I was hired as a part-time news reporter on Aug. 20, 2011, the Saturday after my first two days of freshman year, and barring any late-breaking news tomorrow, I'm doing my last State Press work today, April 30, 2015.
That's 1,349 days over eight semesters and three summers. It's more than 200 bylines, thousands of hours spent working in a sometimes muggy, sometimes freezing basement newsroom, thousands of articles edited.
My journey with this publication began even before that August day, though. I was a State Press fan since childhood, devouring the newspaper my dad brought home from work the same way I tore through the East Valley Tribune and every Harry Potter book. I idolized the cool college columnists, fell for the Stale Mess every semester and promised myself that if my path brought me to ASU, I'd be working here.
In my four years with this organization, I covered President Barack Obama in the White House press pool, got to interview most 2012 legislative candidates and beat the "Today" show for an exclusive interview with a student who survived nine days stuck in the snow.
But most of my work's been done behind the scenes, as news editor, managing editor, de facto web editor and now editor-in-chief, and that's given me the wonderful opportunity to see the good The State Press does on campus.
My freshman year, our managing editor exposed a problem with homeless people sleeping in dorms that led to security being reinstated on the Tempe campus after costs were cut. Last May, a reporter highlighted ASU's problem with sexual misconduct — we now have new rules governing student-faculty romantic relationships. And on a less serious note, remember that creepy Buzz-Lightyear Sparky redesign? Yeah, we were on it.
This year was a year of reinvention here at The State Press, as we shed the print newspaper and pushed everyone on staff to think in a digital mindset. I'm incredibly honored to have been able to serve as editor during this momentous time and to know that I managed to leave it in a better place than I found it.
But I'm even more excited to see what next year's leaders and the ones after them do to continue to improve it, and I hope The State Press of 2019 will be as unfamiliar (in a good way) to this site as today's publication is to the daily, broadsheet-style paper I started working for in 2011.
I'm trading in the desert basement for a job in sunny Palm Springs, California, next month, but I'll still be reading The State Press wherever I go. You should be, too.
All the best,