By Kassondra Granata
It all started three years ago when I was a freshman at this University. I was not sure what to do, where to go and what the next step would be to pursue my career. I was uncertain if I was even interested in being a journalist; I always liked to write, I had a talent for it, but there was no motivation.
I was in sort of a limbo until I arrived at The Recorder. I was told by an acquaintance that I should get down there. I told him, “yes, totally, I’ll be there next week” and asked when the meetings were. He told me the date and I was destined to make it there for the next meeting.
It took me three weeks to get to that damn meeting. Every Monday I would walk out my door and make a quick beeline back to my dorm because I was so nervous. I had no idea what it was going to be like, I was scared out of my mind.
I walked into my first meeting literally shaking to the bone to find to my surprise that there were all students there; ordinary, yet more cultured students than I was at the time. There I met the Editor-in-chief Mike Walsh who helped me write my first article and eventually helped me obtain my own voice. He was my mentor for a year after he graduated when Nick Proch took his place.
Under Proch, I moved from a staff writer to News Editor and eventually Managing Editor where I learned how a publication worked. I saw how much work is put into a weekly production- with layout, editing, copy editing, photos- the list goes on. I traveled to Orlando and Seattle where I met and have kept relationships with journalists across the country.
I was Editor-in-chief at The Recorder for my junior year and it was one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs I have ever had. I learned what the entire staff needed to do in order to get The Recorder on the stands every Wednesday.
I saw growth in The Recorder this year. I saw growth in many of those who had just joined, like our Photo Editor, Erin O’Donnell, and the publication gain a different, yet developing image from our Layout Editor, Sean Ferris. The Upgrade section was one of our strongest throughout thanks to Danny Contreras and Acadia Otlowski and the News section developed tremendously thanks to Amanda Webster, who managed the entire section on her own, even if that meant writing it all by herself at times.
The sports section has taken a better turn this semester with coverage of solely CCSU sports with writers under Matt Aveni like Corey Pollnow and Derek Turner that have taken coverage to a whole new level. Joe Suczcynzki wrote opinion pieces every week contributing to the lonely opinion section where there would be comics from Erik Valad, my column and Justin Musczynski’s column. The staff writers were terrific, taking on stories and making their own style, developing clips for their future.
The website has been at its best state that I have seen since I started with thanks to Rachael Bentley for kickstarting it’s rejuvination and Erik Durr for updating it each week since. The copy editor team has grown to work together in one copy voice, making sure that we all don’t make complete idiots of ourselves each week. They are real troopers for dealing with my constant oxford commas and misplacement of semi colons. Thank you Maxine Eichen, Tj Coane and Hayley Smith.
I met Justin Muszynski on our trip to Orlando and we have been working together ever since. We’ve traveled to Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco together and have developed a great dynamic. Muszynski is a tremendous leader, journalist and one of the greatest friends I have ever made. He will be an asset tremendously missed when he graduated this May. Thank you for being an awesome co-pilot.
With the help of this team, as well as Dr. Vivian Martin, Sue Sweeney and Chelsey Baude The Recorder thrived this year and will continue to do so. I’d like to thank my boyfriend, Ian Mangione, for dealing with me every Tuesday. You are the most supportive and loving person I have ever met.
I have full confidence that The Recorder will continue to grow and succeed within the next year. Best of luck to the staff next semester as well as Amanda Webster, and thank you all for one of the best years of my life.