One Last Hurrah: The Free Press Seniors

Commentary Editor Nikki Krug, Web Editor Annie Brown and co-Editors-in-Chief Daniel Valentin-Morales and Sarah Hull. Photo courtesy of Katelyn Wolf and McDaniel Yearbook Club.

Once again, the time has come to say goodbye to another wonderful group of Free Press editors. Between the seemingly endless chain emails, doing layout long into the night, and their constant drive to keep people informed, the Free Press’s success would not have been possible without them.

Annie Brown, this year’s Web Editor, has been with the Free Press the longest, joining during her freshman year.  After being the editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, she wanted to continue her student-journalism experience.

“I was excited to be able to devote more time to writing stories without having to worry about being responsible for editing or other people,” she says.

Brown explains that she has gained valuable skills outside of writing and editing from being on the Free Press.

“I’ve also gained more skills with photography, Photoshop, social media, and web design. More importantly, I’ve learned a lot about time management, delegating tasks, and interacting with other people—all skills that I’ll take with me regardless of what sort of career I end up in,” she says.

As for her plans after graduation, Brown claims they’re up in the air.  Graduate school is on the table, but probably not immediately.

“I have not yet found my first full-time job, but I’m looking for work that has to do with digital communication, social media, or content management,” she explains. “I think I’d be a great fit at a nonprofit. I plan to take these next few years to meet people, have new experiences, and get a sense of what I want to do with my life.”

Nikki Krug, our commentary editor, joined the Free Press in the fall 2014 semester.  She cites the Newspaper Practicum class as incentive to become more involved with it.

“My favorite things about working on the Free Press is getting to talk to so many interesting people around town,” she says. “Also, seeing your work published and being read by people all over campus gives you a great sense of accomplishment.”

Krug says the Free Press has helped her improve her writing skills and has helped her figure out what she wants to do after graduation. Her current plans are to stay in Westminster, keep her current job, and look for positions in editing and publishing.

Sarah Hull, one of the co-Editors-in-Chief, also joined the Free Press after taking the Newspaper Practicum class. Her most memorable Free Press moments are ones she will cherish.

“One of my first stories was an interview with Greenman,” she says, “who stormed the field during a football game; that was fun to write, and fun to see people reading and talking about it.

“And, of course, this past year has been a memorable one because I get to hang out with bae (Daniel Valentin-Morales) when we’re working on layout for print issues in the wee hours and just too tired to function normally.”

She has learned that people’s true personalities come out when they leave anonymous comments on articles.

Hull’s post-graduation plans include working as a Young Adult Associate Librarian for the Washington County Free Library as well as bartending near her hometown.

Daniel Valentin-Morales, the other co-Editor-in-Chief and this year’s News Editor, came to the Free Press via Newspaper Practicum as well. He claims he jumped at the opportunity to be co-Editor-in-Chief when it was offered.

One of his favorite Free Press moments was last year’s article about the controversial frat party.

“It was well-written and it got people looking at our website and our posts critically,” he explains.

“I’ve learned how to manage my time better. It’s been important,” he says.  “I’ve also learned, the hard way, that responding to emails should be quick and prompt. If you don’t things fall through the cracks and are forgotten. To run something successfully you have be incredibly attentive.”

His post-graduation plans include graduate school at some point, but not necessarily this coming fall. All he knows right now is that he wants to “help change come about quickly, be it politically or other.”

This year’s seniors worked extremely hard to continue the success of the Free Press. The rest of the staff and I would like to thank them for all of their time and dedication they gave to this publication, and we wish them the best of luck in all of their future endeavors.