By Kelcey Norris
There’s a series of plaques outside the Student Media office in Kilcawley Center dating back to the first editor-in-chief of The Jambar, Burke Lyden, from 1931 and every editor’s name since. This year was the 90th anniversary of our student newspaper, which was so mind-boggling that I was a part of this huge piece of Youngstown State University history. I’m beyond proud to have been one of the editors in this long list of student journalists and honored that everyone gave me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s been my dream since I was 12 to work in news journalism, and this was the biggest opportunity I’ve had so far.
I’m mostly proud of the history we made as a publication during the last two years of The Jambar. In 2019, Rachel Gobep and Alyssa Weston started the first-ever student news show at Youngstown State University, and I got to sit in on the meetings from the very beginning. I was able to learn from them as they transformed an idea into a reality that had us all thinking, “Wow, we should’ve started doing this a long time ago!” The quality and organization of the publications both Rachel and Alyssa managed as editor-in-chief and managing editor are inspiring and not as easy as it looked. Thank you both for taking me under your wing and teaching me more than I expected but exactly what I needed to know by example. You are both who I look up to, my role models in journalism and my role models as just great women and leaders. The Jambar and Jambar TV are so important to the university and neither of the two would have been as great without you both! We’re all so proud of you.
I’m so lucky that I had my own partner-in-crime at The Jambar, a girl always by my side and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the job gets done. Abigail Cloutier and I met freshman year of college. Now, both entering the final semester of our senior year, I can’t picture my life without knowing her. Since we met as neighbors in the Cafaro House residence hall and realized we were both journalism majors, we’ve been inseparable. We tell each other everything and do basically everything together. A timeless duo, we can usually be spotted either in the Student Media office or in the Dunkin Donuts line.
Although my time at The Jambar as editor-in-chief is ending and I’m feeling sad that it’s wrapping up, I’m mostly thrilled and excited about what the next EIC will do in the fall! Abigail, I’m so excited you’ll be moving over to editor-in-chief. Every week you’ve worked so hard on every episode of Jambar TV as the producer, while also editing the weekly edition of the paper, which is not easy at all! You’re one of the smartest and most talented people I know. I know we’ll see each other as much as we can, but wow, I’m really going to miss you, Abigail!
To my fellow Jambar staff members — my beloved Jamily if you will — I’ve really become attached to seeing all of you after class ends on Wednesday to talk and joke around and give romance updates, aka “Tinder Time,” for hours on end while editing the paper. During the pandemic, these nights producing the paper have helped me come out of my shell and connect with you all in a way I’ll never forget. I’m so thankful that you all put me in charge and allowed me to come in every week and have fun. Thank you to all of our first-year staff members who had no idea what they were getting into, but were not afraid to try. We’re so appreciative of all of you and can’t imagine our little Jamily without you. I can’t wait to see what you do with the publications in the upcoming semesters.