It’s been a fun and fantastic three years at WTAMU for this guy.
I’ve been able to meet, befriend and work with some very fantastic people, not only at this great paper but all around campus. When you work for the campus IT department, write for our beloved campus newspaper and work for KTWS Sports Team and Live Crew, those opportunities sort of present themselves naturally.
However, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t ready to say my farewells and move on. I’m 29-years old and I took the long route to obtaining my degree – spending one year at WT in 2003-04 before serving five years and eight months in the United States Air Force and returning to school in the spring of 2011.
I was very strongly considering attending UT-Arlington when I was separating from the military, but I had heard so many good things about WT’s broadcast journalism program, and the fact that I am originally from the area – I grew up in Hereford – swayed me to returning to the Texas Panhandle.
I think it goes without saying that I learned so much and grew both personally and professionally thanks to our incredible Mass Communications program. Dr. Emily Kinsky, Kim Bruce, Dr. Butler Cain, Dr. Enyonam Osei-Hwere, Randy Ray, Lori Westermann – you guys are awesome, and it’s because of you the department continues to produce high quality work in all areas. I also cannot forget Johnny Story, our department head, Dr. Trudy Hanson, and Dr. Leigh Browning.
I also must thank all of my colleagues at The Prairie, IT department and KWTS Sports Team and Live Crew of both past and present. I am not going to name anyone individually for fear of leaving someone out, but I would like to say it was an absolute pleasure working and growing with you. Good luck to each of you in your future professional endeavors.
I left the military in order to chase my dream of being a sports reporter, writer and/or broadcaster, and I look forward to what the future has in store for me. Those of you that know me understand I would love to get paid simply to talk about sports, because it’s all I do anyway. I have an unflappable passion for all sports, and although it is really a small thing in the grand scheme of life, I just absolutely love it.
Whatever the future may hold, I will say I am excited and proud to say I will be going through it with the most special person in the world, my wife, Jesi. She and I met while going to school and working here, and we will both always call WT home.
I am very proud to call myself a Buff. I wholeheartedly agree with one of my colleagues, Tyler Anderson, when he says it never gets old to say, “It’s a great day to be a Buff.” Tyler, you are 100 percent correct.
In parting I would just let to give some advice to those freshman and sophomores who are relatively new to the department, and heck, there’s probably some juniors and seniors who could use it as well.
To those of my colleagues at The Prairie, do not let a prime opportunity you have in front of you slip away. For lack of a better term, you have Dr. Butler Cain at your disposal. Pick that guy’s brain; ask him to critique you; soak in the knowledge that he is trying to pass along. There is way, way too much professional journalism in his brain to not take advantage of.
To my colleagues at KWTS, if you work hard at what you do and take pride in the quality of your work, Randy and Johnny will take care of you. Those guys know the business and are very, very good at it. I never partook in the production side – trust me, you don’t want me holding a camera or pushing buttons – but those guys are well-rounded in all phases of the business. Take advantage of the knowledge they are trying to pass along as well.
Graduation may seem like it’s so far away, but that’s not a bad thing. Use your time at WT to grow, polish those edges and become a professional.
Do not be phony, be honest with others and with yourself, don’t take constructive criticism wrongly and don’t ever settle. Always understand there is someone out there working harder than you and you can never be a “finished product.” It’s those with that understanding that turn out being the most successful.
Finally, and most importantly, you know what you want out of yourself. Do not let yourself down.