Marissa Coidakis and Professor William Homestead.

It is crazy to think that just four years ago Professor Homestead asked me to join the paper. Four years ago, I thought I had no place on the newspaper staff and here I am four years later writing to you as the Editor in Chief resigning from her position as she graduates from New England College.

My experience with The NewEnglander has been ever-changing and I have learned life-long skills that I know I will use in my professional career. Writing has always been a strength but I had no idea how much I would enjoy being a part of the newspaper staff. In my year as Editor in Chief I actively worked to produce my own content as well as edit peer articles while also designing print editions and managing social media accounts.

For those who don’t know, The NewEnglander operates as a class and a club. Students can take it for 1-6 credits a semester and then when the semester finishes, they may never come back to our office. Or, they can join as a club member at any time simply because they want to have the experience. As much as Prof. Homestead urged me to join, it wasn’t until my junior year when I was required to take practical experience credits that I truly got involved. After my semester concluded I found myself returning to meetings in the spring; and suddenly, I found where I fit on campus.

Looking back, I wish I had gotten involved sooner. Some students come into college as athletes and know exactly what they will spend their free time doing. For me, that was not the case. When I wasn’t in class, I was working so I never made time for extracurricular activities. The past two years as a staff member of The NewEnglander I found what I would ultimately spend a majority of my free time doing on campus.

Fun fact: I never wanted to be Editor in Chief. I was content with writing and editing here and there and then fall semester rolled around and Hannah, our Sports Editor, and I were given the challenge to take on a whole new staff, twice, this school year. Given we mostly operate as a class that means every semester we have a whole new group of students to write for us. As weekly meetings progressed during the fall, I realized that I was doing everything an Editor in Chief should be doing, just without the title. It was then that we formally established my role and I really dove head first in giving my all to be the best Editor in Chief I could be.

Throughout this year Hannah and I successfully made The NewEnglander more prominent by using social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to gain a following on campus and within the Henniker community and beyond. We never expected the reaction to be as big as it has become, especially from faculty, NEC alumni, and community members. We were able to reach new viewers in ways we had thought of implementing last semester, but finally put our plans into action this year.

Producing two print editions this year in addition to our efforts constantly uploading content to the website as well as keeping on top of everything else is something I am extremely proud of. This past semester you could find me in class, working at my part time job or at my internship, or in the NewEnglander office working on the website and print edition. My most contacted person over the last three years has been Hannah. She has truly been my go to and right hand this year and she has always been an amazing friend to me on top of all the great things she does to help make the paper great. I know she will continue to do awesome things next year and I am so grateful for everything she has done to help me this year and I am so lucky to have her as a friend.

As the torch gets passed on to the next Editor in Chief, I am confident in the path that I have helped pave over the last year and I look forward to reading The NewEnglander as an alumna for years to come.

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Marissa is an alumnus of the New England College Class of 2019. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with two Bachelor's Degrees in Communication Studies and Business Marketing. She was the Editor in Chief for The New Englander from 2018-2019 and wrote many pieces across all sections while also managing the website, social media, and designing print editions. Marissa currently works at Amoskeag Health in the Advancement Department as the Content Marketing Specialist.
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