What The CT staff is grateful for 

Illustration by Ashlyn Rudolph

Iman Mekonen, Spectrum Editor

With a lot of overwhelming negativity happening all over the world, now is a great time to step back and think about what you’re grateful for.

Whether it’s your mom’s home cooking, the health and safety of your family members or healthcare professionals, we all have something to appreciate. 

I asked staff members of The CT and the Student Media Center what they’re grateful for right now. Here’s what they had to say.

Answers were compiled from a Google Form and have been edited for clarity.


Sagal Ahmed, Contributing Writer

I am grateful for having my family during this time of staying inside, I would truly go crazy if I was in complete isolation. I am grateful for having some sort of schedule due to online school and other activities which makes me feel productive at the end of the day and not like I’m wasting another day. I’m grateful for the time to reconnect with things such as my religion.


Katharine DeRosa, Contributing Writer

I’m grateful for a safe place to sleep and a family who loves me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make home cooked meals for the first time in months. I’m grateful for the time I’m spending with my older sister.


Aerin Fortes, Contributing Writer

I am grateful that I am privileged enough to be able to stay at home and self-quarantine with no responsibilities to an employer that I have to leave my house for (I am grateful enough to be privileged enough to say I am bored at home). I am grateful that I still have access to education and an opportunity to continue to learn, although it may not be everyone’s preferred method. I am extremely grateful to healthcare workers across the globe who are just doing their job and doing all they can do in such a crazy time (they are really superheroes right now, especially if they are able to go home and continue any familial responsibilities). I am grateful that The CT is still up and running with amazing writers!


Eduardo Acevedo, News Assistant

I’m grateful for the chance to be around family especially in these times of uncertainty where you don’t know how long you have with them. I’m grateful for the internet and its much needed distractions from my own mental space and the anxiety this entire situation causes. Another reason I’m grateful for the internet is it helps to keep me connected with family and friends all over the country and constantly check in and make sure they’re dealing with everything well.


Hannah Eason, News Editor

I’m grateful I have access to food, water and a warm bed. I’m grateful to be in Richmond with the ability to work at @theCT and @1037Play. I’m grateful my parents are well, as both of them fall into the “preexisting conditions” category.


Georgia Geen, Executive Editor

I’m grateful that I live with my significant other so I have someone to keep me company at home. I’m lucky to work with so many dedicated people at The CT who are working to keep people informed despite all the stress in our lives. And above all, I’m so grateful that my family and friends are safe and healthy. Obviously things are tough, and the pandemic is affecting our lives in many ways, but I try to remember how lucky I am to be safe and healthy.


Andy Caress, Graphic Designer for the Student Media Center

Okay, so I have this one professor that I absolutely HATE! I have him for two studios (up to 3 hrs each studio. I CANNOT stand him. He’s an old man who mansplains everything, over explains, critically analyzes our every movement, tries to create statistics out of our actions, and he tries to make us stay the whole class time. I’m grateful that I don’t have to see him in person.


Rey Carlson, Graphic Designer for the Student Media Center

I’m super grateful for the fact that I still have both of my jobs. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, and the fact that my immediate family & I are all healthy right now. Also selfishly grateful that my partner is stuck in Richmond with me and we’re quarantining together (they live in NY). hehe


Kamryn Gillham, Graphic Designer for the Student Media Center

I am grateful for my family and friends, all of whom are the best support system in the world. We’ve all made so many creative efforts to stay in touch and be there for each other during the pandemic, and it’s been a true ease for my heart. It’s difficult to stay positive when there’s so much panic everywhere, but my friends and family are a constant source of joy for me – no matter the distance.


Dominique Lee, Sales & Business Development Manager

I am grateful for my job and work family. Many are wondering how they’re going to pay the bills right now. That easily could’ve been me.


Allison Bennett Dyche, Director of Student Media

I’m grateful to work at an institute of higher learning like VCU, where so many of my colleagues, students and administrators have strived to confront and accept this new and rapidly evolving situation with as much openness, communication and kindness as possible. I’m grateful to have a position where I’m able to continue working from home and continue to be gainfully employed, and to be able to work with my SMC professional staff colleagues so they can do the same. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with so many wonderful and amazing students across all our media outlets in the SMC, and to see them continue to produce award-winning work, to learn how to move their operations to virtual settings, and to advise them through the struggles they face in these strange new times and uncharted waters. I’m grateful to be part of organizations like the College Media Association (CMA) and College Media Business & Advertising Managers (CMBAM), where I can continue to communicate and commiserate with other college media advisers across the country, and share ideas, inspirations and challenges as we all wait to see what tomorrow holds. And I’m grateful to be in a Ph.D. program at VCU with a dissertation chair and committee that can both encourage me to move forward in my studies, while also reminding me to take time to be extra kind to myself in these trying times.

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