By Katie McWilliams
It took 14 weeks, but when I made the choice to walk into The Daily Campus on January 30, 2012, I knew I’d found my place at UConn. Where my dorm room felt claustrophobic, The Daily Campus opened doors to an amazing side of UConn I’d never experienced. I spent the first half of my freshmen year going to SUBOG movies, hanging out in my dorm room, hitting up Chaugies if I felt particularly fancy, but when I got involved at The Daily Campus I became engrained in UConn life. Suddenly I was covering art exhibits, concerts, panel discussions on migratory workers, Rainbow Center lectures and everything in between. I used to joke that I knew everything happening on campus because I worked at The DC.
When I became Managing Editor last year I had no idea what I’d gotten myself into. It’s been a challenging year at The Daily Campus. Not only did massive editorial changes occur in our leadership and content, but the very structure of our organization shifted. But I’m not here to talk about regrets or how I wish things had gone. I’m choosing this moment to honor the hard work of everybody at The Daily Campus and the people who’ve made me the person I am today.
I first need to thank the first Editors I worked under, Purbita Saha and Jon Tyczkowski. You may not remember me, but you’re the reason I stayed on at the DC. After my first article, you gave me “Article of the Week,” and made me realize that journalism was not only something I enjoyed, but something I was good at. That positive affirmation is something I’ve carried since that night.
Kim Wilson and Tyler Morrissey. I don’t know where to start with thanking you. You two were my role models at the DC—I wished to be as forthright and capable as Tyler, and as passionate and resilient as Kim. The Daily Campus thrived under your editorships and I would never have gone for Managing Editor if you two hadn’t inspired me to always be a better journalist, copy editor and designer. I owe you two much more than you can imagine. Your friendship through the struggles you faced at the DC is admirable and I wish that on every class of editors to come.
The best part of working at The Daily Campus for four years has been the people. As any DC staffer knows, the friends you make breaking news together, digging into the $5 combo at Husky Pizza (here’s looking at you Tim and Francesca) or commiserating over dropped articles and overdue deadlines are friends for life. Or so I hope. I know we all share an experience of working together, often into the wee hours of the morning, to bring UConn the best damn paper we can. The late nights spent deliriously complaining about why the basketball gamer hasn’t come in yet, the shared glee over Vines of Kentucky fans destroying dressers and the contagious enthusiasm of breaking a story from the newsroom—this is what DC friendships are made of.
I have a few more people to thank for being there for me this year. My dear friends Jon Kulakofsky and Tim Fontenault. Thank you for being my comic relief, listening to me vent about everyday annoyances and for the endless support and encouragement. Whether it was Jon sending me GIFs during editors meetings or Tim lightening the mood with a ridiculous Buzzfeed quiz or video at just the right moment, you guys are the best.
Jack Mitchell—thanks for being my partner in crime three nights a week and in class. It’s been a fun year whether it was Visual Journalism or the Yale Conference and I’m forever grateful that you’ve been on my team. You don’t need it, but good luck next year and at WBUR this summer—I hope our paths cross frequently in the future.
Zach, you’re an endless fountain of support and reinforcement and I’d have been lost without you this year. Even from 3,000 miles away you made me feel important and took care of me. Whether it was sending me Honey BBQ wings from Wings Over or walking me home at night—you never failed to make things easier for me at the DC. I’m so glad that The Daily Campus was a shared experience for us and that I dragged you here four years ago. I love you.
It’s hard to name every single person at the DC who has made a positive impact on my life, but to all of my friends here: know that you’re all so important to me and I’m going to miss you or have been missing you if you graduated last year: Katherine Tibedo, Francesca Colturi, Sylvia Cunningham, Margaux Ancel, Marissa Piccolo, Mike Peng, Randy Amorim, Spencer Mayfield IV, Katie Loughrey, Cheyenne Haslett, Jackie Wattles, Jimmy Onofrio, Sabrina Herrera, Brendon Field, Nicole Horseman, Elan-Carlo DePaolo, Mike Corasaniti, Troy Caldeira, Amar Batra, Jason Jiang, Kelley Huber, Emily Lewson, Sten Spinella and Domenica Ghanem. I hope I didn’t miss anyone—but please know you are all integral parts of my DC experience and I am grateful and happy to have worked with all of you during my time here.
I leave The Daily Campus a better, more confident and self-assured individual. This is thanks to all of you. I leave The Daily Campus in excellent hands and I hope that all of you find your way and use your talents to bring the DC to greater heights. Julia Werth, Nick Shigo, Ward Pankowski, Anokh Palakurthi , Matt Zampini, Dan Madigan, Chris Sacco, Vinay Maliakal, Ashley Maher and Bailey Wright—I will miss you all, but I can’t wait to see the great work you do. You all have it in you.
Kayvon Ghoreshi, Matt Zabierek, Carles Lopez and Jack Mitchell—here’s to you. You each have been important players in my life at the DC and I wish you all the luck in the world. You can handle anything that comes your way and will confront every challenge ahead. Go get ‘em and keep up the DC pride.