7 Flyer Seniors Say Goodbye

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Katie Esposito, News Editor

First day of college: While my best friends drove and flew away to their respectable colleges of choice, I drove 30 minutes to a place where I was unsure I wanted to spend my four years of college.

This bitter feeling inside of me didn’t last for long. In high school, I didn’t participate in the clubs and organizations that others seemed to enjoy. During my freshman year of college, I told myself that this was something I needed to change.

Toward the end of my sophomore year, I began to feel anxious that I needed to select a career soon or my future would be in jeopardy. When it came to what I wanted to do with my life, I knew two things: I loved to read and I loved to write.

I started to notice The Flyer newsstands around campus and would pick up an issue every other week to read. To my surprise, I received an email from Lisa O’Toole one day telling me that one of my English professors had recommended me to The Flyer. I was ecstatic.

Flash forward two years, and I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the fact that I am one month away from graduating. I am happy to say that I have taken advantage of every opportunity that has come my way in the past four years. I have pushed myself to succeed, and although I have certainly failed at times, I continue to push myself to try harder the next time.

Becoming a part of The Flyer staff has allowed me to grow as a person, and has also taught me to laugh — hard. I have met so many amazing people that I know will remain my friends for a lifetime. I want to thank Lisa O’Toole and each and every person on The Flyer staff for making me a smarter and stronger person.

I would also like to thank my family for their support and for telling me to give Lewis a chance. It was more than worth it.

Michael Gates, Asst. Online Editor

When I first applied to Lewis, I didn’t know exactly which program I wanted to be a part of. I was a transfer student and had just earned my associate degree, and wasn’t quite sure what to do next. I ended up settling on communications because I always got compliments on my writing throughout high school and college.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

From the moment I came on campus to visit for the first time, and then during orientation soon thereafter, Lewis gave me a different feeling than any of the other schools I’ve been to. I don’t want to sound too cliché, but for the first time, I felt like I was at home on a college campus. And I was.

Since I had completed all of my general education classes before transferring to Lewis, I was able to focus on my major of convergence journalism during my two years here. I am proud to say that I have learned so much during those two years, and have gained so much knowledge and experience during that time. My confidence is at an all-time high, and I look forward to the post-graduation opportunities that I will be afforded, thanks to Lewis.

Working for The Flyer has been one of the highlights of my education. Not only did I get to practice the skills that were applicable in my field; I met so many extraordinary people. The staff of The Flyer and its advisers, Ben Eveloff and Lisa O’Toole, are some of the nicest, hardest-working people I have ever met. It has truly been a privilege to work with all of you. You have inspired me.

I am so thankful for all the professors and students that have aided me during my education here. It is you that make Lewis the unique place that it is. Without your support, help and friendship, I would not be where I am today.

I will soon be able to proudly call myself a Lewis University graduate. I know firsthand what a great place this school is, and I will never forget my time here. My only regret is not coming here sooner.

Lauren Pirc, Editor-in-Chief

The first day at Lewis, I was really nervous; shredding my tire on my way home didn’t really help matters much. Luckily, my experience at Lewis did improve over the years, and I have all of you to thank for it.

To all of my family, I could not have made it this far without you. Through your love and continual support, I was able to pursue this crazy, amazing dream; no amount of words will ever be able to express my gratitude. To all of the friends that I’ve made along the way, thank you for your constant companionship. Even in the most stressful days, you were the ones that kept me sane and made Lewis a truly special experience.

Being a part of The Flyer, I’ve broken out of my shell and have been able to experience so much of the campus. I would like to thank Ben Eveloff and Lisa O’Toole. Ben, you’re still the worst FIFA player I’ve ever seen, but I’ve really enjoyed being in your classes. Your instruction has helped me a lot, and I can’t wait to use my online skills.

Lisa, I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity on The Flyer. These last few years have been incredible, and I’m very thankful for your trust in leading The Flyer this year. It’s been an honor having you as a professor as well as an adviser to the paper, but more importantly, I can call you a friend.

The past four years have been amazing. I know I’m leaving the publication in capable hands, and I can’t wait to see your creativity. I couldn’t have asked to lead a better group of people. You’re all great writers, but you’re also part of my family, and I will never forget the times that I’ve spent with you. I promise I will return, but until then, I wish you the best, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Angela Cotta, Religion Editor

Today, I laugh because when I was first asked way back in the fall of 2010 to consider being Religion Editor, it was something I thought I did not want. Now, though, I find that I am having a hard time letting it go.

Initially, I never considered myself a good writer. How could I take charge of an entire section if I couldn’t write? Fortunately, Lisa O’Toole knew better than to listen to my perceptions of myself.

