Senior Send-Off: The man known as Joe Fay tells his story
When I look back on my four years at Hofstra, I quickly realize that I owe everything I have accomplished to The Hofstra Chronicle. The Chronicle led me to change my major to journalism, gave me the experience to land an incredible internship and has gotten me where I am today.
Now, I am faced with the reality that this is the final time my name will appear in the masthead with everyone I have grown so close with over the past four years. I think back to when I was a confused freshman – just a business major who wrote for the sports section as a hobby.
I became close with the sports editors – Kyle Kandetzki, PJ Potter and Kevin Carroll – who unintentionally showed me how rewarding it was to be a part of The Chronicle’s editorial board. By the end of my freshman year, I was switching my major to journalism and being hired as the assistant sports editor.
In my one year as an assistant, I grew as a journalist and a person. I learned everything I could from Kyle, PJ and Kevin. Yes we edited, but we also provided the office with the best layout night playlists on Earth and became best friends in the process. They have graduated, yet they continue to inspire me every day. They gave me the knowledge and confidence to be elected editor-in-chief in December 2017 after just one semester as a full sports editor.
The past year and a half at the helm of this paper has been the greatest experience of my life thus far. It has taught me so much about myself and the industry I plan to enter after graduation. Though it has led to permanent exhaustion and numerous missed Tuesday classes, I would never trade sitting in this office until 4 a.m. for anything.
Leading this amazing, 27-member editorial team has truly been an honor. We have come so far in just 17 months. We completely reinvented our digital presence, pulled an all-nighter doing election coverage and held the University accountable with huge front page stories. Every single person in our masthead had a hand in this success. Now is the part where I get sappy and thank the people I am lucky enough to call my friends.
First off, I would like to thank my incredible managing editor, Katie Krahulik. Teehee! Katie, you are the reason that this paper runs so smoothly. Your dedication to making sure layout night stays on track and meeting with each section to resolve issues has made my job 1,000 times easier. I am so grateful to have had you as my No. 2. Best of luck in law school!
Next, of course, I have to go to my sports crew. Alex Licata, you have brought the sports section to new heights over the past year. Your creativity, drive and remarkable writing will take you far in life – even if you insist on writing a minimum of 1,500 words every time! My boys, Felipe, Chris and Anthony, you have all grown so much this year and are more than ready to carry this section yourselves. I look forward to reading more top-notch content next year!
This paper would not function without the relentless dedication of our copy chief, Erin Hickey. For much of the year, she copy edited every single article that was published both in print and online. She is the one who sat with me in the office until 4 a.m. for the past 19 issues. Together we made sure that all the oxford commas were gone and that every sports article didn’t start with the word “dominant.” She has been my rock since the fall, but a month ago I finally worked up the nerve to ask her to be my girlfriend. Now, I am eagerly looking forward to what life holds for us after graduation.
Our daughters, Mel Haid and Gab Varano, are no longer assistants and are ready to take this paper by storm. Mel, stay fashionable. Gab, stay Italian. Be sure to call us when you are elected editors of the paper next spring.
Last but certainly not least, Taylor Clarke and Jill Leavey. I know the paper is in good hands with you two taking over. I have been blessed to have you as my news editors. Thank you for all of your efforts to put out an amazing section every week, despite the struggles with your writers. Also, never forget that if the University has questions about how we do things at The Chronicle, smile and simply reply “no comment.”
To everyone else who will still be here next year, I only wish that we had more time together. I could not be prouder of what we have accomplished. I know you will make us proud as we leave the paper in your hands. Know that with The Chronicle on your resume, you are in good shape to find success after graduation.
My fellow seniors, it’s been a great run. Thank you for sticking with me through it all. Whether it was the horrific election of spring 2017 or dealing with our crashing computers every week, you guys have been there through it all. You have kept me going and inspired me for the past four years. Best of luck out there in the big world. Keep in touch and never forget our time together.
Photo courtesy of Rob Kinnard