By Bryanna McDermont | Asst. Photo Editor
I walked into The Duke newsroom my freshman year at Duquesne, wrote a few opinion columns and left. I didn’t feel the sense of family and belonging that the staff that particular year preached about having at their Fall Open House. I loved to write but simply didn’t enjoy it in that environment.
See, ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted a voice; to be heard. As the youngest of six children in my family, my opinion wasn’t always the loudest, most important or even the wisest.
That’s why I wanted to become a journalist in the first place — particularly a sports journalist because, with four older brothers, I wasn’t exactly the first person people came to for fantasy advice, no matter how many stats I memorized.
I wanted to share my passion for sports with other people, and that’s why I walked back into the newsroom the spring semester of my sophomore year (with a little convincing from my now-roommate Natalie Fiorilli). I began taking sports photos for former Photo Editor Joe Guzy and writing columns for then-Sports Editor Joey Sykes.
Those two helped me way more than I think they’ll ever know. They gave me my first shot at covering sports for a paper, but they also opened doors for me outside of The Duke. Both Guzy and Sykes were former staff writer interns for the Pittsburgh Penguins, which became one of the biggest topics discussed in my interview for the same position.
Thank you again, Joe, for thinking of me when you were asked for recommendations for future interns. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to turn in my resume.
Despite being the assistant photo editor, I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked to in the newsroom last year due to my Pens internship. I never got to bond with the staff that year and became the butt of a lot of attendance jokes, which made it even harder to convince myself to go to the newsroom on off days.
I think that’s why I enjoyed this last semester so much. This year’s staff members are genuinely some of the smartest, kindest and funniest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting.
Between absurd conversations during publishing nights that dragged until 2 a.m. and an amount of Milano’s pizza and Halloween candy that will forever be kept a secret, a family was formed in College Hall 113 — a very odd, dysfunctional family, but a family. And, I wish nothing but the best for each and every person on staff. If you’re thinking about joining The Duke, do it. I promise you won’t regret the decision. I know I didn’t.
Before I go, I’d like to thank those who helped me throughout my three-and-a-half years at Duquesne.
Prof. Healy, your breaking news assignment freshman year scarred me for life, but all of your classes gave me the fundamentals to become a better, more efficient journalist. Thank you for your endless AP style quizzes.
To Sam Kasan and Michelle Crechiolo of the Penguins, thank you for being the coolest bosses ever, teaching me the ways of the sports industry and confirming what I want to do for the rest of my life.
And, to my boyfriend Matt, thank you for dealing with my constant stress, being my in-house editor since junior year of high school and being my biggest fan for the last five years.
Finally, thank you to my family for always making me feel like I have an army of support behind me. A special shout-out goes to my pappy Greg for having the ultimate trust in me to ensure I got to chase my dreams.
Well, that’s it for me, Duquesne. It’s time to trade late nights in the newsroom for late nights at the arena.