Slainte

It’s bittersweet to say goodbye.

Well, a little on the sweeter side.

I’ve closed countless chapters in my life, and this may be one of the lengthier ones.

As a 28-year-old undergraduate, the road that led me to YSU was paved with many setbacks.

But I have to appreciate the mishaps that landed me on the doorsteps of YSU, because it has truly been an incomparable experience.

And I have many to thank for it.

Alyssa Lenhoff opened doors for me. And I always — albeit sometimes unwittingly —stumbled through those doors. I have attempted in every way possible to reciprocate her dedication to my success.

Tim Francisco kept me grounded as Lenhoff fanned my hopes. His heavy and sometimes tumultuous words of wisdom have fortified my pragmatism. At every turn, I often reflect on his skepticism, and I’m a better reporter for it.

Mary Beth Earnheardt, like so many others, is a steward of students. She guides, cultivates, inspires and encourages us. Her advisement at The Jambar is wise and matriarchal.

If there was ever a person who tempered my patience, it was Todd Franko. His why-the-hell-should-I-care comments forced me to consider why we do what we do. We have a relationship with our reader that transcends the page. And we must never forget our purpose.

We are storytellers. We document the best and the worst that humanity has to offer. We catalogue the tears and the joy. We advocate for reform through transparent and unabashed reporting. We relate in empathetic words.

To my colleagues: We’ve shared the lessons and learned from one another. I guess I’ll give thanks and remarks chronologically, in order of appearance, so to speak.

Adam Rogers’ eye for design made me realize that you can draw a reader to a paper with craft that preludes content.

Lamar Salter’s persistence and innovation, though often powered by Google, instilled in me the idea that anything is feasible. Even if his words were spoken with an inside voice, they would carry the same weight.

Josh Stipanovich has a monk’s patience and an honest humbleness that I will never forget. His only downfall may be his ill-advised faith in Notre Dame football.

Emmalee C. Torisk commands copy like a priest regurgitating gospel. Her diligence is unmatched by anyone I have ever met. If she ever leaves the university, I know that great things await her.

Chris Cotelesse is a force in journalism. He’s witty, brazen, callous and sometimes contemptible. Basically, he’s fearlessly devoted to muckraking. Best of luck to you next year, Chris. Never let them tone you down.

Sam Marhulik has been a stable at the design desk from before my time. I’m glad to see him get up from that chair and venture into his profession.

Dan Pompili left The Jambar in 2010, making me the oldest staffer. Thanks, Dan. Joe Giesy left a year later. He’s a kindred spirit and a great person to brave the wild streets of an untamed town with.

It’s comforting to see Pompili and Giesy steering local news.

I’ve left the most important inspiration for last: my mother.

For a woman who shrugs hardship and bears burden with grace, she is the strongest person I know.

Everything I accomplish from here on out will be in her name, and all those who have shaped my life. 

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