- OCCC Pioneer - https://pioneer.occc.edu -

Moving Forward, Looking Back

I’ve never felt summer fly by so fast.

With three jobs and a fruitful set of goals, I knew that my time with the Pioneer was ticking.

In the beginning, I was overwhelmed, stressed and had a grim expectation of how my days with the paper were going to weigh much heavier than I thought. I had to get over that notion pretty quickly.

I learned how stress is much easier to manage when it’s shared. Talking about the load of responsibility quickly made me realize how my team was ready to help. I knew that I didn’t have to be scared to ask for it when I needed it most.

I learned that managing a team does not mean controlling it. The people I worked with pursued topics and stories at a rhythm very hard for me to keep up with. But I trusted them, and gave them timelines we both could work with.

Communication created this organic relationship between all of us at the Pioneer. A relationship I’m sure to miss when I move on.

Reading all the issues we’ve created over the summer fills me with the most sincere feeling of reward. I knew I wanted to leave something behind I could be proud of, and after a semester of working somewhere I called home, I know for a fact I’ve accomplished that.

I learned that nothing lasts forever except our words. I have helped and guided writers to create stories they will cherish and keep close. Stories that can move and inform people, which is every journalist’s endgame.

My contributions to the paper were short, but noticed. Working in the background is something I do well, and the Pioneer Newspaper has never looked so good.

I experienced personal positive feedback from our readers for the first time. A mixed feeling of excitement and accomplishment filled our office. We’re doing something right here.

Words of appreciation and congratulations were read with pride, and getting words of encouragement from people around Oklahoma City Community College really proved our hard work was all worth it. I’ve always wanted the paper to be a respected entity, with stories and writers only held at the highest standards we can achieve.

I know we can keep it that way with upcoming editor Christopher Plunkett at the wheel. I don’t think I’ve known someone so eloquent and well spoken. Any topic he chooses is written with calculation. I know that he will bring that focus to any team he’s a part of, including the Pioneer for the upcoming fall 2017 semester.

I’ve shared the Pioneer space with him since February of this year. We wrote a story together over the acting president’s travel ban and how it affected oklahoman immigrants and permanent residents. We found companionship through this tough issue, and I found someone I can trust to keep the Pioneer as solid as it has been.

Taking the position to tell people what or what not to do can be tough. However, I saw leadership in Chris, much earlier than I thought I would. Allowing him to take the reigns was an easy decision. The Pioneer will be in good hands.

To everyone who has ever lifted a page of our stands, or took the time to browse through our website, thank you. I want to thank you with every fiber of my being. It feels like yesterday when I first started typing in this room, next to people I can now call lifelong friends. It’s been fun, it’s been stressful, it’s been my honor to write for you.

I wish the best for everyone at the Pioneer for the many semesters to come and go. News never stops, so neither can we.