Managing Editor says goodbye


Managing Editor Sierra Steen bids farewell to The Northern Iowan.

SIERRA STEEN, Managing Editor | [email protected]

Out of all of the staff on the Northern Iowan team, I am probably the least fit to write an article (that skill is thankfully not in my job description), which can be attested by the fact that any time I submit one, I ask that my cohorts help make me sound more fit to the task. On this occasion, though, I am going solo so that I can truly pour my heart out. This is my farewell letter to the Northern Iowan, and it still feels pretty surreal that my time here has come to an end. I have spent four years in this office, and saying goodbye is extremely bittersweet.

When I stepped into the office during my first semester at UNI, fall 2016, I never expected how much time, dedication, and love I would be putting into my job there. I was new to campus, but was looking for a new career and outlet for creativity, and this position fell into my lap thanks to Chris Martin, who I look up to and have a lot of gratitude for. I had the wonderful Hannah Gibbs to help train me for this position. Hannah, I hope you are doing well in your current career. I’ll never forget working with you all those early mornings and during big issues- you truly helped shape my passion for the paper!

I have many memories associated with the Northern Iowan, and have seen many different staff members come in and out during my four years of working here. Some of my fondest memories include going to the CMBAM conference with Michele (my wonderful boss), creating some really snazzy cover designs and advertisements, re-branding the paper, meme history, weird Youtube videos, French Fry issues, and all of the silly shenanigans we went through (like when me and Karina went to go pick up pizza for the staff and she held it sideways so all the cheese fell off, I still laugh about that to this day). Of course, I can’t capture those all in this one letter, but the memories were all great enough to last a lifetime. I can’t thank all of you enough for that.

I need to make a few personal thank you notes, so bear with me while I get sappy. Since I have worked with many people over this timeframe, it would be lengthy and impossible to properly thank everyone, but I will do the best I can. 

To Gabby, not only are you a fantastic coworker, but you are one of the best friends I have made here at UNI. Between our online bowling lab, late night editing fiascos, emailing each other memes, and everything in between, you have always been there for me. You made my job so much easier, and you also taught me a lot about passion and hard work. Thanks for hyping me up, for being so nice, and for making our shared time as Managing and Executive editors so great. You are going to go very far in life and I can’t wait to see where that takes you!

To Michele, thanks for always showing us your fun side! You are so caring, driven, giving, and have shown me so much love and support over the years. There have been many times that I looked to you for guidance and support, and you have always been there for me. Work related or personal life related, you always made sure I was taken care of (like with Chad’s Pizza chicken). Thank you so much for taking me under your wing!

To Karina, you are my hero. The amount of times you have helped me get out of the weird messes I find myself in is astounding, but you always do it with a smile on your face and the best attitude ever, even if I couldn’t reciprocate. You are very supportive and have shown me a lot about strength, perseverance, leadership, and drive. Sorry for poking fun at you earlier about the pizza- even the way you tried to put it all back on with a fork so that people could still eat it says a lot about you and the way you always think of others. Thank you so much for everything, and I can’t wait to see what great things you do in life!

To Chris, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be in this position. I wasn’t expecting to be in the place that I am today, but I am extremely grateful for it. You saw my potential and allowed me to try it out and grow, and grow I did. Because of you, I have been able to make so many great memories, hone my graphic design/leadership skills, and have a newfound love for media and the paper. You are such a determined and passionate human, and you always were there for me when I needed it most. Thank you so much. 

To Karla, the new Managing Editor, you are going to do great! I am so happy that you are taking over my position- I see your potential and genuine care for the paper, and you are already a great fit. You now have full freedom to experiment, grow, and to really make the most of this job. I am sorry that our time together got cut short, but it was fun regardless! You are so sweet and I can tell that you are going to do amazing things, both with the paper and with your life. Don’t forget, if you ever need me, I’m always just a text away! 

To the staff of 2019-2020, I’m sorry that our year didn’t end the way any of us expected. Thanks for putting up with me and all of my spur-of-the-moment ideas, like when I would run into your room and tell someone to close out of their page so I could experiment and then give it back to whoever I took it from. I know that we didn’t see each other much, but know that I truly appreciated every single one of you. You are all amazing and kind people, and I am excited to see where you take the paper! Thank you for the fond memories. I will cherish them forever. 

To previous staff, wow. I have so much I could say, but this letter is getting super long. Just know that if I ever worked with you, this whole section includes you in it. There were many instances where I was unsure about what I was doing, messed up on things and needed to fix it, and even times where I just needed some support, and you all were there for me every time. A lot of my favorite memories come from being down in that office with you all. You all showed me so much passion, integrity, support, drive, and a love for what you were doing. Whether you were writing about sports (hoopin’!), news, campus life, opinions, taking pictures, doing investigations, editing layouts or articles, or really anything in between, I saw the best come out in many of you. Each and every single one of you has the potential to make the best out of this life. I have seen you all go on a journey to find yourselves and your true calling, and to be successful, happy, and overall superb human beings. Thank you for shaping my time here at the Northern Iowan, and for helping me become the person I am today. You all have a very special place in my heart. 

And finally, to our dedicated readers (and fun and games players, as I’ve lovingly addressed in the past), thank you for supporting us. You are the reason we are here and are able to do the things we love. I have created many, many, many fun and games pages and classifieds pages in my time here, hoping that they will help you pass the time and find some enjoyment while sipping your morning coffee or while taking a break from working. Each one of them was created with you in mind. I hope you all enjoyed the silly jokes I put in, no matter how groan-inducing they were, and thought the fun issues were interesting, such as the Star Wars themed homecoming issue in 2017. I hope you all continue to support the paper and to keep up to date with UNI news. Thank you!

Thank you to The Northern Iowan and to UNI for the best four years I could have asked for. Our tomorrows shall be thine.

Go cats!

From, your friendly local Managing Editor, Sierra Steen.