So long, farewell: it’s been fun, PantherNOW

Several members of the spring 2024 PantherNOW editorial board. | Elise Gregg, PantherNOW

Elise Gregg | 2022 – 2024 Editor-in-Chief

When I started as editor-in-chief of PantherNOW, I had a lot of big dreams for the newsroom. After the first semester or so, I figured I’d have to be content with only reaching a few of those goals.

As I finish out my second year, I’m so glad I didn’t give up on any of them. 

After two years as editor, my tenure is over. I’ll (finally) (hopefully) be graduating in the summer.

These last two years have been exciting, challenging and fulfilling. When I started as editor, the work didn’t seem daunting – it just was.

Coming out of the pandemic, getting staff back in the office and moving past covering Zoom webinars seemed nearly impossible. There was so much restructuring I wanted to try, news I wanted to cover and quite frankly, a lot I needed to learn about leadership. 

The first year ended and I was proud of some of the progress we’d made as a team, but still worried that there would be a lot left undone. 

This last year blew that worry right out of the water.

I have been privileged and fortunate as an editor, in the last year and a half, to have had a team of writers and editors who are truly passionate about student news. The people who joined have put in so much time and dedication, far beyond what I can describe or praise in an article.

It’s because of this team that we have been able to do several hard-hitting investigations, from student government to athletics. This team has been the reason that our internal structure has grown increasingly efficient. 

Talk shows are back (you can check out our Spotify) and we’re growing our multimedia crew. 

These were all things I was worried about at the end of that first year. At the end of my second, I am not only thrilled to see improvement in these areas, but I’m also assured they are going to get better and better under the leadership of our new editor, Brian Olmo. 

To the current PantherNOW e-board: thank you. I hope I say it in the office enough, but as a reminder, this team could not have done anything without you. Particularly in the last three semesters, the passion and dedication you’ve all invested in student news has truly paid off.

All my ideas would only be ideas without your trust, hard work and support. None of our achievements would be possible without you. 

To previous e-board members, thank you too. Thank you for working with me and helping me get started, even when my plans or vision needed some tinkering. Your trust meant a lot.

To the last two editors, Valentina Palm and Gerard Albert, III, thank you for taking my incessant calls, coming in to talk with writers and giving me great advice. You guys are not only trusted mentors to me but incredibly dear friends.

A huge thanks is in order to Diego Diaz for taking over as interim editor in the summer of 2023 while I skipped town to report out in Arizona. Your leadership and dedication to the newspaper mean so much to me. 

To Robert Jaross, Alfred Soto and Francesca Rosario – our advisors – much thanks also for the advice, guidance and encouragement. I would have been entirely lost without your care not just for student news, but for the students. 

Thanks to Maxwell Dickinson, general manager of the radio station, for facilitating the collaboration between the radio and the newspaper and for being a good friend. And for putting me onto Ethiopian jazz – for that, I am eternally grateful. 

I would also like to thank our media board for their help throughout these two years and their continued dedication to advising and helping FIU student media. 

To all current and previous reporters, thank you for all the hard work. For the present team, keep serving the FIU community through your writing, photography and reporting. I say with the utmost confidence that your work really does make a difference. 

And to the FIU community: thank you! The reason we’re here is for this university, to keep students, faculty and staff informed and to keep our leaders accountable. Thank you for all the encouragement and feedback as we’ve worked to do that. 

Best of luck to Brian Olmo and the next radio general manager, Elise Lopez. I have no doubt in my mind that student media will just keep growing and improving with you two at the helm. 

There are too many people to thank, too many good memories to include here and too much I could go on and on about. Suffice to say, it has been a wonderful two years. I’m proud of and grateful to our team, and I am truly excited for what’s next for student media.

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