Rambler appoints new staff

by Josh Travis

As another school year approaches its end at Transylvania University, The Rambler has already solidified preparations for next year’s campus newspaper with the appointment of its new staff.

Leading the team as editor-in-chief will be Erin Brock, a rising senior and double major in English and writing, rhetoric, and communication, who has served as The Rambler’s layout and design editor since the second semester of her first year.

Current news editor, Jake Hawkins, a rising junior, will be The Rambler’s managing editor.

Joining Brock and Hawkins on The Rambler’s executive board will be rising senior Katelynn Ralston, photo editor, and rising sophomore Sally Jagielski, layout and design editor.

In addition to the executive board, new page editors include rising sophomore James Huddleston as news editor, rising senior Erica Clark as campus life editor, rising sophomore Victoria Sullivan as Etcetera editor and rising junior Lyman Stone as opinion editor.

Reprising their positions as sports editor, Arts & Entertainment editor and chief copy editor are seniors Abby Ferguson, Holly Brown and John Johnson, respectively.

The editor-in-chief was selected by a panel consisting of Rambler adviser Terri McLean, WRC professor Martha Gehringer and senior Erica Mundell, outgoing editor-in-chief. The same panel, in addition to alumna Grace Chambers ’10, former editor-in-chief, chose the managing editor, according to McLean. Brock and Hawkins then chose the remaining staff.

“I sit in on the interviews, but I do not make the decisions,” McLean said.

While she played no part in voting on the applicants, McLean was pleased to discover who was chosen for each position.

“I am very excited about the staff,” McLean said. “We bring a great combination of experience and enthusiasm.”

Mclean is particularly delighted with Brock as the new editor-in-chief.

“She is undoubtedly one of the most prepared people to step in this position since I’ve been here,” McLean said. “She was the obvious choice for it.”

Only three years ago, The Rambler was not a fully functioning paper and had no consistent publication. Since then, it has grown into a publication that puts out a weekly issue with completely original student work.

According to Brock, watching this process encouraged Brock to pursue this leading position.

“I’ve watched The Rambler come back into existence as a result of the hard work of the people on staff in years past, and I wanted to see that continue,” said Brock.

Furthermore, her interest stemmed from realizing how valuable a student newspaper can be to a university.

“In my time at the Rambler I’ve worked with some really great people and I’ve had the experience of being involved in a campus organization that has a tangible product that serves the campus community,” Brock said.

While Brock has high expectations for next year’s paper, she realizes that the position she will be assuming has a tradition of high esteem.

“I want to focus on creating a strong staff to replace the seniors that are graduating,” Brock said.

Other goals for The Rambler next year include increasing readership; getting more advertisement, which will increase the paper’s revenue; attracting more students to write on staff; and boosting the involvement of next year’s first-year students. This may even mean planning informative presentations for the orientation groups next year, Brock said.

“I want to see The Rambler become a more legitimate source of news and become more of a campus staple,” said Brock.

Huddleston, the incoming news editor, is thankful for his experience during the past year and looks forward to serving on staff in a new position.

“I felt like my involvement made me more integrated with the students and professors on campus and … got me more in touch with what’s taking place on campus,” Huddleston said. “I’m looking forward to guiding new writers like myself. … I hope that we get a renewed interest in [The Rambler]. I feel like it’s an untapped resource in a way.”

As for Jagielski, the new layout and design editor, she realizes that she has a hard act to follow.

“Because Erin (Brock) held the position for 2 1/2 years, I have realized that her shoes will be hard to fill; however, I look forward to the challenge,” Jagielski said.

Clark, the new campus life editor, provides an encouraging perspective as the new Rambler staff seeks more campus involvement in the paper.

“I didn’t realize that being a writer could open up opportunities that are exciting and that could allow me to meet new people and learn about interesting things that are happening on campus,” Clark said. “I’m excited to see how being a page editor will expand those opportunities. I’m also hoping that more people will read the paper because we really do have great writers and pertinent information to read about.”

Over the summer, the editors will participate in a training session led by the executive board and McLean. Plans are being made to bring in professional journalists from the area to lead the staff in exercises.

photo by HB Elam

From left, sophmore Jake Hawkins, new managing editor; junior Erin Brock, new editor-in-chief; and first-year Sally Jagielski, new design editor anticipate their new positions on staff. Not pictured, Katelynn Ralston, new photo editor.

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