Senior editorial staff reflect on the past and prepare for the future

Juliann Guerra, News Editor

Four members of The Crier Editorial Staff – Editor-in-Chief, Em Craig, Opinion Editor, Craig Watkins, Culture Editor, Meghan Schmitt, and myself, News Editor, Juliann Guerra – will be graduating this May. Em Craig will receive a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with English and Gender Studies Minors, Craig Watkins will graduate as a double major in Forensic Science and Fine Arts: Music Emphasis, Meghan Schmitt is a Communication major with a minor in French, and I’m an English major with a minor in Web Design.  But before that, we wanted to reminisce what the past four years working with The Crier has been like.

We all started off as writers our freshman year and graduate as editors, but we all took different paths to get here.  

Em Craig/Courtesy
Em majored in Spanish with minors in English and Gender Studies

“I started writing my freshman year, for Culture,” says Craig, “At the end of that year, I remember interviewing for an editorial position and getting appointed as Assistant News Editor! So the next year I wrote for News and helped edit/do layout for the News section. For the first half of Junior year, the only semester I was on campus, I got the position of Culture editor and mainly wrote for Culture. Then here I am my final year as Editor-in-Chief, writing editorials mostly, but also some News, Culture and Opinion pieces here and there.”

“I began as a staff writer for the Crier my freshman year, after working for my high school newspaper and submitting to a column for my hometown newspaper,” says Schmitt. “I became the Culture Editor during the spring semester of my junior year when Emily Craig studied abroad in Spain, and we have remained in these positions ever since”

“I started writing for The Crier’s Opinion section my freshman year since I wanted to continue doing journalistic writing, which I had just started in my last year of high school,” says Watkins. “I liked writing for Opinion because of the freedom I had to write about many different topics. My sophomore year I started contributing to the Culture section on occasion to write movie reviews, starting with the lowest score I ever gave a film (2/10 for Blair Witch). I was initially hesitant about becoming an editor my junior year since I knew it would be a lot of extra work, but while I was deciding whether or not to accept the offer, an employer took interest in me (and ultimately hired me as an intern) when I said during an interview that I had been asked to be the Opinion Editor. So I would say that was a good decision.”

For me, The Crier gave me an outlet to write without being worried about what grade I was going to receive. I started writing for the Opinion section until my sophomore year when I asked if I could submit book reviews. My junior year I was asked to be the Social Media Advisor along with a Culture writer. Then, when I came back from abroad at the end of last year, I was offered the position as News Editor, and I was terrified! Before that, I never wrote for News and I had no idea how the editors came up with story topics. However, with the help of the other editors and advisors, I was able to figure it out. I also started Hawkward, The Crier’s very own podcast at the beginning of this year, which has been a really interesting medium to add to our club.

Juliann Guerra/Courtesy
Juliann majored in English with a minor in Web Design

After four years, we’ve all written our fair share of articles, but some of them will always stand out above the rest.

Schmitt loved writing about the Frankenstory Typewriters project and her Captain Marvel film review because she “felt a lot of inspiration for it.”

Watkins has a range of favorites, from the 2018 Olympic Charter’s stance on what constitutes fair bans since it got him to “research something I never would have looked into had I not thought of the article idea,” to the “ridiculousness of the ‘killer clown’ threat was a couple years ago,” to his articles about the Las Vegas shooting. “They were not at all fun to write,” he remembers, “but hopefully the people who read them were left with more to think about than they had before.”

Craig enjoyed covering the Ash Beckham event, saying, “I’ve always tried to include articles that highlight the LGBTQ community on campus and this was one of my favorite ones among all of them because Ash had been somewhat of an influence on my own coming out!”

My favorite article was my interview with Bob Bossie and Bob Lemay, the original Crier Editors. The article was possible because Bossie reached out on Twitter, so the article utilized both my Editor position and Social Media Advisor position. I had a lot of fun comparing where The Crier started compared to where it is now.

Craig Watkins/Courtesy
Craig double majored in Forensic Science and Fine Arts

Next fall, Craig and I will be headed off to graduate school. Craig is heading to the University of Iowa to get her Ph.D. in Spanish Literature, and she hopes to someday “teach Spanish or Spanish Literature at a college somewhere in the states.” I am going to be studying Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve wanted to write books since I was in middle school, but I’ve also had internships that have taught me about marketing and publishing, so hopefully, I can find a way to mix all of that together.

Watkins hasn’t decided yet what will come directly after graduation, but he is excited to start working in Forensics, saying, “I am still figuring out whether I want to go straight into forensics lab work or do a few years of other law enforcement stuff before finding a place to settle at.”

Schmitt says that “marketing/digital content writing seems to be the next step” for her. “I would like to make my way towards broadcast journalism at some point.  Long term goals are to live happy, healthy, and write a novel or two along the way.”

Meghan Schmitt/Courtesy
Meghan majored in Communication with a minor in French

After four years working with The Crier, the four of us have developed skills that we will take with us in whatever career field we end up in. Maybe someday we’ll even see our names back in The Crier as alumni spotlights!