EIC reflects on Washburn experience

Rob Burkett / Washburn Review

January 2009 is a time  where my life changed forever. I had been at Washburn for a semester and wasn’t sure if I was on the right path. My mother had passed away on New Years Day that year. It was a tough time for me, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through school. During the fall, I had been encouraged by a professor to give working for the newspaper a shot.

Sitting down with the editor of The Review at the time, ReAnne Wentz, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I spent a semester not sure of what I was doing and had contemplated quitting, but ReAnne, to her credit, gave me the encouragement to keep at it. I don’t know where I would be now, so I have to say thank you to her for keeping me on a path which I am now fully committed to.

After ReAnne, the next person who helped me is one of the smartest people I have ever known. Regina Stephenson was the editor of The Review prior to me, and I learned so much from her. Her sense of humor and grace under pressure is something I took away from my encounters with her. It was never what words she had to say to me; it was always the example she gave that helped me so tremendously.

In terms of the learning experience, I have had so many professors who have had such a profound impact on my experience at Washburn. I could spend all day talking about the class of professors we have on this campus. I wanted to thank one of them in particular. Maria Stover was for me, the first professor at Washburn who really pushed me past where I thought I could go. She challenged all of my assumptions about everything I thought I knew about the world of mass media. Her incredible intellect, sense of humor and honest desire to see myself and the all of the other students in her classroom succeed is an immeasurable gift, which I take away with me as I prepare to leave Washburn.

Regina Cassell has had an impact on me which I’m not sure I can adequately describe. Regina has been a mentor and friend to me in her role as faculty advisor to Washburn Student Media. There were times when I doubted myself or was uncertain what came next. Regina has been there to give advice and listen equally when I needed it. She has been tough on me when I needed it, also. A lot of the feedback I got this year has factored in to the way I look at where I am going next.

Overall, my experience at Washburn has been something I will remember always. To those I didn’t get a chance to mention, thanks for everything you did for me. For those who are going to be leading this publication next year, good luck!

Lastly, I want to thank my family for supporting me these past four years. My brother especially for always being there when I needed someone to talk to.