Multi-generational Whit staff members pose for a Christmas party portrait. -Courtesy of Sydney Kerelo's Facebook page

It’s been a ride for all of us at The Whit. This year saw some ups, downs, side-to-sides, horizontals, diagonals, etc.

Dizziness aside, our staff of ten grew individually and as a unit.

We had a major staff change in our first month, which was also the same month where we had to figure out how to cover the breaking news story of the viral Glassboro police encounter on campus. Several Philadelphia and large regional publications rushed to campus to cover the story, and we had to balance timely coverage with the integrity of presenting a thorough picture of the situation.

The sports bra saga consumed our newsroom throughout the year. The initial blog post by Gina Capone led to a winding, scandalous road that reached the upper echelons of Rowan’s administrative machinery.

Most recently, religious demonstrator Aden Rusfeldt came to campus to preach his narrow, hateful views and harass passersby. This raised questions about how covering him would play into the attention he was seeking, but it was also vital to highlight the immense love that came from the student counter-protest, amassing a crowd of hundreds.

Our staff’s coverage of these three events and countless other campus happenings helped keep our student body informed or entertained (we hope).

We’d like to extend a warm thank you to everyone who has followed our work online or picked up a copy each week. Specifically, we are very grateful to our adviser, Kathryn Quigley, the entire journalism department, the College of Communication and Creative Arts and the Student Government Association.

Now, we’d like to take a moment to both reflect and look ahead. Here are the 2018-19 Whit staff seniors’ favorite moments from our time on staff and what we plan to do after graduation.

Joe Gramigna, Editor-in-Chief

Favorite Whit memory – The 2018 Whit Christmas party, where we exchanged gifts, gorged ourselves on sweets and debated what the best Christmas song is (it’s The Ronettes’ “Sleigh Ride,” by the way).

Plans for after graduation – I’ve accepted a full-time job at Slack, Inc., in Thorofare, NJ, where I’ll be working as a staff reporter for the company’s “Infectious Disease News” publication. I’ll also be working part-time/remotely as a copy editor for Philadelphia Weekly and completing a +1 year in Rowan’s Master of Arts in Writing program for 2019-20.

Grace Clevenger, Managing Editor

Favorite Whit memory – My favorite memory from being on staff is definitely the Monday nights we used to go to the diner. It gave us a time to all hang out without the stress of putting together the paper. I wouldn’t trade those memories with you all for the world.

Plans for after graduation – Hopefully after graduation I’ll have a job (cross your fingers for me).

Jaiden Campana, Sports Editor

Favorite Whit memory – Definitely playing this game called “trash ball” with a couple of the old editors two years ago. We’d set up trash cans across the office and try to toss the ball into the can. It was basically a poor man’s version of cornhole.

Plans for after graduation – I’ll be continuing my work in the Score Service Department at the Philadelphia Inquirer, covering high school sports and freelancing during the summer. 

Amanda Palma, News Editor

Favorite Whit memory – Oh jeez… favorite Whit moment. That’s a thinker. I would have to say my favorite Whit moment, at least one of the many, was when my first photo was published. Looking back, it was definitely a small moment, but at the time it felt like a really big deal and I’ll never forget that feeling. The rest of my memories are simply the late nights spent putting together the print editions.

Plans for after graduation – After graduation, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing. I’m looking to freelance as much as I can this summer and travel a lot. I’ll probably never stop looking for a job until I find one (as one does), and hopefully that first job will be as an editorial assistant. But traveling and taking a bit of a break is a priority for me at the moment. 

Sydney Kerelo, Features Editor

Favorite Whit memory – My favorite Whit moment was last year, when I was a copy editor with Grace and we found henna in one of the drawers. Grace, Jaiden and I spent the day drawing henna tattoos on each other and laughing the whole time. 

Plans for after graduation – After graduation, I plan on focusing my time on finding a job in the journalism field. I would ideally like to work at a magazine, but I am looking at any options where I can strengthen my writing. 

Jaryd Leady, Multimedia Editor

Favorite Whit memory – I put together five boxes of Jenga blocks one night at the Whit. It took close to an hour to do, and gave me probably the worst anxiety of my life. Great memory though! 

Plans for after graduation – I’m currently applying for jobs to be a MMJ. I’m going to continue working at Fox 29 until I find a job that best suits what I want to do. I’ve had multiple offers so far, but nothing has felt 100% right. I’m weighing my options, but being on-camera after I leave here is the plan.

Brianna McCray, Copy Editor

Favorite Whit memory – My favorite Whit moment was first signing up for the Whit at the club/activities fair. I was welcomed with open arms and cheerful smiles.

Plans for after graduation – After college, I am going to apply for graduate school.

Dylann Cohn-Emery, Copy Editor

Favorite Whit memory – My favorite moment at the Whit had to be when Jaryd stacked five boxes of Jenga blocks on top of each other. The tension with the last few blocks was priceless.

Plans for after graduation – After I graduate from Rowan, I’m hoping to freelance write and work at either a magazine or newspaper. 

Scott Buzby, Copy Editor

Favorite Whit memory –That time we sent Justin Jardot to interview someone but he left his cell phone and didn’t come back for two hours. It was when he was wearing an eyepatch. We didn’t know where he went and we were discussing how we were gong to describe his appearance to the Student Center front desk without sounding like prank callers.

Plans for after graduation – I have been working at Slack, Inc. as an editorial assistant for “Primary Care Optometry News.”

From all of us at The Whit: We’ve tried to spread professionalism, truth and warmth in our time working for the campus newspaper, and we hope to extend these ideals into our own futures and that of the paper. Thanks for readin’, and to all a good night.

For comments/questions about this story, email features@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.


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