CT seniors say farewell

Illustration by Killian Goodale-Porter

Fiona McMichael, Designer

I have too many weepy thoughts and emotional statements about my time here, so I hope in lieu of a long-winded speech you will accept this all-encompassing haiku:

Layout text in place
Week by week with tired eyes
Friendship grew beside

Thank you to all The CT staff, past and present. Good luck to all that will come after.

Long live printed media.

Clare Wislar, Design Editor

In the fall of 2021, I desperately sought a change of pace from my old office design job. Without knowing she would be changing the trajectory of my entire career path, former design editor Gabi Wood contacted me about a designer position opening at The Commonwealth Times via Instagram.

I got the position and had the pleasure of working with amazing designers in the 2021-2022 school year. That summer, I was thrilled to be offered the position of design editor. I have had the honor to work alongside designers Soli, Madison, Fiona and Tess in our little “design den,” a place always full of laughter and creativity.

I have also been inspired weekly by the problem-solving, teamwork and pure motivation within the newspaper from all the editors throughout the years. The amazing former Executive Editor Katharine DeRosa and current executive editor Gabriela de Camargo Gonçalves could not have been better people to work with.

I am excited to see what the future holds for me as a designer, and I am incredibly thankful for my run as a designer and design editor here at the CT.

Tess Wladar, Designer

I started working for The CT as a contributing illustrator and eventually applied to be a graphic designer only because Clare Wislar, our amazing design editor, believed in me.

I’ll forever be grateful to Clare for seeing designer potential in me and inviting me to join her little team.

She made our cozy little “Design Den” an inspiring place of love, laughter and creativity.

I learned so much from her and our other outstanding designers, and I’m really going to miss working with them. We made that paper look so beautiful!

Chloe Hawkins, Spectrum Editor

A little over a year ago, I branched out as a writer and journalist. I started at The Commonwealth Times as a contributing writer, and now I’m bidding farewell to the paper, as I prepare to graduate.

I have learned so many things while working at this newspaper — from the importance of attribution, oxford commas and all the interesting art that exists around Richmond and VCU. The significance of amplifying artists’ voices, no matter what demographic they may be, is why I chose to become the Spectrum editor.

The arts, culture, fashion and music scenes in the city are so rich and full of life, and they deserve to be documented for decades to come. With the help of my coworkers, contributing and staff writers, I have been able to do the most fulfilling work: showcasing and appreciating local artists.

I hope that my work has helped people reach areas they never thought possible. The best part of this job is seeing the artists’ appreciation, whether it be vocal or through a post on social media. I look forward to continuing to highlight the local arts scene after I graduate.

I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had, people I’ve met and lessons I’ve learned while being an editor at The CT.

Alessandro Latour, Photography Editor

My career here at The Commonwealth Times has been one of the highlights of my time here at VCU.

I want to thank everyone that was involved in my time here and those that helped me along the way.

I am going to miss everyone and everything about working here, and I wish the best of luck to the members that are going to continue running the paper next semester.

Anna Chen, Copy Editor

If I’m being honest, leaving The Commonwealth Times is bittersweet, yet so exciting.

I’ve held a few titles over the years here: contributing writer, audience editor and then finally copy editor. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, as the newsroom served me as much as I served it.

I’m honored and grateful to have worked in as many roles as I did and to learn from them and my many colleagues. I’m appreciative of the experience and guidance that I have been given from my mentors, Katharine DeRosa, Gabriela de Camargo Gonçalves and Hollyann Purvis. I’ve been blessed to have worked alongside my fellow editors and designers, Kofi Mframa, Chloe Hawkins, Arrick Wilson, Selna Shi, Andrew Kerley, Clare Wislar, Alessandro Latour and Killian Goodale-Porter.

It’s crazy looking back at my time here and proudly knowing how much I have given and contributed to the paper. From the laborious nights that we’ve all shared together and the numerous awards we’ve brought home, I’m eternally grateful to the paper and to the amazing team that has kept The CT alive.

While I’m excited to graduate and step out into the workforce, I want to thank The CT itself, for teaching me the value and importance of what student journalism is.

Next stop: DC News Now.

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