As the spring semester comes to an end and the Talon completes another year of publication for Oklahoma Christian University, the paper recently announced its staff for next fall. After serving as editor-in-chief of the Talon for the past two years, senior Maggie Leftwich (Haliburton) will step down from her position after she graduates, and junior Madison Hagood will move into the role.
For the remainder of the staff, the Talon welcomes back seven returning scholarship editors, with two transitioning from the role of reporter to editor for the fall semester. Those interested in joining the Talon as a reporter for the fall can enroll in Media Practicum: Journalism with Philip Patterson or email Madison Hagood for more information.
Madison Hagood, Editor-in-Chief
Junior Public Relations
Hagood has been part of the Talon since her freshman year at Oklahoma Christian. Over the years, she has served as a reporter, the sports editor and the features editor before stepping into the editor-in-chief role for her senior year.
“I knew I wanted to join the Talon before I ever stepped foot on the Oklahoma Christian campus,” Hagood said. “I helped start our school newspaper back in high school and I came into Oklahoma Christian as a journalism major, so writing has always been in my blood. Being a part of the Talon has been one of the best decisions I made here at OC, as I have been blessed by the opportunity to build my resume while also working with an amazingly talented staff.”
According to Hagood, she encourages those interested in honing their writing skills to consider joining the Talon, as students have the opportunity to be part of the smallest campus newspaper in the country to publish daily.
“I decided to apply for editor-in-chief because the Talon has become my pride and joy, and I wanted the opportunity to oversee it for my senior year,” Hagood said. “Maggie has done an amazing job leading us for the past two years, and while I know I have some big shoes to fill, I am confident that, with the talented staff we have put together for the fall, we are going to have a great year and do some big things for this university.”
Megan Madison, Online Editor
Junior English Writing
Madison will continue to serve as the Talon’s online editor this fall, which sees her utilize her talents of writing and coding to keep the Talon website up-to-date. As she describes herself as the “go-to girl for quick questions about technology,” she said aesthetics are her “thing,” so while the other editors work on writing, she focuses on making sure everything looks good online.
“One of the things I love the most about the Talon is that I get to hangout with a lot of people I otherwise never would have known,” Madison said. “The Talon fosters a community of editors who think creatively and analytically but also know how to laugh and have fun along the way. From joking around, to discussing politics, to giving advice about assignments, to encouraging others—life is just so much better when the Talon staff is part of it.”
Abby Caviness, Copy Editor
Junior Public Relations
After serving as a reporter and assistant news editor, Caviness will return for her second consecutive year as the copy editor for the Talon. She said she has remained part of the newspaper’s staff because it provides her with the opportunity to gain experience writing for a publication that works hard to maintain credibility through its articles.
“My favorite part of being on the Talon staff has been the people, because I believe surrounding yourself with people you work well with, and who also work well with each other, can be a great benefit to the experience you gain,” Caviness said. “Not only are you learning something, but you are also having fun doing it, which I think is very important. Because of the friends I have made on the Talon, I enjoy the work I do here 10 times more than if I did not like anyone.”
Keaton Ross, News Editor
“Being an underclassman and one of only two guys when I joined as a reporter last fall, I was worried I might not fit in, but those fears were squashed pretty quickly,” Ross said.
Ross, who will once again represent one of two males on the Talon staff, will make the transition from reporter to editor as he steps into the role of news editor next fall. He said he enjoys being part of the news section because it provides him with the opportunity to report on state and national issues that impact people on the Oklahoma Christian campus.
“I am a news junkie,” Ross said. “I really enjoy reading about what is going on locally and around the world and researching to find out why it happened in the first place. As news editor, I want to bring my passion to our campus daily, writing about things that matter to students in a timely fashion.”
“This past year, I was able to interview students and professors with direct ties to things like the DACA overruling, Hawaii false-missile scare and the Oklahoma teacher strike. If it is happening somewhere in the U.S., chances are someone here on campus is impacted by it.”
Elise Miller, Assistant News Editor
Serving as the Talon’s lead reporter this year and covering the SGA meetings on campus this spring, Miller will move into the role of assistant news editor for the fall semester. According to Miller, she wants to become a journalist when she graduates, so being a Talon editor provides her with the experience necessary to be successful in the future.
“I really love being creative and brainstorming story ideas,” Miller said. “I hope that I can use those skills to make the Talon even better than it is already.”
Madisen Ransford, Features Editor
Ransford will move from co-news editor to the features editor for the fall. As someone outside of the communications department, she said she brings a different voice to the Talon.
“It is exciting to produce stories that can bring awareness to events or organizations on campus, as well as keeping students up to date on news in the area and letting them share their opinions,” Ransford said. “I get to work with such smart and talented people—I am just blessed to be here.”
Morgan Boling, Sports Editor
As a soccer player for Oklahoma Christian, Boling said she brings a good knowledge and passion for sports, which serves her well as she plans to continue her work as sports editor into the fall.
“The Talon has given me an opportunity to learn so many people’s stories on campus,” Boling said. “As the sports editor, I usually choose to interview people based on their athletic accomplishments, but when I sit down to interview them, I also get the opportunity to hear their story, such as why they love what they do. It has just really given me so many opportunities to connect with people across campus.”
Errett Edwards, Assistant Sports Editor
Edwards will join the Talon for the first time next fall, as the junior baseball player plans to serve as the assistant sports editor. After recently changing his major from biology to journalism, Edwards said he is relatively new to the print side of things and is eager to “get his feet wet.”
“I chose to make the transition because I have a real passion for writing and I wanted to get involved with something I truly love,” Edwards said. “I am so excited to join the Talon staff, and I am looking forward to having a great year.”
Hannah Brewster, Opinions Editor
Junior Public Relations
Over the years, Brewster has served as the assistant features and features editor before being the opinions editor this school year. She will continue to serve in that capacity in the fall and said the Talon has provided her with the opportunity to grow professionally.
“I came to school here my freshman year without knowing anyone, and being on staff gave me the chance to branch out to all areas of the university and make connections with people I may have never met,” Brewster said. “I have taken on various roles since my time on the Talon, but I think being opinions editor for going on two years now, I bring a different perspective to ongoing current events.”
“I try to see different viewpoints in every piece I write, whether it is an opinion, feature or news article. Writing is one of my biggest passions and being a part of the Talon staff allows me to bring enthusiasm and energy to the staff.”
Allyson Hazelrigg, Photo Editor
Junior Fine Art
Despite traveling to Vienna, Austria for the fall semester, Hazelrigg returned to the Talon for the spring semester to serve as the photo editor. She will continue in that role this fall and said she thinks she brings an extra bit of creativity and fun to the newsroom.
“I like to keep things light and make everyone feel welcome,” Hazelrigg said. “I strive to bring positivity and enthusiasm into every challenge we face as a staff and keep people excited about our work. I love the way the Talon allows me to meet people from all different departments and majors on campus.”