The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Senior Farewell: Arts & Life Editor Alyssa Weber

The first time I saw The Northerner’s newsroom was during a tour I took of NKU my senior year of high school. I had been writing stories probably since I was four years old and even got in trouble in kindergarten for using too much paper, so seeing a place where I could one day share my work with others was really exciting. Visiting the newsroom was enough to sell me on enrolling at NKU even though I wasn’t entirely positive that I wanted to major in journalism. By November of my freshman year, I ended up declaring my major as journalism, yet I still hadn’t joined The Northerner. It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I would find myself outside of that newsroom door again, but I think most that have been on staff for The Northerner would say that they wished they had joined sooner too. 

My first contribution for The Northerner was a series of photos I took for a pride week event. I was really excited to finally be working with this organization that I had wanted to be a part of for so long. However, I wasn’t quite ready to write any of my own stories because I was afraid I didn’t have enough experience yet since I had only written a few news stories for the journalism courses I had taken so far. When the fall semester of my junior year began, I took a journalism class, JOU 380, that required students to write content for The Northerner. I was pretty nervous at first, but luckily Kane Mitten, the former Arts & Life Editor couldn’t have been more helpful. If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t have started consistently attending Northerner meetings. 

JOU 380 was one of the most influential classes I have taken for a number of reasons. It was also the first class I took that was taught by Michele Day. After taking a few classes with her and getting to know her through The Northerner, we eventually developed an independent study together where I had the opportunity to act as a peer mentor for her JOU 380 class. I want to thank her for that opportunity because it gave me a newfound appreciation for teachers and made me realize how much I want to go to graduate school so I can teach higher education writing one day. 

The Northerner was an excellent opportunity for me as a writer. It taught me about the publishing process and what makes an intriguing story, but what I gained the most out of my time as an editor was realizing how much I enjoy helping others improve their own writing and confidence. The first time I helped a student get their first story published, one they had worked very hard on for a long time, was such a special, rewarding experience.

There are so many people that I would like to acknowledge, not just within The Northerner, but for encouraging and inspiring me throughout these past four years. 

My parents, grandparents, Morgan and James- Thank you for reading/supporting every story I have ever worked on, encouraging me when I doubted my ability and for always being my number one fans. I love you all endlessly. 

Abby, Corinne and Noelle- The majority of my time with The Northerner was virtual, yet somehow I was lucky enough to have met three wonderful women who have become great friends of mine along the way. I admire how creative and strong you each are in your own way. It’s so nice to have friends that I have so much in common with, yet possess such unique personalities. Corinne, I’m so glad you made that group chat for the four of us. Despite the distance, we were able to keep in touch and support one another over the last year through the good and the bad. You all managed to turn a tough situation into a tolerable one. I didn’t know it was possible to have so much fun through a group chat. I’m looking forward to the world returning to some form of normalcy so we can finally hang out! 

Michele, Stacie, Dr. B, Alyssa and Mr. Pat Moynahan- Thank you for always helping me to produce the best work I could. If I am ever lucky enough to teach classes of my own, I will remember your strategies and the way you all made each class so engaging for me. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t look forward to attending your classes because of how passionate you each are about what you do. I hope to always maintain the same type of mentality. You have each inspired me in so many ways. I hope we can stay in touch. 

Natalie, Josh, and Rachel- Each of you are such talented journalists. Your work has inspired me. It was a pleasure getting to work and have class alongside each of you during the last few years. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors. I know you all will be successful in whatever you choose to pursue next! 

Kane- As I mentioned before, it’s because of you that I felt comfortable enough to start attending meetings every week. When I started working with you, I was so impressed (and slightly intimidated) by your work. You were always so kind to me even when I thought I was asking too many questions. I only wish we would have had more time to work together. I know this past year has been really hectic, but I hope as things improve we can reconnect and stay in touch! 

JOU 380/480 practicum students- Thank you for allowing me to learn along with all of you. I enjoyed the time I had getting to know and work with each and every one of you. You have no idea how rewarding it was for me to help you get your work published and watch your skills develop along the way. I am excited to see what you each continue to work on. 

The Northerner not only helped me to become a stronger writer, but it allowed me to help others do the same. It opened the doors to several mentorship opportunities and my consultant position at NKU’s Writing Center. It’s because of The Northerner that I feel ready for my future, but when I look back, I will never forget where I got my start. 

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