Being Religion Editor has been an incredibly rewarding role. I think the greatest gift the role has given me is the ability to sincerely appreciate Lewis’ mission and identity. It’s an appreciation I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and not just for Lewis, but for any mission of any institutions I am a part of.

My life at Lewis would not have been at all successful, and neither would continuing my education at the University of St. Thomas School of Law without the following individuals:

Lisa O’Toole and The Flyer staff for their constant support and many good memories.

Drs. Ewa Bacon, Christie Billups, Dominic Colonna, James Houlihan, Clare Rothschild and Mark Schultz for their encouragement and willingness to challenge me (in a good way, of course!).

Tony Lyen and Kelly Schreiber for never failing to make me smile, even during life’s toughest moments.

Christopher Hueg ‘11, Sean Ruane ‘12 and Liana Vantrease ‘12 for shaping me into the leader I am today.

Michael Phipps, Sabrina Poulin, Adam Setmeyer, Fr. Dan Torson and Steve Zlatic: No words will ever come close to how
grateful I am that they’ve been a part of my life. Even when I was at my very worst, they managed to bring out the very best in me.

Thanks for the love, Lewis. It has been a wonderful four years.

Kevin Ryan, Sports Editor

First of all, I would just like to thank the university for accepting me and letting me continue my education here (school was never one of my specialties).

With the chance to grow and learn more from professors like Dave Anderson, Ben Eveloff, Lisa O’Toole and Jay Zawaski, I now feel confident to go out into the real world and begin my journalism career, wherever that may be.

To everyone on The Flyer staff, it has been a fun, interesting, stressful but once again fun ride that I will definitely never forget. With having the privilege to be the sports editor for the past year, I hope the Lewis community enjoyed all the new additions we made this year and continue to read it in the future.

I wish the seniors the best of luck as we move on, and the same to the juniors as you have one more year to do whatever you want. To end my Flyer career, I would just like to say Go Flyers and Go White Sox!

Lauren Nieminski, Advertising Manager

My two and a half years at Lewis have truly been unforgettable.

I came here as a spring transfer in 2011, and Lisa O’Toole immediately took me under her wing in my Interpersonal Communication class. I wasn’t involved at all my first semester here until NCA, where I went on phenomenal and informative field trips. Finally, the end of the semester came around, and The Flyer was recruiting. I originally went for the PR position, but Lisa told me I would better fit into the Advertising Manager position.

When I was first starting out as Advertising Manager, I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, I had Lisa there to guide the way. This position taught me that communication is essential in everything you do. It helped me with the importance of deadlines and improved my sales techniques. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops. Some clients weren’t the absolute best to work with, but I was patient and made it work.

A big THANKS to the layout designers! You guys rock, and I’m so thankful for how flexible and patient you all have been with me.

Lisa also persuaded me to do a journalism practicum during the spring 2012 semester. It really taught me the importance of balance. I had to sell ads and write at least three stories each issue. I primarily wrote for Alex Veeneman, to whom I am thankful for putting me in his section. I had fun writing and telling the campus my opinion of things like fashion and CATS!

My time on The Flyer has been a spectacular time! I have met great people who I hope to never lose touch with. Ross Reed is someone who always knows how to make me laugh. He is a fantastic listener, and Lewis wouldn’t be the same without him. Even though it’s hard for me to make time for my Flyer friends, I appreciate everything they do.

Rachel Stella, Copy Editor

I’ve only been here for two years, and it’s already time to say goodbye. Copy editing and reporting for The Flyer has been a great experience, and it has been an honor to serve the Lewis University community in this way.

I’m thankful to Adviser Lisa O’Toole and the staff for accepting me despite me awkwardly crashing their staff meeting early in fall 2011. (I still laugh at myself about that.) Through our many shared classes, production nights and conferences, I’ve enjoyed becoming a part of The Flyer family.

As a copy editor, I’d like to thank my fellow staff members for putting up with my passionate penchant for pedantry (Have fun looking that up!). Wielding the Red Pen of Doom can be a demanding job at times, so I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to Adviser Ben Eveloff and our amazing Web/social media staff. If you’re not checking out TheLewisFlyer.com and following our Facebook and Twitter pages, please do, so you don’t miss any of our content.

To all my Lewis professors who have encouraged me and taught me many new things, thank you. Your work is very much appreciated.

To our readers, we are so glad to serve you. Please continue to make The Flyer your source for Lewis news. We welcome your feedback.

As I prepare to find a place in the professional world, I’ll always remember my time with The Flyer. This doesn’t have to be goodbye forever, though. You can follow me on Twitter, @rachelcstella.

To our remaining and new staff members, I wish you all the best in your efforts to serve your university community with excellent student journalism. Seek truth and report it. Minimize harm. Act independently. Be accountable. Good night, and good luck.

The Lewis Flyer

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