Commentary: Thanks & Happy Holidays

Dear PPCC Community:

About a year ago, I took over the Journalism Department (two classes with two faculty members in it) and not long after assuming the role, was approached by new full-time faculty member, Jenna Benson, who asked me why PPCC no longer had a newspaper. She shared with me that working on The Pikes Peak News with Janet Rohan had been one of her most valuable experiences as a former student here.

Around that same time, PPCC’s new Director of Marketing, Warren Epstein, who had a long, good career as a journalist at The Gazette and other papers, sent me an email asking the same thing: “Why don’t we have a student newspaper?”

The answer was complicated, as most things at a large-size college are. Our Journalism Professor had retired years ago and the college had not replaced her position, since the advent of the internet changed the way people read news and got their information. The college didn’t want to pay the prohibitive costs for print journalism if the medium was dying anyway. And, students weren’t signing up for JOU classes.

“But, a college needs a student newspaper,” Warren said.

The three of us met in my office over coffee and hatched a plan for this paper: an online, student-oriented but faculty and staff engaging source for college news and features.

We took the plan to Dr. Bolton who thought it was a great idea and ultimately approved and funded it through his President’s Pilot Projects initiative.

Then, we got to work and enlisted the help of a host of talented people we couldn’t have produced it without: Digital Strategist Matt Radcliffe and Peter Strand (MGD Professor) planned style and layout and have acted as technical advisers all term.

Student Erica Casey, under the supervision of Professor Kris Akse (also from the MGD Department), designed our logo and banner.

Dean Jacque’ Gaiters-Jordan granted us time and space to run the paper in a semester when losing two English faculty for even one class period presented a hardship.

Finally, our amazing students who, though shocked at the pace required, produced a full paper in their second week of class, then continued to do so throughout the term every Wednesday.

To Jake Altinger and Camille Liptak, reporters extraordinaire, Jenna and I give the most profound thanks. There were several weeks when no paper would have been produced without the help of these two stellar student writers. For their pains, they both have the promise of internships at The Independent and The Gazette, and are here named as our Spring, 2018 student editors: Jake will be our News Editor and Camille will be our Arts Editor.

Dejanique Calloway, Josh Cowden, Ashley Dallas, Sapphire Gallegos, Leslie James, Steph Larkin, Brian Pharies, Amanda Wich, and Hannah Zwhalen managed to turn in fabulous stories while parenting, planning weddings, battling severe PTSD, dealing with homelessness, commuting long distances, working, and taking a full schedule of classes.

And, a paper is not much good without an audience, so thanks to all of you who read our stories and gave us feedback.

Thank you, Everyone, for The Paper. It’s turned out far better than we ever imagined!

We will return with a new staff and new stories in early February.

Until then, enjoy our special double edition, with a new feature added today from Jake Altinger on overcoming addiction.

Have a happy Winter Break and a joyous time celebrating whichever holiday frosts your cookies,

Deidre Schoolcraft, Editor and Jenna Benson, Content Editor

If you are an AA or AS student and want to learn the basics of Journalism, register for JOU 106. Email deidre.schoolcraft@ppcc.edu or jenna.benson@ppcc.edu for more information.

2 thoughts on “Commentary: Thanks & Happy Holidays”
  1. Thank you all for such a stellar experience! Writing for The Paper, and being able to be a part of such an amazing team, was such an amazing experience I will never be able to get elsewhere.

    Congratulations Camille and Jake on your internships, and CRAZY talent!

    Thank you to Professor Benson and Professor Schoolcraft for investing your time, skills, and energy to us newcomers. My love of journalism has grown.

    Always love to you all!

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