June 4, 2023

Letter From the Editor

For two semesters, I have comfortably sat at the head desk of the cozy CC-140 office.

I remember the day my adviser, professor Robert Hays, asked me to come into his office. I worried that I may have done something wrong, but I was asked to be editor of the Commuter and I had a smile cemented on my face to this day. I had no idea what I would be taking on, but looked forward to the fall semester of 2016.

I came in expecting pure chaos and was greeted with fortune and the best vibes I could ever wish for. In my time as editor, I have been blessed with many friends, my dream internship turned job outside of school, knowledge and growth, as well as connections I hope to keep forever.

With every interview and tip from professors, staff, and students – I gained even more encouragement in my journalistic career. The laughs and wisdom were just an added bonus.

As journalists, we dedicate our careers to uncovering the truth in many ways. Every journalist I have met has a different driving factor, but has the same goal in the end. For me, my drive has come from feature writing and my love for human beings, as well as a solid connection to my community.

To showcase the thoughts of strangers has given me so many incredible friendships that cannot be replaced. I’ve been fortunate to speak with professors I know, those I don’t, business owners of the Lehigh Valley, and amazing students.

I’d thank them all, but the entire issue would be just my sappy words, and trust me, nobody wants that. So, thank you to each one of you. I still have your interviews recorded and like to listen to them when I’m in need of hope or game show trivia.

However, I do need to thank the raddest staff in all of the land. I’ve heard other college newspaper editors talk about the drama and competition, but we never had any. We were able to build each other up and maintain invincible lifelong friendships. For me, it has been living proof that big things come in small packages, or staffs in this case.

For journalism practicum students, newswriting classes, and any writer that has ever submitted to us – I thank you. You have provided me a refreshing, new takes on events and admirable content to put into the Commuter. With no requirements, you have all still come through. I looked forward to every submission. I wish  you the best in your futures and hope you continue to submit to the paper.

For my copy editor, Christopher Shosted, you have always been the Brain to my Pinky (Narf.) The day to my night. Whenever I get freaked out about deadlines, you cheer me up with your humor. Whenever I am ill, you have been there to put on meetings or plan for me. I couldn’t have done those midnight editing sessions without you.

For my layout editor, Jerry Reardon, you are my hero. My knight in shining armor. You have been my rock and most patient friend in life. I couldn’t do anything I do without you. Plus, having the same music taste and rubbing your absurdly soft hair for luck helps.

For my website manager, Cole Tamarri, you bring so much light into the room. I nag you a lot, but you are one of the best writers I know. We are always talking about the news, except for our conversations about cheese fries and old school hip-hop. Your research and ability to turn the office whiteboard into a scene from “A Beautiful Mind” makes me want to be a better journalist.

For my opinion and blurb writer, Alexis Marie Arnold, you are the cutest thing. You always fill the office with optimistic energy. You are wise beyond your years and every time I edit your editorials, I am reminded to stay positive.

For my writer and photographer lovely, Shelby Ringer, I always say, I wish I was as cool as you are. You came into the office and we immediately loved you. You are so calm, yet expressive. It reminds me to take a deep breath and enjoy the little things in life.

For a main photographer over the past two semesters, La Ode Marsudin, you are the nicest human being I’ve probably ever met. You are always down to take photos if I need them or give me a hug when I see you. You are super talented and tolerant of our wild staff. That takes skill.

For my pack mule paper deliverer, Patrick Nuttall, you were one of my first friends at NCC and one of my best. You are the silliest person I know and just as nerdy as I am. We are so very different, including your ability to carry papers when my noodle arms are weak, but you would do anything in the world to help out. Your loyalty is unmatched.

And lastly, my professor and adviser, Robert Hays. This may be my biggest thank you of all. I don’t know what I did as a spastic, timid Canadian to deserve a role like the one you’ve given me. However, it’s been an honor. I remember right after you asked me to be editor, I ran into the office to call my parents back home. They were so proud of me for finally finding my passion in life and it hasn’t swayed. I hope to be 1/100 of the journalist you were and are. Thank you for always inspiring me to do my best and correcting my classwork so I could spend my nights rewriting articles for future improvement. Through your guidance, I’ve learned to accept criticism and never give up on the pursuit of truth. (Which is so crucial in today’s world.) Thank you for being the coolest professor, a mentor and a dry witted sarcasm I hope to match one day. Most importantly, thank you for believing in me.

As the fall semester begins, I am honored to pass the reins (and good chair) to two of my passionate staff members. With Christopher Shosted as editor, I have no doubt in my mind that the newspaper will be organized. I look forward to his time as editor and to the changes he will make. There hasn’t been a more focused and successful person that I have the privilege of calling a friend. As for his position, it will be granted to Cole Tamarri, the most well-read and curious person I know. With his abilities, I am certain he will be an amazing investigative journalist one day and fill the Commuter with breaking news.

I look forward to the fall. As your soft news softhearted editor, I have no words to explain how appreciative I am for every person that reads the newspaper. Since the day that I walked into the office, it has been memorable and the most helpful thing I’ve done as a writer. I had big shoes to fill under former editor, David Urban, a man who was laidback, an amazing writer, and tough-skinned. I can only hope to have inspire others, the way he did with me.

In the future, I plan to stay on as an associate editor for event planning and scheduling. However, I know the newspaper is in good hands. I hope people will submit in the future. Both articles and opinion pieces. Your words matter so much to us.

Thank you – for being so supportive, complimentary, constructive, and tolerating my Neutral Milk Hotel and The Smiths playlists blasting through the open door.  This is Commander Cervenak signing off.

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