Photo by Ethan Castro (He/him)
My time with TechNews has come to an end. Over the past three years, I have written a total of 297 articles, and this final one will be my 298th. TechNews has been an outlet for me to explore our university and its various offerings as well as to explore myself and my personal interests. I’ve covered everything from critical editorials about our university’s leadership (both student and staff) to historical trivia pieces about dogs in the World Wars. Working with this paper has led me to pursue styles of writing I never would have thought of otherwise, from music reviews to my scarring experiences with sleep paralysis.
Joining and later leading this organization was the best decision I ever made in my time at Illinois Tech. The work I’ve done for TechNews, and, more importantly, the work I’ve seen the rest of the organization do for it have filled me with such an immense sense of pride and accomplishment, even as my educational and personal lives have, at times, left me sorely lacking in fulfillment. I am forever grateful to TechNews for doing this for me, as I depart from this university into the brave new world beyond (no I’m not dying; I’m just graduating, which may as well be dying).
But this article should not be about me and whatever accomplishments I’ve done through this paper. If those are truly important and lasting, then they will speak for themselves. It’s not my place to judge.
No, instead, my final TechNews article is dedicated to the amazing team that has made all this possible. None of what I have just said would have been even close to achievable if not for the amazing colleagues that have worked just as hard as I have to keep this paper and organization running. My final TechNews article and Hidden History piece goes out to each and every one of the student editorial board members, content contributors, and editors that keep us running and keep us going as a catalyst for positive change on campus.
When I first joined the organization at the start of 2017, prior Editor-in-Chief Anoopa Sundararajan, as well as her successor Annie Zorn gave me my initial start, writing basic articles about projects being done by Student Government Association (SGA). It was a simple start, remotely submitting a single article a week about whatever SGA was doing, but even then, the interactions I had with this organization were overwhelmingly positive and supportive of me expressing myself through the paper as I gradually branched into topics beyond SGA. And this was all because of the leadership that came before me and the empowerment their generosity gave me as a fledgling writer.
Over the years, I continued to immerse myself more and more in TechNews, eventually coming to serve a full academic year as editor-in-chief, and the appreciation I have for every member of this organization has only grown. TechNews is a team effort, made possible only through the collaboration of numerous members at various stage of our hierarchy, and every single person in this process deserves so much recognition and thanks.
My editorial board has done their duties perfectly, and I could not have asked for a better supporting team to keep this publication running, even in its darkest times. Assistant Editor-in-Chief Quinn Castaneda has been a perfect second-in-command, giving this paper its essential layer of professionalism and consistency both in its writing and personnel structure. The work she has done has been paramount in keeping both TechNews and myself (and probably many others) working as we should, and she deserves much more praise than I can currently type out.
Our Information Technology Manager David Sobel has similarly kept this paper anchored on the digital front, managing many of the more technical aspects that I don’t have the experience or knowledge to do myself. As one of the organization’s oldest returning members, he has helped me many times in remembering the cherished memories and progress this paper has made through my tenure.
Prashanth Murugan, our distribution manager, was the first hire and official decision I made as editor-in-chief, and I don’t regret a single thing about my choice. No matter the weather, no matter what mishaps have happened with our printer, he has done his Tuesday morning distribution job dutifully, always with a smile on his face. If you’re reading this article in our print version, just know that it’s because of him and the work he did.
In addition, all of the contributors that give this paper its character and its content all deserve much more praise than I can possibly type in a single article. Dan Marten and the lengths he has gone to cite his article sources and the important sociopolitical topics he’s covered, Tarang Vaidya and his stories as an international student new to this country, Grace Arnold and her dedication to covering SGA just as I did years ago, Estlin Mendez’s valued input on various internal affairs as well as their also-valued puzzles, Joshua Ferm’s shared love of LEGO with me, Jack Hamilton’s exploration of his love for video games through his reviews, Kevin Barrera’s similar exploration of his various interests through writing, Tori Belotti’s and Moid Ali’s demonstration that first-year students actually DO care about TechNews, and SO MANY more people that contribute to this paper all amount to what I genuinely see as the best TechNews team I could have ever wanted. Thank you, all of you.
Of course, perhaps the best way to end this piece is by looking to the new editorial board that will continue to lead this paper once I have gone. Castaneda will continue to serve as assistant editor-in-chief, Murugan will continue to serve as distribution manager, and Mendez will be stepping in as webmaster, bringing a sense of continuity and incremental improvement that I know will continue to serve as a vital anchoring point for this organization. Dhruvit Savla, stepping in as the newly reinstated business manager, will serve dutifully in keeping this organization buoyant, and I know he will do great. And finally, long-time member Lexi Detweiler will be replacing me as editor-in-chief, and I know for a fact that this paper will continue to grow and give students their voice under her leadership.
Along with all the members that will stay with TechNews in the next year, I can graduate from this university confident that I am leaving an organization that has given me so much in the best possible hands I could have asked for. To my TechNews team, thank you. I will never forget my time with this organization, and I hope you will continue to grow both as an outlet for student voices and as individuals within it.