Thanks for Reading

The spring semester of my junior year in high school, I came to an open house at Sacred Heart. After I checked in with my parents in the Pitt center, I remember walking around a table fair when I was handed a copy of the Spectrum. To this day, I still have that copy I was handed almost 5 years ago. Little did I know then, what exactly that paper would bring me.

After spending most of the first semester of my freshman year watching movies in my room in Seton – I knew that for the second semester, I needed to get involved.

That spring, I joined a virtual just SHU it fair, where you could go into zoom breakout rooms with different organizations. When I clicked the join button, I found myself in a zoom call with only one other person, who put me on an email list of contributing writers and told me about this class called “news writing and reporting.”

A few weeks after registering for classes, and registering for that class she told me about – I got my first email to contribute to Audrey’s Corner where I ended up creating a graphic to go along with a piece about kindness.

Around that same time, I replied to a global email looking for applications for the 2021- 2022 Spectrum editorial board. Without knowing anything about the paper other than my one contributed graphic, and still yet to have taken the class, I applied for the position of news editor.

Later I received an email confirming receipt of my application, and set up a zoom interview. It was then that I first met Prof. Kabak. The interview turned into a 45 minute conversation about everything. I was asked about myself, and we got to talk about her experience with the paper.

It was during that call that Prof. Kabak, politely and without saying these exact words – told me I was unqualified for the position of news editor at the time. But then she told me about the position of circulation manager – and how the last person who was hired as circulation manager their freshman year became editor-in-chief.

Over the past three years on the board I’ve been able to take on 5 positions – starting from staff writer and circulation manager, to news editor, managing editor, and now editor- in-chief.

While I am a communications major and math isn’t my strong suit, this edition marks the 70th issue since I have been a member of the board.

Throughout this entire year, everytime I have gotten a compliment or congratulations on another edition of the spectrum – I have always replied the same way.

I don’t do it alone, because we have an amazing team.

I could not have gotten through this entire year without Maddie, and this spring semester without Molly.

Despite both of their perpetually busy schedules, they always made time for the Spectrum and for my crazy texts at all hours of the day. I don’t think there was a day this semester where the three of us didn’t talk to one another in some way.

Molly stepped into a position halfway through the year, and that was no easy feat. We asked her to take on becoming a managing editor when I know she most definitely was not expecting it.

At the start of last semester, Julie Dunn and I would always joke with Maddie because she would always say to us after adding something to the paper, “but if you hate it, I could change it.”

To that I would always laugh at her, because chances are when Maddie did something, her contributions to the final product would always make it better.

She always had the answer to something even when I didn’t, and I know that there is nothing she isn’t prepared to handle. She will make an amazing editor-in-chief.

A few days ago, I sent out my weekly global email to the school, and I wrote this sentence: “Meet the woman who we couldn’t do anything without, Spectrum faculty advisor Prof. Joanne Kabak.”

She is our harshest critic, our biggest supporter, and our strongest defender. There is not a single thing that goes on in the Spectrum without her knowing about it, or eventually finding out.

If someone were to ask me the question: Who is a professor who had the biggest impact on my four years at Sacred Heart? My answer would be Prof. Kabak.

She believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself, and she challenged me to be a better writer, editor, journalist, and leader.

Everyone who took Prof. Kabak’s class knows the best way to finish an article is with a quote or a fact. And I’m going to finish with a fact (that may be an opinion).

To everyone on the board: I couldn’t do my job this year, without you being great at yours. Thank you to our 50 staff writers and 27 editors for filling eight pages, for 21 weeks this academic year.

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