This semester is all about growth. So is college. So is life. 

Two years ago I stood on the verge of tears in front of an editorial staff of seniors I feared. I told them that the reason I should be chosen as a staff reporter as only a first-semester freshman was because I had finally worked up the courage to change my major from nursing to journalism earlier that day.

I didn’t get the position. But I saw that as an opportunity to grow. I took more stories each week, I met with editors and I learned how to improve.

I think that’s what college is all about: finding who you are, what you like and learning how to improve as time goes on. I have watched myself and my colleagues do just that semester after semester. 

While becoming editor-in-chief of a newspaper that I have admired for so long is terrifying, I realize that with the help of everyone at the Cigar, as well as the journalism department chair John Pantalone, I have shown myself that I can achieve what I convince myself time and time again is impossible.

In just two years I have learned how to be a leader. I have acted as web editor and managing editor. I became proficient in WordPress, Adobe PremierePro, Photoshop, InDesign and Lightroom. I have learned AP style letter by letter. I have learned to pick my battles and hold professional meetings, to enforce the rules and have a bit of fun, to make important decisions and compromises, to be a shoulder to cry on and to be a role model.

Growth and improvement this semester will be no different from semesters in the past. As students we are constantly trying to find new and fun ways to learn and grow our portfolios, but as a paper we will try to explore the unknown. From featuring never-heard-of-before clubs and spilling details about the latest policy changes to sharing our opinions about new movies and keeping the University of Rhode Island updated on what we can only hope will be an Atlantic 10 championship, the Cigar will work to include students and expand its horizons more than ever before.

It is especially exciting to be growing as a group of students and reporters in such a growing industry. That’s right, a growing industry. 

With new technology being released everyday and the ability to spread news across a never-ending list of platforms, journalism will only improve from here. I want to say thank you to the Harrington School of Communication and Media for allowing us to explore these different platforms in the new Broadcast Center. We are especially looking forward to putting out a weekly newscast on Thursdays at 11 a.m.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Emma Gauthier, one of my former editors-in-chief and orientation leader for “forcing” me to join the Cigar my freshman year. I’d also like to thank Nick Bush, my role model and constant support system who has helped me and encouraged me every step along the way.

I would also like to shout out my wonderful new editors who I am excited to see grow in their leadership positions as well: Laura Weick, Nicole Wagner, Kate LeBlanc, Kayla Michaud, Nolan Reilly, James McIntosh, Leah Crowley, Nathaniel Sandoval, Mary Lind, Siobhan Richards and Evan McAlice.

And finally, thank you to former Editor-in-Chief Ian Weiner for his last year of hard work at the Cigar. It was an honor to be your managing editor.

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Theresa Brown
I believe that journalism is one of the most important fields in the world. It is incredible to have the responsibility of informing the public, and while I didn't know I wanted to pursue this interest at first I am so incredibly excited to take on this role. News, whether it be big or small impacts so many and I think that giving the students of URI a look into everything that is going on around them is extremely necessary to the overall functionality of the University. On another more personal note, I'm doing this because I have a passion for writing and because I care so much about the reporters and editors involved with the paper already and can't wait to work with them and lead them going forward.