Springfield College has done more for me than I ever thought it would. I came to Alden Street unsure of myself and what I wanted to pursue as far as the media route was concerned. I figured I’d wing it, dodge any and every extracurricular club and campus event I could, and fly through the four years to the finish line with a job dropped in my lap.
Fortunately, I learned the hard way freshman year that enjoying yourself and the people around yourself is no way to go about your last four years of schooling and freedom. Although many of my achievements, fond memories and heavy participation on campus within the Humanities Department and the Communications/Sports Journalism major were executed by me, I have plenty of people to thank for helping me along on my journey.
Freshman year was spent skipping classes just to have free time, despite having nothing to do with it, and doing the bare minimum to pass. The first person to wake me up on campus was my advisor, Professor Kyle Belanger.
I doubt I’ll ever forget sending him an email asking if it was all right to skip an assignment based on the grading system he used and just reading the first line of his response that said, “File this under something never to ask a professor again.” Instantly, I knew he was right as I fell back into my desk chair. From that point on, my academics have been on point, and I’ve been able to go to Kyle for anything. His door and mind have been open whenever I need it, and he’s always made my interests important with opportunities at his sports radio show as well as spreading my film/TV reviews to MassLive Entertainment. Kyle started here four years ago when my Springfield career began, and I’ve appreciated everything he’s given to make my experience the best one possible.
“Polite persistence.” This is just one of the many journalistic bible phrases regularly used by Professor Marty Dobrow. Among other choice catch phrases like, “Seek the truth and report it,” he never fails to practice what he preaches to the young minds in Weiser Hall.
Like it was yesterday, I recall sitting in Weiser 007 in the basement during one of Marty’s Intro. to Journalism classes and receiving paper after paper with notes along the lines of, “Connor, you’re an excellent writer. Come write for the newspaper, don’t waste your talent!” Going back to my introduction, extracurricular anything was far from my radar, so I dodged every single attempt Marty would make at getting me to join.
Obviously, the man hasn’t lost his touch, because the polite persistence worked. Sophomore year the student previously doing movie reviews decided to stop, so I figured, “Uhhhh, I love movies, and I want to let people know what I think about them.” I asked if I could take over and the rest is pretty much history. I’m notorious in the major as the “resident SC movie critic,” and have loved every entertainment article I’ve been able to do. So, thank you Marty for politely persisting me into discovering a voice I never had and showing me there has always been a place for it.
The last and maybe most important person I owe thanks to is Professor Jody Santos. I met Jody at an awkward time when I was first starting to question my passion for print and radio. I took her Broadcast Writing class sophomore year having never met her, and I had no clue it would change the course of my college career.
One of the first few days in the class, we learned the roles in a TV studio and when the role of director popped up she said I should run the tricaster (computer that controls cameras, pre-recorded video packages). Again, the rest is history. As soon as the director position was open junior year at SCTV I jumped on it, thanks to both Jody and then senior Nate Brown for giving me the position, despite having little involvement with the club initially. Since then, Jody’s had to deal with my frequent visits to her office both announced and spontaneous anywhere from 15 minutes of talking business to 45 minutes of listening to me clear my head. She’s an incredibly caring individual with great passion for what she does as a professional, as well as making sure students find and hold on to something they love. I can’t thank Jody enough for all of the time, energy, care and love she dedicates to us in the classroom and at SCTV, as well as always pushing me to be better. It wouldn’t be the same without her.
Writing for the newspaper has been an awesome opportunity and experience, but it only seems fitting that I ride out thanking my team at SCTV. Big thanks to Nate, Sam Read, Jess Battreall and Mark Loiselle, who all graduated last year, for welcoming me into a tight group and making a home for me on campus. I was worried we wouldn’t bounce back after losing so many key players, but star players emerged to fill the void. You get out what you put into these kinds of clubs, and I can’t thank the current crew enough for stepping up. Thanks to Alex Thomas for growing into an amazing play-by-play caller and lead anchor, Bri Hill for spending endless hours editing packages and lead anchoring, Candace Tibbetts for taking over for Mark as sports anchor, Nick Lovett for taking over directing in my wake, Meghan Zimbler for all the stressful nights of dealing with the finicky teleprompter, Vivi Novello for becoming consistent with her music reviews and helping behind-the-scenes, Zach Tolman for running audio every show, Kyle Pegolo for delivering deep entertainment news, Barry Ebua and Brendan McLean for their sports packages, Ray Laferriere for coming in as a much-needed tech assistant, and the freshmen this year: Logan Mullen, Katie Benoit, Josh Gaines, Jack Hamilton and Luke Brown for providing back-up at a time when we needed it most from the young guns.
Joe Brown told me to keep it under 1,000 words, but he’s got to be used to me going over by now. Thanks Joe for dealing with my sometimes lengthy articles, always making what I wrote feel important, and waiting for my articles that were usually submitted the day after you requested. It’s been a great run, and on top of becoming the person I want to be, I’ve made friends that have become much more like family.
Thank you Springfield College.