by Jacqueline Stoughton
I’ve always known that being a journalist is what I’m meant to do in my life. I had been active on my high school paper, further assuring me that I was making the right choice of what I wanted to study in college. When I arrived at Central Connecticut as a freshman, getting involved with The Recorder was a top priority.
I will never forget sending an email to Kassondra Granata, who was Editor-in-Chief at the time and is now one of my best friends, inquiring about getting involved as a staff writer. I was nervous, but knew if I was serious about journalism and wanted to be successful in the field, this was something I had to be overly involved in.
Under Granata, I wrote opinions and covered various events for the Arts & Entertainment section. With her guidance, I was able to develop my writing style as a reporter, eventually discovering my true passion for news writing.
My sophomore year under Amanda Webster, I continued to write news. She trained and prepared me for when I was promoted to assistant news editor the following semester, where I worked closely with Acadia Otlowski as she ran the news section. Together we were the “journalism dream team.” Under Otlowski, I took over as news editor.
My senior year I was elected Editor-in-Chief. This was an experience I grew from as a journalist and as a leader. I faced many challenges this year and experienced for the first time the major disrespect that frequently comes with being a woman leader. Overall this paper has grown and is on a path towards developing into a true multimedia publication. A lot of great initiatives were started this year, such as paying staff writers for their hard work and bringing video packages onto our newly renovated website. These are projects I’m confident my staff will continue to work on following my departure from this paper.
When I think about how far I’ve come not only as a journalist, but as a person, I’ve grown and matured and am now ready to be a full-fledged adult taking on the real world. It’s inspiring to think about how much I was able to accomplish in four short years – imagine what’s possible throughout the rest of my career.
I want to thank my amazing and inspiring mother, my insanely comical sister, my father and all my other family and friends who have stuck by my side throughout the past four years. Thank you to Kassondra for being an incredible best friend, who has not only guided me and provided me with advice throughout my four years as I worked my way up to Editor-in-Chief, but also for just being there to listen to me vent, paper related or otherwise. Thank you to Acadia and Sean Begin for preparing me to take on this role, as well as being there to provide guidance throughout the year when I needed it. Thank you to Sean Ferris for coming back and helping me when I needed it most and for always making Monday nights an enjoyable yet slightly annoying and loud experience.
Most importantly thank you to all the professors in the CCSU Department of Journalism. Everyone of you has had a hand in molding me to be the journalist I am today. Specifically, thank you to Dr. Vivian Martin for always being available to provide professional advice whether with the paper, internships or just to chit-chat. CCSU journalism has given me the experiences and contacts needed in order to receive opportunities I don’t believe I would’ve gotten elsewhere. Because of this department, I was able to partake on three incredible adventures abroad. These are all opportunities that contributed to my growth as a journalist and are memories I’ll carry with me forever.
Thank you to my staff writers; you’re all incredible, hard workers and there would be no paper without you. Thank you to my news editors Nick Leahey and Analisa Novak for stepping up and taking over the section when it needed you most. You two brought this section to the best state it has been in for a long time, I’m incredibly proud of you both and am confident you both will go far in this field. Thank you to my copy editors, Lorenzo Burgio and Nicole Gagnon for helping me with the tedious task of editing. The quality of this paper wouldn’t have reached the level it’s at without both of your hard work.
The Recorder has put out a consistent product that is something to be proud of. Good luck to my staff next year as they carry on and continue to make The Recorder a high quality and professional publication. Thank you so much for not only this year, but also for the amazing experiences and adventures I’ve had with this paper all four years.