Fortunately but sadly, my 2 year master’s program at the Illinois Institute of Technology has finally come to an end. The whole journey — turning from a journalism and media specialist to a data science and machine learning professional, writing dozens of articles for TechNews on the computer front while training models in the background — is still surreal and unbelievable.
“Now or never: the future of Hong Kong and the U.S.” is my debut article published in issue three in fall of 2019. Remembering the time when I had to fly away from my home town during the critical moment that determined the political future of Hong Kong, I was always upset about not being there to support the movement and activists. One day I got a copy of TechNews from the stand at John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center, decided to join the writer’s meeting, and wrote about Hong Kong. I wanted to tell the world from a first person perspective what political suppression means to Hong Kong and why others should care.
“The underused HAWKi app needs full revamp, not just public safety module” is one of my coverages on campus news. Not just about Hong Kong, I started writing more about the Illinois Tech community — tech infrastructure, school events on career advice, commentary on Student Government Association election campaigns and course evaluation, and so on. Never did I think as a graduate student I would have so much engagement with the school community, but after all I am glad I had something else I can recall outside of the hectic study life in the future.
“US-China relation under authoritative strong man politics,” one of the four-article series about US-China relation, was published during my third semester with TechNews. International and U.S. politics is what I’ve been very interested in since my undergraduate freshman year. The opinion might not be as comprehensive nor mature as a graduation thesis might look like, but I am pretty proud of myself to discuss and analyze the complicated political tension from various perspectives.
The same semester is also when I became the Business Manager, whose job is to take care of the financial and advertisement matters for TechNews. Due to COVID-19, getting ads on printed newspapers became even more difficult. Then, our paper was suspended from printing; without offering to do online or social ads, our printed ads space can hardly be filled. Luckily, all of our great writers have filled the paper with sensational content, continuing our legend of being a student-run newspaper organization.
This semester, my last semester with TechNews, I continued writing about Hong Kong, Illinois Tech, and politics, and expanded the scope to technology and innovation, the interaction of social aspects and technology, and movie and food reviews. At the beginning of the semester, I set up a goal of writing at least two pieces per issue. I kept my promise until the last two issues. You know, time gets out of control at the semester end, always.
Thank you, TechNews and my peers! I have had a great time with this news outlet, what an exceptional student organization. It is probably my last time to write as a “Business Manager” or “TechNews Writer,” but if the new editorial board is happy to have me stay, see you all my lovely readers again when my title becomes “TechNews Alum” or “TechNews Honorary Writer” or whatsoever.