Senior Goodbye: Leaving an Imprint for Collegiate Journalism

Message: A yearly tradition for Pace University’s Pleasantville/Briarcliff Manor’s graduating editorial staff is to write a reflection of their time with the campus newspaper on the final edition of the academic year. The following is Michael’s editorial published on April 24, 2012.

You’re currently reading The Pace Chronicle, and for that, I thank you.

The amount of hours, days, weeks, and ultimately months to get to this final edition of The Pace Chronicle’s inaugural year has been an indescribable experience, but I’ll do my best to elaborate on my three years with the campus newspaper.

Before The Pace Chronicle, there was The Paw Print.

I didn’t join the newspaper during my freshman year for reasons I don’t remember. Perhaps lack of motivation.

In Sept. 2009, I finally stepped into The Paw Print office and was not amused to know that most of the stories in the campus newspaper revolved around the Pace community. I’m a national news type of guy, but the intention to be involved was still in mind, so I became the photographer and The Paw Print’s Senator for the Student Association.

I was still unfamiliar with the events around Pace but finally gave into writing a Pace-centered article. The first article I wrote was an interview with Career Services and to this day still remember sitting with Career Services Director Angelina Bassano and Assistant Director Ivy Aviles-Rivera.

Only four months later, I was promoted to Feature Editor. I’m not sure how I was able to maintain quota since I didn’t have writers for the feature section while studying 18 credits worth of classes, but it was done.

Fast forward another four months, I was encouraged to run for Editor-in-Chief for The Paw Print. It was an unsuccessful bid, but I did land the Managing Editor position.

As Managing Editor, I helped organize the first trip to the Associated Collegiate Press’ (ACP) National College Journalism Convention in Los Angeles. This was the conference that opened the eyes of many in this campus newspaper as to how poor The Paw Print was compared to other collegiate newspapers.

I admit it.

It was time to clean house, and I was ready to lead it. From the name of the newspaper, the quality of content, story ideas, layout, and more, it needed to improve.

I was trusted to become the new Editor-in-Chief for the 2011-2012 academic year, with the guarantee that changes will come. It wasn’t an easy feat as there was slight opposition from friends upon knowing the ideas I had in mind.

My philosophy: I’m working to improve the journalism careers of, not just mine, but of others at Pace.

We became The Pace Chronicle, and with staff that were ready to change the perception of the campus newspaper.

We may have earned and lost the trust of a few in the Pace community, but have in mind that we are pursuing a career in journalism and even in the real world there are people who trust and distrust the media. We’re preparing ourselves for it.

I truly thank the Pace community that have supported The Pace Chronicle this year, as well as this year’s staff for riding along this foundational road with me. Additionally, a great deal of gratitude has to go to our advisor, Prof. Michael Perrota, who exemplified what an advisor, for any student organization, should do. He provided advice, encouragement, and tested us with decisions that ultimately improved us in writing, layout, ethics, and more.

The Pace Chronicle has definitely improved from the Paw Print era, and that was evident in the next ACP National College Media Convention in Orlando and the College Media Association’s Spring Media Convention in Manhattan. The Pace Chronicle staff and I looked around and noticed the problems other collegiate newspapers had and many were topics we have recently tackled or resolved, thus led to interesting workshops that had me leading discussions away from the main speaker of certain sessions, such as the Editor-in-Chiefs’ Roundtable.

However, there is still room for further improvements.

Fittingly, as the final week of deadlines arrived, The Pace Chronicle was notified that it won first place in General Excellence from the American Scholastic Press Association, and first place for Best Feature Story by the New York Press Association from the Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr. edition that gained media attention from, The Journal News, and News 12 Westchester, to name a few.

It’s the first awards for The Pace Chronicle, and the first for the campus newspaper since 1998, and surely the first of many in the upcoming years.

The role of Editor-in-Chief has its ups and downs, but after 24 editions, sponsoring three journalism and media conferences for Pace students, countless meetings and interviews, sleepless nights, and two journalism awards, I think it is safe to say that The Pace Chronicle has broken new ground as a collegiate newspaper and as a route for students pursuing journalism.