Senior Farewell: Julie Bobyock

Julie Bobyock, News Editor

If someone had told me I would be writing and editing for the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) student-run newspaper when I first started my environmental science degree here, I would have been a little confused. But as nineteen-year-old me self-reflected a little bit, I would have realized this scenario made perfect sense. 

This might be because of my obsession with the show “Gilmore Girls,” in which the main character is an annoying, overachieving English major writing for her college’s newspaper who I like to pretend I have nothing in common with, or it might be because of my once subconscious love for learning and writing about science. Or, maybe it’s a combination of the two. Whatever it was, I am so lucky that it led me to The New Hampshire (TNH) and the people I’ve met and learned from along the way.  

Surrounded by journalism majors, I struggled with imposter syndrome as I began to navigate writing articles that didn’t have a bunch of sciency words, learning new things (like what a “nut graf” is and silently questioning why the journalism field didn’t call it literally anything else) and meeting a lot of people I was intimidated by. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that I might not be an imposter after all. And I couldn’t have realized that without the help of everyone involved with TNH; from previous Executive Editors Joshua Morill, Hannah Donahue and Anna Kate Munsey to current execs Max Scheinblum, Melanie Matts and Sarah Donovan in addition to the staff and editorial teams, thank you so much for teaching me truly everything I know about journalism. 

Throughout my education at UNH, I have spent countless hours reading and writing scientific papers, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from thawing frozen soil samples, analyzing water quality and being willingly bombarded with depressing information about climate change just about every day for the past four years. But I think the most eye-opening thing I’ve learned throughout my time here is that this knowledge is a privilege and that many people around the world do not share it with me, contrary to what I thought while being closely surrounded by scientists and science students. 

Fifty-four percent of the United States population between ages 16 and 74 reads below a sixth grade reading level. How can we possibly expect the global population to achieve social, environmental and economic systemic change with such a significant communication barrier between the scientific community and the public? The need for accessible science journalism and storytelling is at an all-time high, and TNH has helped me realize I want to follow a career path that helps to close that gap, one digestible and engaging science news article at a time. 

Thank you to everyone at TNH who has believed in me; I hope I can prove to be worth your energy, lessons and time as I join other science writers and journalists striving to tackle the science communication crisis that must be addressed to achieve a future that we are not afraid of.