MANAGING EDITOR TRANSFORMED AS FIGHTING KNIGHT
Three years ago, I have to admit I never would have thought I would be in this position, writing a reflection about my time serving for a university newspaper. To be honest, if you would have told me in high school that I would be in iPulse, I probably would not have believed it. During that time, I only played sports, avoiding most other extracurricular activities.
A criminal justice major coming into Lynn as a freshman on track to graduate in four years, I had shallow expectations. I was simply looking to be a “typical” college student, coasting by while doing the bare minimum. Considering myself to be a lone wolf, I was not involved in any clubs or organizations.
It was not until my sophomore year that I found a genuine love for journalism and ultimately iPulse. In fact, this passion is due solely to Professor Stefanie Powers. The moment I walked into her Journalism I course, it became more than just an elective – it became my passion, a pathway for a shy kid from New Jersey to express himself in ways he could not previously.
Later, I would join the 3.0 accelerated degree program and add a multimedia journalism minor. With the guidance of Powers and my advisor Sindee Kerker, both serving as my role models at Lynn, I have grown into a leader across campus. Each of them stand as empowering women, warranting a spot in my own Lynn Hall of Fame.
During my time as an undergrad, iPulse became more than a school newspaper; it became my life. A publication I will always speak highly of and be proud to call my own, iPulse allowed me to create friendships that will last a lifetime. Not only has my writing improved significantly since I first began, but my ability to work with others has also grown substantially as well.
Although I call New Jersey home, my best friend is from Alabama. Shawn Johnson, a Pelham, Ala. native, is another reason I have flourished alongside our student publication. Each step of the way, Shawn has been there for me and never stopped believing in me. No matter what the future holds for me, I know Shawn will always have my back.
Shawn and I both have grown together these past few semesters, continuing to work together well as all good friends do. Some may even say we have a “bromance,” similar to that of “Jersey Shore’s” Pauly D and Vinny.
Whether I was serving as a baseball coach, resident assistant, student ambassador, treasurer, communications chair or alongside the editorial team for iPulse, I would not change a thing. Having worked alongside nearly every department, I have loved every minute of my involvement thus far.
I dedicate all of the awards and recognition I have received to my mom, Lucy. She created the man I am today, and this campus brought the best out of me. My inspiration to keep going, my mother has always stood as the strongest woman in my life.
Alongside my mother were my second set of parents, Susann and Jimmy Leishman. While in New Jersey, Susann was always there for me as my second mother, and Jimmy is the reason why I coach baseball today. The Leishman family showed me that there is always something more to life and to have fun regardless of my current situation.
I would also like to thank Paul McPhee, my admission counselor. McPhee paved the way for me to attend Lynn, allowing me to leave my mark across campus. From the second we met, McPhee saw something special in me and ensured I would not be overlooked as a senior in high school.
As I move forward, I am beyond thankful for this campus in bringing the best out of me as a student and leader. I am very appreciative to call Lynn my second home, as this entire campus has become my family forever. I know today’s ceremony will not be my final moment with my Lynn family; I promise to be a member of this campus for a long, long time.