When I graduated from Temple with a journalism degree back in 1998, I never thought I would return some day to work at the university.
Fifteen years later, I’m here as the student media program director, an adjunct journalism instructor and the adviser to The Temple News, and I’m proud to be part of the committee that is planning this weekend’s reunion, which will include Friday’s alumni reunion discussion panel and Saturday’s reception.
I got my start at The Temple News and fittingly enough, cut my teeth on a story about a group of students who, back in 1999, were trying to mobilize efforts to launch a student radio station. Today, part of my full-time job responsibilities includes advising WHIP, Temple’s student-run Internet radio station.
At The Temple News, I experienced all the things our current students do now – minus the social media and multimedia aspects of the job, of course. I learned how to become a reporter. I learned how to write on deadline. I learned how to manage a staff of writers. I learned how to be accountable and embraced the great responsibility I had to be fair, accurate and reliable. I made a lot of friends that are still an important part of my life today. And I acquired the very foundation that prepared me for four years in the newspaper business and 15 in the sports media industry.
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi, who will return to campus Friday as one of our alumni reunion panelists, assigned me my first sports story and I never looked back from there. I covered field hockey, tennis, lacrosse and willingly took on every other assignment they threw at me. I had unforgettable interviews with Hall of Fame basketball coach John Chaney, flew to Kansas City to cover the Owls’ two NCAA Tournament games in 1997 and acquired the clips that helped me land my first job after college at The Daily Journal, a Gannett newspaper in Vineland, N.J.
I’ll get to relive so many of those experiences when several of my former colleagues come back to campus this week, and I’m excited to share that time with our current staff – one that happens to be producing one of the best student newspapers and websites in the country.
In the pages that follow as part of our special reunion insert in this week’s issue, you’ll read the words of several former Temple News staff members who had a similar experience. They helped carry on the tradition of a newspaper that prides itself on being a watchdog for the Temple University community, and we’re thrilled to run their bylines once again and welcome them back to campus this weekend.