Executive Privilege: Tribute to senior staff

As I think back over the past year, I am very impressed by the progress The Tartan has made. Impressed, but not surprised. That’s because the people who make this organization work are, hands down, the most diligent and impressive people I know.

More than 200 people have given their time and energy to The Tartan this year — that makes about 3.7 percent of the undergraduate student body.

The writers and editors of The Tartan have composed and edited more than 1800 typical essay pages worth of articles and editorials. The Tartan’s photographers have shot more than 25,000 photographs. The Tartan’s artists have created several hundred cartoon strips and pieces of art. The Tartan’s business staff has sold over $86,000 in advertisements. All together, I estimate that our volunteer staff has dedicated over 23,000 hours to their work at The Tartan. I am eternally inspired and rejuvenated by my colleagues.

All of us at The Tartan work so closely together that it’s easy to take each other for granted for most of the year. But as we wrap up the year, it’s impossible to forget that we’re losing some of the most dedicated and influential members of our staff.

First, I would like to extend best wishes to expert illustrator Jimi Okelana, The Tartan’s comics editor; to a wonderful mentor for The Tartan’s designers, assistant layout manager Reina Takahashi; and to former Pillbox editor Mandy Flynn. Jimi, Reina, and Mandy will be studying abroad next year. May your travels inspire and enlighten you — and bring you swiftly back to us.

As always, graduation takes its toll this year. We reluctantly say farewell to dedicated and meticulous copy editors James Auwaerter, Anne DiGiovanni, Greg Price, and Arthur O’Dwyer, talented journalist Laura Palotie, eternally creative Max Kaufmann, and to photo gurus Marcus Gho and Dexter Hu.

To the members of our editorial staff who will be leaving us in cap and gown this year, I offer a special thanks. These are people who created what The Tartan is now. These are the people whose vision for The Tartan will remain central to its essence for years to come.

Jackie Brook and Radha Chitale, former editors of the Forum and Science & Technology sections, respectively, stepped directly into editorial positions upon joining The Tartan. Their insight, experience, and dedication have shaped the content and focus of this newspaper. I wish them the best luck as they continue their careers in the publishing world. Greg Prichard, former comics editor, built a comics section that made us all laugh every week, and he’s created a slew of compelling content, such as this week’s Pillbox feature. Jim Puls, former online editor and systems manager, successfully implemented his vision that The Tartan would be one of the most technologically advanced college newspapers in the world. Haseeb Qureshi, assistant business manager, has given his time and energy to The Tartan over many years in many ways.

Finally, I wish to thank and commend J.T. Trollman, former editor-in-chief of The Tartan. J.T. has been the most steadfast contributor to The Tartan in all of my experience with the organization. It is rare to find such vision, professionalism, humor, and charisma in one person, but these qualities are natural to J.T. The Tartan’s current strength would have been impossible without his leadership. To a lifelong friend and teacher, I extend my most heartfelt gratitude.

To the many other supporters of The Tartan throughout the Carnegie Mellon community, I thank you for a wonderful year.