Senior farewell: Isabelle Curtis


Isabelle Curtis, News Editor

When I try to recall my junior year of college, the image is hazy like a photo taken with expired film. It was the first semester since COVID-19 had sent us all home the previous spring, and while I was happy to be back, it just wasn’t the same. There were no in-person events, classes, or get-togethers. I could pick out memories from my freshmen and the first half of sophomore year so easily, but the days seemed to blur as I struggled not to lose my mind in my closet-sized dorm room. It was during this time that I found The New Hampshire (TNH) community.  

I’d known entering college that I wanted to be involved in the newspaper, but the timing never seemed right. I’d contribute an article here or there but felt too busy to really commit. I entered junior year with the same mindset: be a regular contributor. That lasted two articles before I was offered a position as a staff writer. I stared down at the email in flattered shock and, after sleeping on it for a night, decided to go for it. “Why not? I can always quit if it’s too much,” I assured myself. 

Two years later and not only did I not quit, but I also got a promotion to News Editor (yay!). I’m so grateful for TNH for giving me a stable routine during the UNH lockdown, as well as keeping me from completely forgetting how to talk to other people during a time when social interaction was hard to come by. The return to the newsroom this past year has been particularly phenomenal as I’ve gotten closer with all my wonderful colleagues, who are always quick to offer support or advice.  

My time at TNH has also taught me a lot about myself as a reporter. I was always drawn to investigative journalism but I’ve come to realize that I truly love talking to people and being entrusted with their experiences. It is because of my desire to further develop my storytelling skills that I’m pursuing a Nonfiction Writing MFA this coming fall. Who knows if I’d have figured that out if I hadn’t taken that first profile pitch for TNH. My role as News Editor has also opened my horizons, and I’ve had the privilege to watch many underclassmen grow as writers. 

I also have to highlight the pillars of the journalism department: Lisa Miller and Tom Haines. It was in Professor Miller’s feature writing class where I got my first taste of journalistic storytelling. Meanwhile, my 8-month-long investigation into how UNH profited off indigenous lands (my current magnum opus) wouldn’t have been possible without Professor Haines’ investigative journalism class, and all his encouragement along the way.  

Finally, I have to thank my TNH co-workers Anna Kate Munsey (special shoutout for always answering my questions), Josh Morrill, Hannah Donahue, Rhi Watkins, Julie Bobyock, (former staff writer and my podcast partner) Aqeel Hisham, and many others. I’m so proud of how you’ve all grown as writers and people over these past two years, and I wish all the best for you in the future.