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Introducing The Griffin’s 2023-2024 Staff

Over the past month, we have solicited applications and interviewed candidates for next year’s Griffin staff. The positions are not elected, but appointed by the outgoing leadership. There are serious problems with this method of succession, problems that we wished could have been discussed this year and should definitely be debated by the new staff—particularly because neither of the new leaders, for the first time in a while, are seniors.

On that note, we are excited to have rising juniors Ava Green and Jon Dusza take our places. The Griffin’s glory days were characterized by younger leadership. I was probably too involved in other areas of campus to be properly impartial. Some seniors are too close to graduation and careers to bring the necessary energy and investment in the paper. Ava and Jon will be supported by one of the largest staffs we’ve had in recent years.

Julia and I are proud of what we accomplished, yet we still ache for what could have been done better. We should have trained new writers better, had a more consistent editing process and enforced staff requirements better. Luckily, these are all things that Ava and Jon gave ideas for how to improve, and given their relative youth they will have the requisite time and energy to implement them.

These decisions were in some cases quite difficult. To lead those who might wish they had her role, Ava will have to learn the lessons of leadership legitimacy. It’s always a disappointment for the managing editor to not have the top title and authority. To persuade others despite his lack of power, Jon will have to comprehend the craft of credibility. Both are on their way to doing so, but there’s no guidebook for leading people your own age while managing relations with older faculty, alumni, administrators and staff.

Editor-in-Chief: Ava C. Green

“Julia Junior” took over from Julia Barth as features editor last year and now does the same as head of the whole paper. Always a positive presence in the newsroom in her freshman campaign as assistant features editor, Ms. Green took her performance—and the Features section—to new levels over the past year. With the graduating editor-in-chief as an enviable role model, the amicable and adaptable Ava will captain a fun and fruitful newsroom next year.

Managing Editor: Jon Dusza

“Pat Healy 2.0” is poised to bring the paper and this position to greater heights—literally. Taller, smarter and funnier than the graduating managing editor, Jon was battlefield-promoted to news editor halfway through the past year, rallied the troops and earned this promotion to managing editor. He is sure to seize this new position like … well, we’ll leave the historical jokes to him. All we know is that when it came to his candidacy, the “ayes” had it.

News Editor: Sydney Umstead

Sydney immediately earned our trust when she didn’t abandon us after we misspelled her name on her debut front-page article last year. Mentored by the newly promoted Jon Dusza, Sydney takes over the well-oiled “Duz News” machine looking to continue the improvements made by Jon over the past semester. Sydney is already well-respected on staff and in the Canisius community for her quality reporting. Her prominent new role should boost a burgeoning journalistic career.

Asst. News Editor: Delaney Hayden

Delaney joins Chloe Cohen-Breen as The Griffin’s only student-athletes, and what an addition it is. Excellent writing skills, an eye for interesting articles and time-management skills made Delaney a great candidate for this position, and we are excited to see how this student-athlete works with Jon Dusza and Sydney Umstead, proud commuter students, to bring new perspectives to the paper.

Features Editor: Maddy Lockwood

The veritable Ms. Canisius, Maddy is enthusiastic for both alma mater and its student newspaper. She has worked so well with Ava that sometimes we think they must have been colluding against us. Luckily, Maddy is magnanimous and uses her writing talents for the benefit of our—endearingly titled—“silly little paper.” We are lucky to call the Busiest Woman on Campus our new Features Editor.

Asst. Features Editor: Lucas Watson

Passionate as they come, Lucas brings to the table a wealth of knowledge on all things Buffalo and architecture. Mr. Watson will work with Ms. Lockwood to solidify the gains made in the Features section over the past year while aiming to tighten up some of the loose ends in the editing process. We hope he continues his weekly columns.

Opinion Editor: The Editorial Board

With no assistant opinion editor on hand to replace the departing co-opinion editors Marissa Burr and Grace Brown, this position will remain open for now. Editorials and The Notes from Underground, typically written by the opinion editors but under the dictatorial direction of a certain graduating editor for the past three years, will be a team effort for the foreseeable future.

