Senior Farewell: Mel Matts


Melanie Matts, Managing Editor

My Thursday mornings as an underclassman consisted of waking up, and running to the MUB – not to eat breakfast at HoCo, or pick up my paycheck from the mailroom, but to see if I was published in The New Hampshire’s (TNH) weekly newspaper. 

One of the first stories I wrote for TNH was a profile on Ramon’s Coffee Cart. At the time, I was a curious sophomore just looking to find out what the deal was with the black coffee truck outside my dorm that had lines down the sidewalk and coffee cups with vibrant bendy straws. 

My interview with Owner Ramon Valdez is one I will never forget. In the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, we sat outside on a picnic bench, masked up and socially distanced. As we made our way through the list of questions I had prepared beforehand, Ramon bounced back and forth between me and the continuous line of customers looking to get their morning caffeine fix. He reminisced on his years at UNH while simultaneously smearing cream cheese on bagels and preparing one of his most popular coffee orders: an iced-mocha-java. 

The following Thursday morning, I made my way to the MUB to see if my story had made the cut for that week’s paper. As I eagerly flipped through the pages, there it was: “Ramon’s quality service keeps customers coming back.” I grabbed about 10 copies to send to all of my family and booked it over to Ramon’s to hand deliver the article. 

At the time I wrote the piece, I was completely unbiased, as I had never tried Ramon’s before. If you asked me to write it today, I would be breaking every code of journalism ethics as my coffee is made to perfection by the time I get to the front of the line. I have become quite close with Ramon, his wife Kristin and daughter Elaina over the last three years. 

Ramon is just one of the many people I’ve had the pleasure to interview while at UNH. Writing for TNH has allowed me to connect with and get to know so many members of the student body, administration and Seacoast locals. 

To my incredible staff this year – thank you! I hope that I taught each and every one of you something, because I have learned so much from you by editing your stories, discussing reporting plans and getting to know you through our five minutes of fun at the beginning of meetings.  

To my editorial team – the success of TNH could not be made possible without you! I appreciate all of your hard work, from staying on top of the editing schedule, working with writers and writing your own stories on top of everything else you had going on in your college life.

 To Max, Sarah, Kaylin and Isabel – I know you will do a fantastic job running the show next year. I have had the pleasure to watch each and every one of you become not only a better journalist, but fearless editors and incredible leaders over the past year. 

To those who came before me – Ian Lenahan, Anna Kate Munsey, Hannah Donahue and Josh Morrill – thank you for instilling confidence in me from my beginning days as a contributor all the way up to accepting the managing editor position. I would not have gotten here without your guidance. 

Working for your student-run newspaper will teach you lessons and give you experiences no class or internship could. Thank you TNH for making me a better writer, editor, leader and, most importantly, a confident journalist. 


Mel Matts