Mundell more than just editor-in-chief

photo by HB Elam

Senior Erica Mundell will pursue her master's degree in rhetoric at Carnegie-Mellon in the fall.

by Gary Deaton
Contributing Writer

It’s 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Our hero is represented by a flash of red on the page, zipping from person in need to person in need, zooming around her domain; she is soothing stressed staff, putting problems in perspective, easing editorial angst, extinguishing figurative fires. Since our hero has no superpowers, she maximizes the powers she does have: advanced intellect, powerful knowledge, sharp wit, empowering empathy and an electric smile. Our hero is Erica Mundell, editor-in-chief of The Rambler.

Unlike many of the superheroes to which we have become accustomed, Mundell is also heroic in her alter-ego form, everyday Erica. Her leadership of The Rambler is a significant but far from all-encompassing aspect of who she is and what she has accomplished.

Mundell’s involvement with the paper began during her sophomore year. She began as a writer but became campus life editor by second semester. She continued in this position through her junior year and then moved to editor-in-chief this year. The paper has continued to improve over the time of Mundell’s involvement.

“We won quite a few awards this year from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association,” Mundell said.

While The Rambler requires significant portions of Mundell’s time and attention, it is not her only co-curricular activity. She has been an active member of the speech and debate team and has won awards for both debate and interpretation events. She is also a sweetheart for the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. Mundell told me a great story about how certain members “tricked” her into their ceremony, but since the editor-in-chief is limiting my words, you’ll have to ask her to tell you.

Mundell has also been stellar in the classroom. This fall, for example, she completed a project for the writing, rhetoric and communication Senior Seminar critiquing the iconic status of Batwoman from the “Detective Comics” comic book series, a genre of which she is both a major fan and a skilled analyst. Mundell argued convincingly that Batwoman did not deserve to be an exemplar for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community. She further established criteria that ought to be met by any future characters desiring this exalted status.

Mundell’s project garnered accolades from the Southern States Communication Association. SSCA chose Mundell, along with classmates Kristen Geil and Meg Prescott, for participation in the association’s Undergraduate Honors Conference in March.

Mundell’s academic prowess has also been noted by Carnegie-Mellon University, where she will begin pursuit of a master’s in rhetoric this August, after graduating with her WRC major and political science minor this month.
Mundell is also a hero at home, where her primary role is oldest sibling. She has three younger brothers.

“Ryan is 19 and attends (Northern Kentucky University),” Mundell said. “Zach is 17 and Dale is 15.”

The two youngest brothers attend Meade County High School, Mundell’s alma mater. While Mundell is consistently humble when talking about herself, I can clearly hear the pride in her voice when discussing her family.

Mundell’s dedication goes beyond boasting of their accomplishments, however. Super sister, stellar student, Sig sweetheart, superb speaker — and that’s just her alter ego. This is the life of a hero: Erica Mundell, editor-in-chief.

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