Ashleigh Martins – News Director
When I was in first grade, my friend Rebecca handed me a homemade button one day, out of the blue, that said in colorful print, “Ashley is a reporter.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her she spelled my name wrong, and instead, pinned it to my shirt, beaming. To this day, I have no idea why she thought to make that button. I still own it.
In fifth grade, I was attending a new elementary school that had ample funding thanks to multiple grants, and therefore, had new televisions in each classroom. There was a video production class that put together a weekly news program, which was aired across the school in every room. I got to be a co-anchor. It was exciting, fun and interesting.
That same year, my best friend and I snuck into her dad’s home office and stole a bunch of paper and used his typewriter to make a homemade newspaper. We had a news, an entertainment and a sports section. We even drew illustrations. I still have that publication.
Fast forward to present-day, age 30. As a non-traditional student, I sometimes forget that I can still do, and be a part of, the same activities and extracurriculars as anyone else here at Lane Community College. The Torch has been one such place where I’ve really felt well-connected to our campus. Aside from feeling connected, I’ve honed my editing skills, learned how to write news briefs and stories, grown more as a leader, had the opportunity to travel as a student representative on behalf of our publication, and have been a part of a team that has won numerous awards for our work.
Working at The Torch has been a very special experience for me this year, not only because of my appreciation for journalism, which sprouted at a young age, but because we’re living in a critical time when the well-written word and investigative journalism have never been more important. Though my younger self may not have fully grasped what journalism really is, I was intrigued by the idea of a team of people working together to disseminate information that people would hopefully find interesting and of use.
I can’t think of a better way to have spent this year at Lane.
Jeffery Osborns – Production Director/Distribution Manager
Working with The Torch was one of those opportunities that I could not deny. This year I accepted the positions of production director and distribution manager. These two positions ensured that my fingerprints are on every edition. Designing every page of the newspaper has been a welcomed challenge. I owe my development to the great advisors and a team of my peers. With their assistance and guidance, we have been able to produce work worth being proud of.
The team that was built this year has been unique and durable. We’ll bend but we won’t break. Dealing with breaking news can be difficult. Addressing stories that matter to the readers can be an even larger challenge. Our team was able to handle both this year. Failing to meet deadlines has been my biggest disappointment. With the lessons and experienced gained this year at The Torch, I’m encouraged and motivated to improve efficiency for future editions.
Hunter Ruland – Multimedia Editor
When I first joined The Torch last spring term, I didn’t have much experience in how to work and think like a journalist and wasn’t used to working in an office environment. After a year working for The Torch, it’s safe to say that I’ve come a long way. I’ve developed my skills in working with DSLR cameras, coordinating with my peers and attending events with an observant eye. But thankfully, it’s not all work and no fun here, as I’ve made many new friends and have had a great time working with them. We’ve accomplished many achievements this year and I look forward to what the future holds for The Torch.
Alec Ebert – Reporter
At the beginning of winter term I was seriously considering leaving school again in pursuit of another wasteful gap year. I’ve known for a long time that I want to be a journalist but I’ve only wanted to write about things that interest me and all of the hoops of higher education put me down with the massive amount of steps to get there. The light at the end of the tunnel seemed farther off than ever until I took a newsroom writing class at Lane and met Donny Morrison. Donny is a fellow member of our Torch staff who, at the time, inspired me to follow him down to the basement into the stuffy, hot and beige Lane Community College Torch office. This was the best decision that I’ve made this year. I’ve learned more of the ethics side of the journalism world, grammatical stuff, the do’s and don’ts of interviewing, and how to layout and edit a publication with an editorial team. Working for the Torch gets me out of bed in the morning, motivates me to go to school and fields a great learning environment. This year as a reporter, I’ve talked to many unique and incredible people and learned a great many things about Lane Community College and the Eugene community. I cannot wait to start again when fall term comes around. I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and working here will always be one of the most of the important steps in my journey to becoming a professional journalist.
Donny Morrison – Reporter
Joining the Torch has been one of the most fulfilling and profound experiences within my education. A little over a year ago I enrolled in college for the second time and I wasn’t sure where I fit in. I knew I wanted to write. I knew I wanted to get involved in something that was bigger than me. I found that at The Torch. I’ve been filled with an urgent sense of purpose in regards to my quest for knowledge. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to hone my craft while building meaningful lifelong relationships in the process. Here’s to next year!
Elizabeth Comiskey – Features Editor
My time at The Torch is purely indescribable. The individuals I have worked with as a team this year are exceptional people. Experiences I have met head on, loved and hated; will always have a place in my heart. My growth and understanding for the process of the newsroom and the work it includes to produce a paper cannot be replaced, my personal growth alone made my time at The Torch the most valuable experience I have had in some time.
Christopher Palanuk – Photo Editor
What do you say after working for a year and a half in your dream job? I’ve had the privilege to meet some of the finest people on the planet, listen to their fantastic stories, and photograph one of the greatest basketball teams this side of the moon. However, forgetting all of the effort spent, the greatest thing I’ve gotten from The Torch is the chance to work with great teammates. Also, a special thanks to the advisors Charlie Dietz and Dorothy Wearne. Without their sure-footed guidance, I know The Torch wouldn’t be as effective as it is today. Thank you both for your contributions to the newspaper and your time invested in me. Dorothy, this edition is for you.