TPN senior send-offs


By The Pitt News Staff

It’s been a long year — though for these editors, time has flown by. TPN is saying goodbye to five graduating members of its staff this year who have all made an impact on the paper and their peers.

Kim Rooney, Copy Chief // Maggie Young, Contributing Editor

Copy Queen Kim! I have loved working under her fearless leadership these past few months more than I can describe. I’m so grateful for all the knowledge and AP Style tips she has passed on to me, and I’m thankful she encouraged me to apply for assistant copy chief, because I don’t know if I would have been confident doing so otherwise.

She created such a great work environment for all new and old copy editors alike. We all learned so much while she was chief and the staff became super close. Kim cultivated the perfect balance, and I can only hope to help do the same next year.

I am going to miss listening to musicals and sea shanties at the copy desk, as well as discussions about our transitions from one Hogwarts house to the next. She is so bright and has done so many fabulous things during her time at Pitt. She is so fun and lovely and I’m excited to see everything she accomplishes!

Jeremy Wang, Assistant Opinions Editor // Maggie Durwald, Opinions Editor

I met Jeremy the day I was hired as an opinions columnist during the fall semester in 2017. That evening, during my first pitch meeting, he argued against my column pitch and made me feel like I maybe needed to think more about the topic to have an opinion about it. So at least in my mind, we didn’t exactly start off on the right foot — how dare someone expose me like that?

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this job, though — and from Jeremy himself — it’s that opinions have a habit of evolving as you gain more experience. And although the me of September 2017 probably wouldn’t believe it, I am so grateful now to have had the privilege of working more closely with Jeremy this semester.

A veteran of the opinions desk, he’s excellent at challenging people to think harder about their opinions and working with columnists to fine-tune their ideas. That skill has made him both an award-winning columnist and an excellent opinions editor.

I’m going to miss the steady string of profanities, his electric tea kettle, his infinite loyalty to Las Palmas and the all around stand-up guy he is. But I have no doubt he’ll do great things going forward, and I can’t wait to see what they are.

Thank you for a great semester, Jeremy!

Christian Snyder, Editor-in-Chief // Brian Gentry, Assistant News Editor

Christian was the first person I met at The Pitt News in September 2017. I applied as an opinions writer when he served as the assistant opinions editor, and from the moment I met him I knew he’d do an amazing job in the position. He certainly looks the part — anyone who consistently wears all-denim outfits with Birkenstocks is well-suited to edit opinions.

His skill with editing shone through, too. I wrote badly sometimes, but by the time it passed under Christian’s eyes, it was always a solid piece. And he was always supportive regardless of the quality of the column, sending messages like “Great job on this!” or “Well done!”

When I applied for an editorship last year — about a week after the deadline — he found a way to get me onto the editorial staff by offering me a position as online visual editor. His passion for the digital side of the newspaper clearly showed in the following year — he met with me and the other digital editors weekly, walked us through 50-slide NYT presentations about how to transition into the digital era of news and always had new, often brilliant, sometimes unattainable ideas of how to make the website pop. His innovation brought fresh ideas to the newspaper.

He’s been a great leader, a great editor, a great reporter and a great friend. He’s sitting in the office on his last night with his cat Leo on a leash, and I’m certain that he’ll go on to do bigger and better things wherever he ends up.

Elizabeth Martinson, Multimedia Editor and copy editor // Janine Faust, Managing Editor

I first knew Elizabeth as a member of TPN’s copy desk when she joined in the fall. She always seemed to catch errors no one else had seen and present suggestions for how to clarify a vague statement or spruce up a wonky sentence.

When February came around and Elizabeth offered to step up and fill the newly vacant multimedia editor position, I was surprised since I didn’t know she had video experience. She soon proved to be the perfect person for the job, though.

She’s also displayed fantastic perseverance — in less than two months she’s producing at least one video per week, if not more. She herself handles a camera beautifully, and I commend her patience in helping instruct new videographers in shooting and editing. I’m especially impressed by the fact that she’s still stayed on copy desk to run articles through the wringer while juggling with her new duties.

I’m sad to see Elizabeth go so soon, but considering the talent and drive she’s displayed this semester, I’m sure she’s headed somewhere great.

Anna Bongardino, Digital Manager // Sarah Connor, Culture Editor

I first met Anna when she came back from Morocco this past summer, where she was studying abroad on a photojournalism program. Naturally, I was blown away by her talent with a camera. Anna — who was the visual editor throughout summer and fall 2018 before taking over as digital manager this spring — has the ability to capture anything and make it beautiful. She is also one of the sweetest, most accepting people I have ever met.

I’ve only known Anna for one year, but in that time she has taught me more than I could have imagined about being proud of who I am, believing in myself and standing up for myself. She is an explorer: if you check out her social media it seems like every month she is in a different country, taking photos of her grand adventures. In just a few weeks, Anna will be embarking on her next adventure, being an au pair in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. It’s tough for me to say goodbye to such a good friend who I have only been able to spend one year with, but I know that Anna is meant to travel and see this beautiful world — she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anna, thank you for dealing with me and always talking to me when I need you and of course, being my favorite Hemingway’s date. You will be missed, but I must admit that I can’t wait to see the photos you take in Guadeloupe.

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