Of Tressel, ‘Bang Bang’ and Multimedia Journalism–Closing Out the Year at Ohio State

Posted on June 5, 2011

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Life is full of surprises.

Last April I could not have been more surprised when School of Communication director Dr. Carroll Glynn wrote me a one sentence email that changed my life: “Would you like to teach full-time at Ohio State?”  I had been teaching one class at OSU (my beloved magazine writing) for six years while working 15 years for the U.S. Trotting Association, but no one seemed to believe I would ever leave the sport of harness racing.

Meeting with my boss to tell him of my planned departure, he said he had expressed concern to his boss when I called a meeting on a “personal matter.” The response: “What are you worried about? She’s not going anywhere.”

Surprise!

Now that I have finished my first year at Ohio State, I can honestly say I have not regretted this decision for one minute of any hour of any day. I treasure my students, respect my co-workers and feel inspired daily by the challenges and opportunities we enjoy. I have met the most amazing people who have shared their experiences and insights with my students–people like Jennifer Smith Richards, Joe Blundo, Todd Jones and Doral Chenoweth III of the Columbus Dispatch; Craig Friedman, Danielle Elias and Glenn McIntyre of 10TV; social media strategist Nate Riggs; Christopher Hayes of Outlook Magazine; and Jean Dubail of Cleveland area Patch.

I also tapped my friends to join the fun: Charlie Leerhsen, author of the new book “Blood and Smoke”; Andrew Cohen of CBS News; Bill Finley of the New York Times; Lynne Bonenberger of the Ohio State Alumni Magazine; Ray Paprocki of Columbus Monthly; Michael Paull of the Columbus Dispatch; Gerrick Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times; Travis Howeischer of (614); and Nate Ellis and Kevin Parks of ThisWeek newspapers, just to name a few.

I thank them all more than I can say.

This job, too, has offered its share of surprises.

  • The Lantern Crew

    Zack Meisel (center) led an amazing Lantern crew (from left Jamie Jurich, Ally Marotti, Dylan Tussel, Joe Podelco, Jessica Shambaugh and Justin Conley) to a quarter that brought the paper national attention!

    Who would have thought this year’s seniors would outlast Jim Tressel?

  • Who would have thought our terrific Lantern staffers, led by editor Zack Meisel, would find themselves in the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated and ESPN–in the same week?
  • Who would have thought adults would think it OK to curse out and threaten violence to student journalists just trying to do their jobs?
  • Who would have thought Twitter would come of age right before our very eyes through the death of Osama bin Laden of all people, providing a true-to-life teaching tool for our students up through 3 a.m. one morning, and continuing the rest of the quarter in our social media classes?
  • Who would have thought our wonderful department head Dr. Glynn could randomly put together such a fun and talented group of co-workers for our Journalism major, who seem to perfectly compliment each other in personality and skills? Leonardo Carrizo, Dan Caterinicchia and Nick George–I salute you!
  • Who would have thought staying until 10 p.m. to watch movies with my students and co-workers (“Frost/Nixon” and “The Bang Bang Club“) could be so fun and lead to what I hope is a long-standing tradition?

Life is full of surprises–thank goodness! What have been some of the best for you?

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