From the Editor's Desk

From the Editor’s Desk: Next Steps and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

Mary Chappell | The PhoenixEditor-in-Chief Mary Chappell thanks those who helped her achieve her next steps in becoming a professional journalist.

Last Friday, I got a phone call I’d been waiting on for months — well actually, years. Admissions at Northwestern Medill School of Journalism’s graduate school called to let me know I’d been accepted into its broadcast and video specialization.

Medill has been a dream of mine for years, ever since I entered the Chicago journalism scene my first year at Loyola and heard about the powerhouse journalists who’d made it through Medill’s rigorous graduate program. 

I’m excited to pivot into the broadcast world. It’s always intrigued me, and I believe digital journalism has an amazing way of conveying the human experience.

I have a burning passion for this field, a love for my community and a belief in delivering honest journalism to those around me. I hope Medill can help me grow even stronger at doing just that.

There’s a few people I want to thank for helping me reach this milestone. I find gratitude extremely important, so I’m going to take this opportunity to thank my peeps.

First, I have to thank Jason Sheehan, my sixth grade language arts teacher at Morey Middle School in Denver. Mr. Sheehan helped me fall in love with writing and taught me how to write interestingly. He also let us read the Hunger Games series for our curriculum, which was awesome at the time. 

To Mark Ajluni, my journalism teacher and newspaper adviser at East High School. Aj, thank you for getting me interested in writing for a newspaper and for training me to be a bold reporter. I was too bold for my own good when I arrived at The Phoenix, all thanks to the East High Spotlight. Also, I’m so grateful for your hands-off approach, which included myself and other editors going to get the stacks of newspapers at the distribution center at 5 a.m. on publication days — it made us stronger people both literally and metaphorically.

To Richelle Rogers, one of Loyola’s best journalism professors. Professor Rogers, thank you for being hard on me as your student and teaching me that attention to detail is vital to this job, no matter how frustrating that lesson was to learn. Most of all, thank you for introducing me to Medill in your class presentations about your career in the big time.

To all my predecessors at The Phoenix — Mary Norkol, Chris Hacker, Michael McDevitt and Henry Redman. You guys helped me develop the skills needed to get a start at this job and helped me to harden my shell. You and all the other Phoens gave me some laughs in the newsroom and some of my best college memories. 

Special shoutout to Jane Miller, my managing editor and friend. Thanks for running The Phoenix with me this year while learning tons of difficult lessons along the way.

To Bob Herguth, our adviser at The Phoenix. Thank you for all your pointers this past few years and for weathering many a storm with me. You rock. Don’t get a big head.

To the folks at The Daily Herald, thank you for helping me hone my skills with breaking news and crime reporting. This job has helped me to learn the lay of the land in the northwest suburbs.

Thank you to Brad Edwards and the other people at CBS 2. This internship helped me realize how much I love broadcast and investigative reporting.

Lastly, a massive thank you to the Daniels Fund, my scholarship program based in Denver. Thanks for all the career and school success advice — you guys made college happen for me in the first place. It still makes me teary. This is my biggest thank you.

It’s safe to say I’ve been on cloud nine all week. I’m so excited to see where life takes me. 

Now, back to work.

In News this week, find a story on the John Felice Rome Center director stepping down and a piece on how Loyola students are riding the CTA due to no intercampus shuttle service this semester.

In Opinion, find a piece discussing drug reform and a staff editorial on climate change and how it’s causing all this crazy weather. 

In A&E, a commentary on the New York Times’ Britney Spears documentary and a piece on a Loyola alum’s alt-rock band’s EP release.

In Sports, find a guide to March madness terminology and catch up on game coverage.

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