June 3, 2023

Inside the Commuter Staff- a profile by Hella Niazi

“It’s kind of weird to be interviewed because I’m always the one interviewing people,” Journalism major Kristen Cervenak said.

Cervenak is from Toronto, Ontario and has been on The Commuter for five semesters, two of which she was editor-in-chief. She is currently still working as a copy editor on the newspaper for her last semester.

“Being on the newspaper staff was the best because being an editor was always my dream job. There were many sleepless nights during deadline week, but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the newest, freshly printed paper.” Cervenak said.

“I’ve always inspired by the people on The Commuter because they have so much passion and dedication,” she said.“There has been a lot of good people over the years and we have been kind of like a little family.”

She said the journalism program has been extremely beneficial, as well as the newspaper.

“I’m really grateful to professor Hays,” she said. “He has been a great mentor for me and inspires me to always pursue the truth through Journalism.”

In fall, she will be moving to Bloomington, Indiana to attend Indiana University. She said she has always wanted to go there, but it was still hard for her to make a decision for which school she would attend.

She said this was because she loves everyone and everything about Bethlehem.

“Being at NCC has been a rewarding experience and I am so incredibly grateful for all the staff and faculty,” Cervenak said. “I will really miss everybody. I don’t even have words for how much. However, I’m ready for a fresh start.”

She was the recipient of the Hites Family Foundation for Higher Education Scholarship and the first Commuter Transfer Scholarship, for $1000, that was based on the votes of the newspaper staff and journalism faculty. The scholarships will be sent to IU Bloomington for the fall 2018 term.

Cervenak is also excited because her parents, sister and brother-in-law will be traveling to Pennsylvania for her graduating in May. She said she is also looking forward to ending her NCC journey with her friend and staffmate of four semesters, Cole Tamarri.

“When Cole first started coming to the newspaper office, he wrote a Hunter S. Thompson quote on the board,” she said. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh ok. Yup. We’re going to be friends’ and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Journalism major Tamarri will be graduating this semester as well. He is the current managing editor of The Commuter and his job is to make sure everything is ready for print.

He became the managing editor before the February issue of the newspaper came out, but he has been involved in the Commuter since he started at NCC he said. He has worked in the past as the copy editor and web editor.

Like Cervenak, Tamarri said, “The Commuter is a lot like a family. When you have deadlines, there are times where it gets stressful, but the best feeling is seeing the paper complete.”

When asked what his experience has been like, he said, “One of the things I learned is that you never want to be the smartest person in the room. You always want to be learning from others.”

He continued, “Every staff member I work with brings their personality and experience to work with a diversity of ideas.”

Tamarri is a part of PBS39’s Reporter’s Roundtable. The weekly panel discusses current issues between five journalists from different colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley. Viewers can tune in every Saturday at 10 AM and Sunday at 5 PM.

He will be transferring to East Stroudsburg University to major in English this fall.

Cervenak said the quote on the board became a motto for her and Tamarri to live by.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

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