May 15, 2020
Being a senior in college comes with celebration. Your loved ones are proud. Your professors congratulate you. Of course there’s the many questions and stress of figuring out what comes next, and for some that’s grad school and others it’s internships and jobs. It comes with many lasts: last first day of class, last walk across Farm Lane, last advising appointment, last Dairy Store visit as a student. Regardless, it is a time when seniors get to finally doff their caps for the second time and toss them in the air with celebration and we gain that coveted title of “alumnae.”
My mom always says to me, “All good things come to an end,” and this small, bitter piece of advice has stuck with me for my entire life. Endings are such a strange thing. Many people will offer platitudes, like my mom, but I find that endings in the time of COVID-19 are something much more difficult to process than others. Unlike previous seniors, our last semester of college was taken from us in the most sudden of ways. While we fully understand that our stay-at-home is for the safety of ourselves and others, we still mourn the memories and opportunities no longer available because of the pandemic.
This piece is meant to recognize the hard work of the senior staff members among us and offer congratulations to people who have made this magazine what it is today. As our professor, Dr. Kate Birdsall said, “Without these seniors, we wouldn’t have a magazine. I’m so incredibly proud of every single one of them and the hard work they’ve done, but I’m even prouder of the community they’ve created on our team. Congratulations, seniors. I’ll miss you!”
Joey Warren is a senior from Alexander City, AL. She is a professional and public writing (P2W) major who has been an important member of The Current’s team. When asked about her favorite piece that she’s written for The Current she wrote, “‘Generation Fear.’ It took me months of tears, anxiety and research, but I adore that article. It’s interesting and insightful and makes me feel like a real writer.” You can read “Generation Fear” in The Current’s Summer 2020 issue where it’s the cover article. Joey was an active member of the Professional and Public Writing Club, and she was always someone to count on for interesting pitches. Giving her best advice to incoming staff to The Current she wrote, “Communication is key. Talk to your team, they are here to support you and you are there to support them. Never be afraid to be ‘wrong.’”
Elizabeth Carter is another P2W senior from Haslett, MI who has been an integral part of The Current’s staff this semester. In discussing what she’s most proud of accomplishing during her time at Michigan State University, Carter wrote, “I feel like I really discovered who I was meant to be during my time at MSU. I see the world with a whole new set of eyes. I learned so much about myself and what gives me passion and joy in life. Not only did I become a better writer, but I learned new skills I never thought I would enjoy, and I made relationships that truly enhance my life and I fully intend to maintain those relationships long after graduation.” Carter has written countless articles for The Current, and her piece about being a student mother is what she’s most proud of writing for us, which can be read in the Summer 2020 issue.
Leah Wright is a double English and P2W major with a minor in creative writing from Novi, MI. She wasn’t just a double major and minor student, Wright was also a proud member of the Spartan Marching Band’s color guard. An important editor and writer for The Current, Wright’s favorite piece is her online exclusive (OE), which is on performance and writing that combines research from her English capstone thesis. When asked for advice to incoming P2W students, Wright offered, “Keep writing ;),” which is certainly a skill that will be honed and fine-tuned during your time as a P2W student. On taking The Current as her P2W capstone, Wright said, “I liked how it didn’t feel like any other class I’ve taken in college, and I learned so much about publication.”
Tristian Tanner, another P2W senior, calls Greenville, MI home. He has a minor in film studies, and what he’s most proud of accomplishing during his time at MSU was writing and directing a short film. A valuable team member of The Current, Tanner has written several OE pieces, and his writing will appear in the Fall 2020 print edition. However, of all the pieces he wrote for The Current, he said, “I think that my favorite piece was the one on hands on majors and Zoom. It was the most fun to interview and talk to people about.”
Emily Hobrla, a member of The Current’s staff for two semesters, is a senior P2W student from Dewitt, MI. She said she chose The Current as her capstone because, “[she] wanted to explore a different side of publishing besides book publishing, and [she] ha[s] always had an interest in magazines.” Arguably, she stayed for a second semester because, “The Current is like a family, everyone is there for each other, and it is a great place to have your ideas heard and to hear others’ ideas as well.”
Sara Gilson is a graduating senior in P2W who calls Deerfield, MI home. Asking about her most proud moment at MSU, Gilson said, “I am most proud of my work at The State News. I began working there at the beginning of my senior year as a copyeditor. I’ve had an incredible year working on [the] copy desk with my coworkers/friends. I also got to work on a couple podcasts which was a new and exciting experience for me.” She has been part of The Current’s team since January this year, and she’s been a valuable contributor and editor. Her writing, an article featuring personal stories on MS, will appear in the Fall 2020 print edition, which is what she said is her favorite piece that she’s written.
Aaron Applebey will be graduating with a degree in media and information and minors in LGBTQ+ studies, fiction film making and public relations. Though Applebey isn’t the typical P2W student, he said he chose to take The Current because, “Professor Birdsall encouraged me to join The Current after my semester in her Advanced Fiction Writing class. I saw it as an opportunity to continue developing my voice as a writer, expanding into editorial and journalistic style.” Applebey has been a hardworking member of The Current, and his piece on MSU’s improv group, Man Overboard will appear in the forthcoming Summer 2020 edition. He said this is his favorite piece because, “The research process was exciting and broadened my perspective on journalistic writing & non-normative experiences in the arts.”
Abigail Scott is a senior P2W and English major from Lake City, MI. As a member of The Current since January, Scott has written and edited several pieces, but she said her piece on St. Patrick’s Day is her favorite. On the piece, Scott said, “[It was a] passion project when I was writing it. I grew up celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by Irish dancing at local schools, eating the Irish-American corned beef and cabbage and singing along to traditional and contemporary Irish songs. I wanted to be able to share ways that others could celebrate the day other than just drinking.” For incoming P2W students, she advised, “I recommend taking courses on writing styles that you’re not necessarily familiar with, but that is of interest to you. I think the classes that I was extremely nervous to take, and did not know much about in the beginning, ended up being some of the most rewarding classes that I have taken.”
Sarah Haggart, a P2W student from Pinckney, MI, said she chose The Current, “To get journalistic writing and editing experience for my portfolio!” She has been an active member of The Current’s staff since January, and her favorite piece that she wrote was her article for the Fall 2020 edition. This piece focused on accessibility in the classroom, and Haggart said, “It means a lot to me to be able to learn more about marginalized groups and to be able to help represent them through critical outlets such as our magazine.” When talking about her accomplishments throughout her undergraduate career, Haggart said she’s most proud of, “Making it out in one piece, and being able to be there for my family and healing through tough times.”
Sophie Schmidt is a graduating P2W senior with a minor in Asian Pacific American studies. She calls Grand Haven, MI home, and she has been with The Current since its first edition in the fall. Talking about the P2W program, Schmidt said, “P2W is the best. The professors and advisors and students all are there for you, even though it may seem intimidating. Everyone in the program has your back, and I love that.”
The Current has become a family to us, and it is a class that we will cherish for a very long time. It is with all these memories and friendships that I hang my hat on this chapter, but I know we have done our best with the
final.docFINAL FINAL GRADUATION.doc FINAL FOR REAL graduation.doc that we turn in.