Senior Goodbye: Gerrit Van Genderen


Courtesy of Gerrit Van Genderen

Gerrit Van Genderen

When I was approached by my editor-in-chief, Joshua Farmer, about stepping into the managing editor position for the 2014-15 academic year, to say I was surprised would be an understatement.

With roughly a week left in the 2013-14 academic year at the time, and I had just completed a full year on the staff of The Appalachian as a news reporter. Sure, I felt I had done decent work, but wasn’t truly pleased with the final product. I had another year of school – my fifth – and figured I would keep my news reporter position or try and jump over to the sports desk.

Courtesy of Gerrit Van Genderen
Courtesy of Gerrit Van Genderen

Instead, I found myself being interviewed for the managing editor position without the slightest clue of what I might be getting myself into. Fast forward to present day, I find myself extremely pleased with the work I’ve done as managing editor of The Appalachian.

Among the mistakes, arguments and long nights, this year’s editorial board and staff have done a lot of great work that I’m proud of. It wasn’t easy, but after looking back on all that we learned and experienced, it was well worth it.

My grades were never great, I didn’t always follow through on plans I made with friends and I didn’t return home to Cary as often as I would’ve liked. But I’m better off both career-wise and as a person thanks to my experiences as a staff member of The Appalachian.

To Allison Dyche, our adviser, I’m thankful for your leadership and support throughout the year, along with the fun times on road trips and pizza production nights.

To Malik Rahili, the upcoming editor-in-chief, I’m excited to see the direction you take and what changes you’ll make. There’s no doubt in my mind that the publication will be better after you’ve finished your job.

Everything about a newspaper publication is being prepared for unexpected opportunities and changes. Things don’t always play out how they were expected to, but learned to adapt and embrace them is essential.

My unexpected opportunity with The Appalachian ended up being the most influential of my college career. For that, I’m thankful and beyond proud of what I’ll leave behind.

Gerrit Van Genderen, a senior journalism major from Cary, was the managing editor for the 2014-15 academic year. He was on staff for two years.