Assistant News Editor
When I first came to Troy University, I was a scared, friendless freshman five hours away from home.
Within days, I had an army of sisters around me who have lifted me up throughout the years.
But two years later, I found where I belonged on this campus, with the Tropolitan.
I have been at this paper for two long years and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I will never forget the day I sent an article and a sidebar project in to the Trop staff.
For Professor Stewart’s advanced reporting class, I wrote a story on Kony 2012 and it’s intense publicity both online and all over the world.
While working on the story, I wrote a post in a Facebook group that had been made for Troy students interested in taking action on the Kony 2012 assignment, to make Joseph Kony’s name known throughout the area and to bring light to his horrible deeds.
Cody Muzio, the editor-in -chief of the Trop at the time emailed me, asking if I could send the story in to the copy editors, then he said the Trop could use someone like me more permanently on staff, and I should consider coming to write for the paper in the fall.
Just a few days after my story was published, the YouTube video of Invisible Children’s CEO breaking down on the sidewalks of California came out, and I got quite a few laughs in my class for sending it in to the Trop.
Cody came up to me the next day and said I did a great job on my story and he looked forward to me coming to write for him next semester.
Cody going out of his way to ask me to be a part of the Trop really meant something to me.
I didn’t feel like just another person in the journalism department. I felt like I was actually valued and noticed in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication.
I hope our current and future editors will take note of this.
If you’re in need of writers or anyone on staff, I hope you remember that there’s probably a nervous sophomore in the journalism department just waiting to be told their help is wanted because they don’t always know who to ask.
I regret not joining the staff my freshman year because when I became a part of the staff I met so many people, made tons of professional contacts and I have made several friends.
Valario, thank you for making me your assistant. It’s been great to work by one of my good friends.
April and Jill, I will miss our silly talks at layout, whether its about school or the stupid people we know, especially on those evenings when I’ve had a terrible day.
Talking to you guys always made my weeks better.
Laura, thanks for being not only a great roommate but a great friend.
You’re extremely talented and I’m so glad we got to get close this year.
Kelsey, I’m glad you came on to the staff.
It’s been nice getting to work with you and you were an awesome resident my first year as a resident assistant.
Carson, thank you for being so patient, especially on the nights when Valario and I didn’t have everything all together.
You are a great graphic designer and you’ve taught me a lot about precision and how to pay attention to details in the last year.
Emily, thank you for being such a bright and encouraging person throughout the last two years in layout and class. I’m glad we got to work together.
Kianna Collins, your laugh makes me smile.
You are so incredibly funny and I hope you never lose that.
Zach, thanks for helping out so much when I first got started as assistant news editor.
I really appreciated how you’d always finish early and look over my page to make sure I was doing everything right.
I’m going to miss having to wipe away my tears from laughing so hard at the dumb stuff we pick up on.
Chase Robinson, you are a great journalist.
I cannot wait to see what you do with the Trop next year.
Jane, I’m glad I got to know you better this year at the office and at the Wesley Foundation. You’re so sweet and you’re a wonderful copy editor.
I look forward to watching it progress in your hands.
Josh Thurston, whether we’re talking about funny henna tattoos or just complaining about life, I always have a great time hanging out with you, and I wish we had been able to more.
Tabitha Mixon, you’ve been a great editor-in-chief.
I’m glad I got to work with you this year, and I cannot wait to see where you go with graphic design. Also, thanks for putting up with me when I say inappropriate things in the office without thinking.
To my news writers, Ngoc Vo, Taylor Foxx, Faith Mote and and Grishma Rimmal, thank you for taking on this year with me. I’m so blessed that I got to work with such talented indivivduals.
Devin Smith, thanks for being a reliable writer this semester and helping me teach my writers.
You’re a great journalist and I hope that you continue to branch out in the field, not just with sports, but you’re a great news writer as well.
Thanks for being the only other Greek in the office to understand exactly what I’m talking about when I say “TSM.”
Cassie Gibbs, the news section is yours.
You’re such a great friend, and I’m glad you’re the one I fed Pringles and Uncrustables to freshmen year in the ADPi house.
I know this won’t really be goodbye for us.
You’re stuck with me for life. I hope you’re okay with that.
Thank you to all of the people who have already graduated: AJ Watson, Andrew Clay, Caleb Odom, Brittany DeLong, Cody Muzio, Ariel Stokes and Ed Bailey.
You all have impacted my writing in more ways than you will know, whether it was assigning me a story I didn’t want or encouraging me to get out of my comfort zones.
You all really helped me grow, and I don’t know where I’d be without any of you.
I also want to thank a few people outside of the Trop staff, the ones who’ve been there through this stage of my life.
To my sisters in Alpha Delta Pi, thank you for encouraging me to continue writing for the paper.
Thank you to those who I’ve bothered for quotes and to those who message me when they read a story of mine saying how much you liked it, or if you thought I did a good job.
To my advisers, Chellie, Mashone, Laura and Mrs. Terry, thank you for being mothers to me over the last four years.
To my Wesley Foundation family, I’ve enjoyed being on the leadership team and serving all of you.
I look forward to coming back in future years to see how you will grow.
Alli, thanks for being a great friend and listening to me when I’ve had a bad day or something is going wrong, and acting like I’m not being annoying when I babble on and on.
I’m so blessed to have you in my life and I look forward to our many adventures together after graduation.
Justin, thank you for picking up the newspaper and giving me your honest opinion about all of my articles.
Although I may not always like what you’ve had to say. I’ve always appreciated your constructive criticism.
Alex, thank you for being such a wonderful diamond sister and letting me come over to vent or just watch “Frozen” with you and our dinner dates.
I cannot wait to go through the next 70 years with my little by my side.
Lindsey, thank you for being a loyal friend and sister. You know how to make me laugh on my worst days, and I will always treasure you.
Emily Ann, thank you for being there for me when I call you at obnoxious times of the night and standing out on the side of the road with me when the police had to unlock my car.
I hope you, Lindsey and Alex will all visit me as much as you can once I move back to Tennessee.
Pledge class 2010, we’ve finally made it.
Thank you to all of you who stuck it out and gave me the time of my life through swaps, recruitments, the good times and the bad times.
God truly has given me more than my share when he brought all of you into my life.
I can’t wait to go through the rest of our lives together.
Last, but certainly not least, to Professor Steve Stewart, you deserve more credit than you’re given.
I know for a fact I wouldn’t be graduating without your help, not only by giving me so many opportunities in my classes but also through the Trop.
You know how to pick my brain and make me settle for nothing less than what needs to be in the news.
I know that for the rest of my life, terms like inverted pyramid will be forever stuck in my head.
You have been a tough teacher, but you’ve taught me how to be professional, and I know that, because of you, when I enter the working world, I won’t be just another entry-level employee that the company I work at will have to teach the entire job to.
Because of you, I will always be qualified and capable to do exactly what any job requires of me.
Thank you, to all of you who have helped me get to where I am today.
You have changed my life in more ways than you could possibly know and I don’t know where I would be without any of you.
When I cross the stage on May 9, I will leave this campus no longer afraid of the future and knowing I’m never alone.