Interestingly, for four of my five years at the paper, I was an unpaid volunteer putting in close to 20 – 30 hours a week at times, and I can’t remember a moment where I wanted to be someplace else.
After two years as features editor, I switched to web editor. Motivated by a desire to upgrade the old, archaic content management system to a modern layout and expand the newspaper’s web presence, I navigated mindsets and slowly convinced the entire team to not only convert to a new website, but also started the blog section by the time I finished my tenure.
In the past year, I undertook two convergence projects with UTD’s broadcast media.
The first was Line of Fire, a TV show that used a panel discussion format. I served as executive producer, director and scriptwriter. Among the major hurdles that I worked with my team to overcome, were nailing down panelists from varied backgrounds and communicating with multiple groups, organizations and departments. In fact, the very first episode in summer was one with a live audience and dealt with a major issue on campus. The activism and student opinion through the episode helped keep a historic Art Barn on campus open.
The second was a radio talk show, Mercury Morning News, that I co-hosted with Esteban Bustillos. We scripted the entire hour-long show together, worked to get guests on the show and analyzed current news events around the world to put a different perspective to the mainstream information.