Reflecting on my time at ZU Media as I pass the baton.

Before coming to college, I had never written an article. Like any wide-eyed freshmen, I picked a major blindly. But God had a plan; he knew that journalism combined my love of story, communication and writing. I ended up loving it.

Through it all, ZU Media has been an integral part of my experience at Azusa Pacific. And as I think about leaving, I am grateful. In my time at ZU Media, I have learned about integrity, truth, transparency and hard work. I am forever thankful that Professor Jessica Sherer saw potential in me during her editing class. Through her confidence in me, I became the copy editor of ZU Magazine my sophomore year, which was a role that introduced me to this wonderful group of journalists. 

Soon, my life became consumed by writing. As an honors humanities and journalism major, I was always writing papers or articles. I still remember the endless hours I put in and the struggle to become a better journalist.

Slowly, my passion for storytelling began to grow. It had always been there, but I began to understand the true beauty of journalism. Through simply shining a light on another’s voice, you could tell the stories of those who would not normally be heard. I really hope whoever takes over ZU Media next continues to push that idea. 

The beauty of stories became my driving force as I went to New York City and eventually became Co-Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. Through this opportunity, I was so privileged to be able to create little pieces of art that were full of beautiful themes and perspectives.  

Photo Credit: KC Galang

Anna Savchenko, it was an absolute pleasure to work with you — your heart for journalism and the excellence you push for is simply incredible. I loved the endless creative brainstorming sessions as we put together each magazine. Thank you to Candy Plascencia as well, who was a brilliant editor, and our artistic team Olivia Su and Sienna Hicks. 

In the second semester of my senior year, I would take on the role of Editor-in-Chief. It took true grit to really get there, but it was not by my own power. Christ was with me every step of the way. 

I didn’t expect to be finishing off my senior year of college virtually. But if I have learned anything, it is that God is faithful. As much as I wish I was on campus with my team, I can’t help but think about how I wouldn’t change a thing. To those of you who come next, embrace the journey and allow it to help you grow. 

So, here’s to all the people who have walked with me throughout my time at Azusa Pacific. 

To Kent, thank you for having so much faith in me. What you have built at ZU Media is impressive, and you have really taken it to the next level. 

Thank you to the previous EICs I have worked under such as Jamie Joseph, Nathan Foster, Alyssa Burlingame and Micaela Ricaforte. You guys have all grown my writing skills immensely, and I am grateful.

To the faculty and staff who have helped me to grow, particularly Professor Raber and Professor Willis, you guys have taught me so much about the field of journalism. A lot of what I learned in my classes was so practical, and I was able to tie this into my jobs over and over again. 

To my family, you guys are my number one supporters. Thank you for being there through the stress, the freshman blues, the hard times and always being a phone call away. I love you guys! 

Finally, to each and every one of my staff members, thank you for working with me at such an unprecedented time. Jasmine Campos, it has been a privilege to see you grow as a news editor. Something I so appreciated is that you made sure that there were well-rounded pitches each week. 

Kane Casillas, your passion for journalism truly shines, and I am thoroughly impressed by how you always sent your pitches to me early for me to approve. Continue to dedicate yourself to the craft; you’re going places. 

Jordan Green and Candice Evans, both of you astounded me with how well you guys anchored the sports section. You both are so brilliant. But also, the amount you have written for ZU Media is something to truly be proud of. 

Kaitlyn Miller, you know so much about pop culture, and I am always so impressed by that. Continue to use that knowledge as you go forward. It has been a true pleasure to have you on the team. Megan Wilhelm, I was so excited to have you on the team. The insight you give to our team as you point out errors and work behind the scenes is truly valuable. Joelene Millan, you have been a copy editor for ZU News for a long time now and your ability to do your job well shines through.

I’m so excited to see where ZU News will go in the future. I am so thankful for the part of my journey ZU Media has been and the experiences that the Lord placed in my life.