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I never would have anticipated becoming Editor-in-Chief, nor would I have suspected how much I would love it. More than that, I never would have guessed how much I would miss the Talon. 

Even now, before I have officially left, I dread saying goodbye. I look around the newsroom and see touches of what this year has wrought – the writing on the whiteboard, a new coffee maker, a printed editorial by a staff member on one of the desks. This newsroom holds the ghosts of memories and experiences unlike any others I have had on campus.

The newsroom also reminds me of the responsibilities I have been given. Collaborating on stories every week is a privilege I loved. Seeing people share their passions was awe-inspiring. 

Even more inspiring was the people I have met. They dedicated hours to making the Talon better. Together, we have commiserated over classes, procrastinated on homework and laughed over mistakes. 

Every Wednesday, I sat in my chair where other Editors-in-Chief have sat before me with my favorite sweatshirt in a drawer, my decorations on the desk and a stunning view of people I happily call family gazing up at me.

I still do not understand all the reasons why Dr. Patterson picked me as Editor-in-Chief, but I am not complaining. It has been alarming, humbling and exciting being in this position. Somehow, I made it through without screwing up too badly, and my wonderful team has accepted my stumbling attempts at leadership until I could stand on my own.

It feels strange to admit that not so long ago, I did not even know what the Talon was. I was a transfer student from Washington state who thought they could handle anything Oklahoma Christian threw at them. Of course, once I hit media practicum, my previous bravado died. 

Eagle Angle proved fear was still in my vocabulary, but I clawed my way through packages, teases and VOSOTs every week to make sure Oklahoma Christian had a news broadcast every Wednesday night.

Then, Dr. Patterson encouraged me to try a new direction. He approached me about an opening on his staff for a News Editor. I was a senior reporter for Eagle Angle at the time, and a university newspaper sounded a bit archaic. However, the allure of the written word and lack of cameras soon converted me. With Professor Jurney’s blessing and Dr. Patterson’s recommendation, I joined the Talon as News Editor.

The newsroom became my new base. I had been there before, writing tosses and scripts, but when I became an Editor, I switched to editing news briefs and stories while I tried not to feel like an imposter.

Nowadays, I still write, I still edit, and I still feel like a bit of an imposter. It is thanks to my amazing Talon staff that I have been successful at all. 

To my Editors and reporters, you are champions of the written word, and I am in awe of your work ethic and dedication. You make this position a blessing and an honor. Moreover, you continue to inspire me every week to be a better writer and a more curious and compassionate person. 

To Dr. Patterson, I cannot thank you enough for taking a chance on a very green student who shook when confronted with any kind of conflict. You have given me courage and shown me how things are worth doing right for future generations. 

To my readers, thank you for taking the time to read my works. An even bigger thank you goes out to those who have critiqued or complimented my stories. Whether it was painful or pleasant, I admire your honesty and appreciate your comments.

And lastly, to Oklahoma Christian University, thank you for being my dream university. I never thought I would have such a wonderful college experience after transferring from a lonely state school. You have shown me how Christ continues to work in the present day and how much He cares for me. You have also given me endless opportunities for fun and growth. I would not be who I am today without attending here. 

Wherever I go, I take you with me, because Oklahoma Christian and the Talon are home.

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