One hell of a ride

My collegiate career had its ups and downs. But one thing I’ve learned in my six years at Youngstown State University is to embrace the positives, learn from the negatives and take full advantage of every opportunity.

And that’s what I did. It helped me get to where I am today, and I know it’s going to help me accomplish anything in the future.

Coming in, all I knew was I wanted to write, and I loved sports. I wanted to be the next big thing in sports media.

While I have yet to reach my goal, the people I’ve met, worked with and associated with have given me the strength to know I have the potential to one day meet it.

You must hold on to and learn from those stepping stones that many people tend to look over.

If you want to be successful, you must be able to give yourself credit where it is due and never quit. Be curious. Know that, no matter what obstacles life throws at you, you are capable of achieving anything.

Yes, the road was bumpy along the way, but I have no regrets. Live life to the fullest, and never take anything for granted. If you do, life might creep up on you and bite you in the ass.

With that, I’d like to take another few hundred words to thank those who have helped me reach this milestone in my life, and please forgive me, ahead of time, if I leave someone out, as I know I’m going to do.

I only have so many words to work with here. If I knew you or worked with you, I’m sure I can think of at least one way you have positively influenced me.

To my family: Thank you so much for your support. I’m not sure where I would be without it. The sometimes endless nights at the office or weeks upon weeks I didn’t see you were because I was doing everything I could to get where I am today. And I know you understand that.

Dad, you are the most influential person in my life. I am the man I am today because of you, and words cannot express how much I appreciate everything you have done in my life. You have always been there for me and have supported every decision I’ve made — good or bad. Thank you. I love you.

To my fiancee, Carrie Marie: What can I say? You are a big reason I even decided to enroll at YSU. Your support has been endless. You are the yin to my yang. We have been working as a team throughout our collegiate careers, and I cannot wait to continue that until the day I die. I love you.

To the journalism faculty: Each and every one of you has been such a huge part of my life for the past six years. It’s because of you I know I am ready to hit the professional world hard.

Mary Beth Earnheardt: You have inevitably been my adviser, mentor and second mother. You and I have grown so close. I have learned so much from you. This time last year, I wasn’t ready to move on with my life. I can certainly now say I am ready for mommy to release me into the wild. You will not be forgotten. Thank you.

Alyssa Lenhoff and Tim Francisco: Thank you for never giving up on me and for the opportunities. If it weren’t for the trip to NYC those years ago, I probably would have never interned there this past summer.

Tom Pittman: I never had you for class, but I had the chance to get to know you through SCJ, which has been another tremendous opportunity I’ve stumbled upon. When I was selected to join YSU’s chapter, it was next to nothing but a resume builder. You had faith in Lamar and me to build it. And it has grown exponentially. Thank you.

To Lamar Salter: I’m not even sure where to start here. You are my best friend. You and I have accomplished so much together, and, to be honest, I’m not sure how I would have achieved so much without your help and friendship.

I’ll never forget the first day we met. I walked into Chad Krispinsky’s speech class on the first day and happened to sit next to you.

A couple of years later, we were working at The Jambar. Through our successes, we moved up the totem pole and were selected as SCJ’s head honchos. That same year, I was hired as editor-in-chief, and you were my secondhand man as managing editor. And who knows? If all goes well, we’ll have the opportunity to again form a badass duo at WFMJ.

We were always able to lend each other a helping hand, and that ultimately led to the successes we, The Jambar and The Yo* Magazine have endured. Thank you.

To Chelsea Pflugh: Chelsea, when I decided to apply for editor-in-chief two years ago, I wasn’t sure I was ready, but nobody else applied. I knew I had to step up and man the ship.

I’ve learned so much from you. I observed your work as editor-in-chief from the news desk and applied everything you taught me. It is one reason The Jambar is what and where it is today. Don’t ever forget that. Thank you.

To Doug Livingston: I have learned so much from you this past academic year. You have been a tremendous help and managing editor. I know The Jambar would not be where it is today without your brilliance and journalistic integrity. You’re the man. I know you’ll land a great job, if you ever graduate. Stay in touch.

To Sam Marhulik: Sam, I also met you on the first day of Chad Krispinsky’s speech class. How long ago was that, again?

Yes, we’ve had our disagreements, but that’s what happens when you stick two stubborn heads in the same room. Ultimately, I value you and the hard work you’ve done for this paper, and it’s worked out for the best. Good luck to everything you do in the future.

To Chris Cotelesse: I’ve had the great privilege to watch you grow from the edgy columnist who had a great way with his words and ability to challenge our readers to a determined online editor who would never give up on anything to the incoming editor-in-chief.

You certainly deserve it, and I know you and next year’s staff will continue to thrive and expand upon the successes we’ve endured as a staff these past two years. I’m only a phone call away, if you ever need anything.

To everyone else (you know who you are): In the four years I’ve worked at The Jambar, I’ve gotten to know and work with a lot of you.

In my two years as editor-in-chief, I’ve always had an open door policy and have worked diligently to help you all develop individually.

I knew and understood your strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been able to pinpoint areas you struggled with and have tried my best to help you develop into strong-minded people.

If anything, I hope I have been able to succeed at that.

Remember you are the future of this ever-expanding field, no matter what you think or hear. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this paper. It’s up to you now to follow in my footsteps and create your own footsteps for those under you to one day follow. This paper in in your hands now, and I know I have nothing to worry about.


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