Sports Editors: Connor Pohlman and Colton Pankiewicz

The Co Co. The CoCo Corner. The possibilities are endless. As both co-sports editors' names beginning with “Co,” the newspaper-nerd linguistic games are afoot. With Connor’s experience at both The Griffin and Pegula Sports and Entertainment, and Colton’s dogged determination to improve his and other people’s writing, we’re excited to see how Sports can continue to both produce a good product and professional journalists.

Asst. Sports Editor: Colin Richey

Another “Co” name! Colin will do fabulously as part of the Co Corner and, with the graduation of managing editor Pat Healy, will also inherit the long legacy of St. Joe’s alumni on the staff of The Griffin. A faithful contributor over the past year, we are excited to see Colin work with the other Co-names.

Layout Director: Liz Shingler

“Shingles,” as Liz is known to The Underground, joined The Griffin for something to do on Thursday nights and stayed for … well, we’re not sure what, but we do know that we’re happy she did. With her frequent pokes at Pat Healy, she fit in immediately, and we hope the rising sophomore stays with the paper through graduation. Or beyond. With the layout director position always in flux, Sara Umbrell’s protege might need to stay on for grad school if The Griffin is to survive.

Asst. Layout Director: Mikayla Boyd

Already one of the most prominent people in Canisius student life, Mikayla knows her way around the Canisius tunnels—and social media. A two-year editor of her high school yearbook and current member of Canisius admissions’s social media team, Mikayla will bring that wealth of knowledge to her new position. Her enthusiasm alone should boost the productivity of the rest of the staff tenfold.

Photo Director: Kyra Laurie

The Archon of PhiSig and Otherwise Leader of Seemingly Every Activity at Canisius returns as our photo director for her final semester. Kyra’s good cheer and photographic skills livened our paper in many ways, and the paper is lucky to have her for one final hurrah before she moves on to (we admit begrudgingly) bigger and better things.

Asst. Photo Director and Sports Layout Editor: Chloe Cohen-Breen

The Griffin’s lone student-athlete last year, Chloe somehow made time despite her busy schedule and unfortunate injuries to lay out our sports section. She is also a budding photographer, and this versatility made her an appealing potential successor to the admittedly irreplaceable Kyra Laurie. Chloe’s adaptability, reflected in her two titles, is greatly appreciated by leadership. Though she is anything but hostile in the office, Chloe is also known to the staff as an elite Mafia player.

Multimedia Director: Sophie Asher

Sophie is always so willing to help out in any way she can. The youngest person on staff last year, she fit in extremely well on the trip to San Francisco and compiled the video account of it. She also took home the most lessons of anyone on the trip, creating new New York Times-style social media posts highlighting an article per edition. We’re so excited to see how Sophie continues to expand The Griffin’s audience.

Asst. Multimedia Director: Becca Nagel

Becca expressed such enthusiasm in their interview that our Zoom app nearly crashed. Their ideas for the paper were great and their disposition is a perfect fit for the staff. We are excited to see how they partner with Sophie to finally turn The Griffin into a modern operation.

Copy Editor: Emma Radel

The Griffin has, for three years now, been blessed by Emma’s modest attitude and immense and invaluable contributions to the paper. Though her tenure was unduly delayed by an … unfortunate lack of checking emails … by a certain predecessor of hers, Emma took over the copy editing position and made it her own. Her presence is marked by plenty of sarcastic asides and a paucity of Oxford Commas.

Asst. Copy Editor: Allie Meisner

The kindest soul to step foot in the office, Allie shines like a light amidst our old-fashioned environs. This past year, she was so afraid to offend that she made all her copy edits as suggestions at first before we had to tell her that she’s really good at her job and should be more assertive in her editing. The potential is here for a seriously great professional copy editor.


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