Photo Credit: James Singer

Throughout my tenure at The Good Five Cent Cigar, I’ve worn several hats. 

I have been the Student Senate reporter, attending Senate every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to hear the gavel strike the podium at least five times during any given meeting and wondering when the four-hour long meeting would end. I have served as a staff reporter, scrambling every week to get my stories done and in on time. I have worked as a news editor to help improve this paper and its writers, spending tireless hours editing stories upon stories. I have had the privilege of working as managing editor for this past year, and I honestly cannot imagine my time at the University of Rhode Island without this organization. 

This is not all without my beloved Editor-in-Chief (EIC) and former co-News Editor Kate LeBlanc. I could not imagine having accomplished everything that we have if it had not been together. As news editors, calling and texting every Tuesday about every funny or stressful thing going on; or as EIC and managing editor of this paper handling whatever curveballs were thrown our way, I could not imagine it without the girlboss to my gatekeep.

However, the curveballs thrown our way definitely differ from that of past Cigar staffs as we have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic to keep this University informed and up-to-date. With the hard work of Production Manager Mary Lind, former-EIC Theresa Brown, former-Managing Editor Laura Weick, Kate and myself, we worked to keep URI informed about what was going on during one of the most historic events of the 21st century from our homes throughout the Northeast. 

Through our teamwork over the past two years, alongside that of the past four editorial boards, we have accomplished so much. From starting out as editors in the spring of our sophomore year, excited to take on our newfound roles and getting in the groove of things, to going completely virtual for the next year because of the pandemic and finding our way around Zoom productions and online Monday night story pitch meetings, I think we’ve done a pretty good job. 

While the transition to virtually conducting the orchestral performance of this paper week in and week out was not the smoothest, the team we were able to accomplish this with made everything easier. 

The hard work of Entertainment Editor Kayla Laguerre-Lewis and former-Sports Editor Will Pipicelli in navigating their positions as first-semester section editors during the thralls of the pandemic, thrown into the crazy world of the Cigar while remaining virtual, is commendable and appreciated. Thank you. 

The dedication and teamwork of News Editors Jason Phillips and Adam Zangari to continue to encourage reporters to improve their writing and keep coming back for stories will forever be treasured and a gift in taking care of this paper. Thank you.

To Newscast Editor Imani Fleming and Sports Editor Aniekan Okon, thank you for bringing it every week and keeping the newscast alive. Big things to come for the both of you. I just know it.

To Web Editor Leah Popovic and Social Media Coordinator Morgan Maleonskie, thank you for keeping the office youthful. Your continued hard work and laughter during production each week are valued and appreciated more than you know. 

For those who have years to go at this University to continue making your mark, savor every moment of it. Take risks, have fun, step out of your comfort zone and try your best. You never know what might happen or what you might find, so keep digging.

It has been a privilege to work with everyone I have at this paper in the past four years. I would not be the person that I am today without it. 

Every story that I have written for this paper holds a special place in my heart, and I thank every source I have spoken with and those who continue to speak with the Cigar for sharing your stories with us. I hope we have given all of you a chance to speak your mind as the University’s student voice. 

And to our little chickens who continue to uphold the tradition of hard work and credibility at this paper: Live Long Cigar.