Class of 2021 Senior Farewells: Caitlin Staffanson, Arts Editor

Anna Kate Munsey

Before The New Hampshire (TNH), I had never really found a group at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). I had attended every U-Day, talked to many different org groups on campus, sometimes even attending a meeting or two, but nothing ever stuck.  

In my first journalism course at UNH, ENGL 621, there was a note that sat at the bottom of the white board daunting me each class – “Come to TNH’s contributors meetings Monday nights @ 8 p.m., MUB 132.” I sat with that information week after week working up the courage to find out what a TNH contributors meeting may consist of. 

It was late in the semester and my course required that I have (at least) one article published in order to complete the course. It was more of a forced endeavor rather than my courage kicking in; however, I showed up and I was met with smiling faces and a welcoming environment in MUB 132. Although I was intimidated by the skillset and bond the editors had, I quickly knew that these were my people, and this would be my group.  

Through my sophomore and junior year, I continued to contribute to TNH and by the spring semester of my junior year, I was hired as a staff writer. Very quickly my in-person experiences in the newsroom were cut short due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, turning all UNH operations remote. My initial reaction was disappointment but looking back it made TNH stronger. Like many organizations we were forced to adapt, and we were given an opportunity to find different avenues of reporting, interviewing, and connecting with a completely digital audience/readership.  

Entering my final semester at UNH, I was offered a shared position as arts editor. I was honored to be offered this position and haven’t once regretted taking on the challenge. Not only has it improved my knowledge and skillset in the journalism field, but I have also had the privilege of working with many incredible editors, staff writers, and contributors.  

TNH was the one thing that allowed me to truly work in journalism while also being a full-time student, it helped me expand upon what I was learning in the classroom and taught me some extremely valuable lessons. I am grateful for the experiences TNH brought me, but more importantly the friendships. I would like to thank my TNH support system, to name a few – (former managing editor) Ian Lenahan, Josh Morrill, Anna Kate Munsey, Hannah Donahue, Cee Annis, Cam Beall, Shawn Latulippe and so many others. Thank you for keeping me sane and for all the laughs on production night. 

 I have many wonderful memories in MUB 132 and I am forever thankful for that little note that sat at the bottom of the whiteboard in Ham Smith room 104 – the leap of faith that led me to the newsroom allowed me to work with some of the most talented writers I have ever met and make some lifelong friends. I cannot wait to see where TNH takes my peers, and I am so excited to continue reading all the wonderful reporting that will come from current and future student journalists!