Looking back, pressing forward

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Spring is a time of rapid change and growth. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, sunshine and 90-degrees—May in Minnesota has it all. But there is one constant during this time of year: graduation.

Students have earned the right to toss their caps in the air and finally say goodbye to essays, exams and grades.

Some of the graduates this May were members of The Metropolitan staff, and I got to know them well over the course of our two years working together.

Kathryn Ganfield, editor-in-chief since May 2017, received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing. Web editor Sandip Rai earned his bachelor’s in computer science.

Scott Lindell has worn a lot of hats at The Metropolitan. Since I came on board, he has served as both associate editor and copy editor. He is staying on as a reporter until the end of the summer when he will earn a graduate certificate in design of user experience.

Kathryn Ganfield, left, with Sandip Rai at Metropolitan State University’s spring 2019 commencement exercise at the Minneapolis Convention Center. As web editor of The Metropolitan since January 2018, Rai overhauled and rebuilt the student newspaper’s website. Ganfield has served as editor-in-chief since May 2017. (Kathryn Ganfield / The Metropolitan)

Eli Bartz, our photo editor since December 2018, also finished his work with The Metropolitan this spring.

I joined the team in 2017 as design editor and staff writer. We accomplished much more than I thought possible, but that was because we set lofty goals from the start.

We initiated a complete redesign of the newspaper’s print edition and website. We gave them modern facelifts and updated typography and style.

One of Katie’s major goals was to anchor newspaper content to Metro State and provide a student perspective on current events on and off campus.

I think we nailed it. I am so proud of the quality, depth and breadth of The Metropolitan’s content.

We also joined the Associated Collegiate Press and attended four of their conferences over the course of two years together on staff. At these events, we engaged with other collegiate media, editors and advisors. We gained valuable insights from professional journalists in our efforts to improve The Metropolitan. While it saddens me to say goodbye to Katie, Sandip, Eli and Scott, I’m ecstatic about the direction that The Metropolitan will take under our new staff. Fresh faces this year are interim editor-in-chief April Carlson, web editor Divine Monkam, photo editor Mandy Hathaway and Brandon General, who fills the brand new role of multimedia editor.

As with the first great team I worked with, the incoming editors have set an ambitious agenda for the paper. We aim to add more visual appeal to both the print and digital edition. We will keep our content focused on Metro State and grow our network of on-campus contributors.

We are striving to improve our website design, introduce multimedia graphics and interfaces, and create more social media content. In July, we will attend a college media workshop at the University of Minnesota to add to our journalism skills—and expand our newspaper’s ambitions even more.

Creating a cohesive new team is difficult in any setting, but especially so when working under pressure and tight deadlines. We are still trying to figure out what kind of workflow is best for us, but have made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks.

Kathryn Ganfield, left, and Margot M. Barry celebrate graduation on April 27, 2019. Barry was a reporter covering authors, literature and the library for The Metropolitan. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and was a runner-up for outstanding undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts. (Courtesy of Margot M. Barry)
I’m truly humbled and excited to still be a part of The Metropolitan, the voice of Metro State students. I am proud of what we have accomplished so far and cannot wait to see what the future holds.