internship in Washington, D.C., where I met the people I plan to be friends with for a lifetime. Now, I already have my first full-time job at the Daily Journal.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the people who made me the person who I am today. My professors, John Krull, Joel Cramer, Janet Williams, Hank Nuwer, Ann Barton and Ray Begovich for always encouraging me, and pushing me to do my best.
Ryan Gunterman, who was always around to give advice, or just be there if I needed to vent about how stressed I was with work and life.
Erica Irish, my colleague, co-executive editor and my best friend, who I’ve been through everything with in these last three years. I don’t know where I’d be without her. I probably would have gone crazy by now, if I didn’t have her to rant to, laugh with, bounce ideas off of or look to for advice.
It’s no secret this past year has been one of the hardest years for me, and The Franklin too. I started my year off in Disney World for Immersive Term. I was having the time of my life in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, when we got the email: Former President Thomas Minar was fired after he was arrested on child sex crime charges in Wisconsin.
This was one of the most trying moments for me as both co-executive editor and a staff member of The Franklin.
I, along with Erica and the rest of the staff, were challenged with writing about a topic we were never prepared to cover.
I traveled to Sturgeon Bay twice this year, and it wasn’t easy for any of us to write about the former college president allegedly committing this kind of crime. But even though this was and is still a tough subject to cover, I could not be prouder of The Franklin staff for the way we handled it. If it wasn’t for us, many of the details of
this case would likely be unknown to the college community, and I think it’s incredibly important we continue to cover it.
Of course, while this was still settling, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Franklin College went completely virtual, and I had just accepted a new full-time job as a reporter for the Daily Journal. I struggled to maintain balance between my school, job and executive editor duties.
Everyone struggled to adapt to a new normal, and at The Franklin, we did our best to cover the campus through the pandemic because we knew it was important.
I may be droning on by rehashing past events, but the main point I’m trying to get to is, The Franklin taught me how much journalism matters. We shine a spotlight on issues that might otherwise be overlooked on our campus – Minar’s arrest and trial, the education program’s recent pitfalls, dealing with how COVID-19 impacts our community – just to name a few.
Now, more than ever, it’s important we continue to report the truth, and tell the stories that matter.