Mackenzie Clark ’19 (left) and Coral Ciupak ’19 (right), Editors in Chief of The Wooster Voice, share their journey as students and editors here at The College of Wooster.
Can you introduce yourselves?
M: My name is Mackenzie Clark and I’m one of the Editors in Chief of The Wooster Voice.
C: My name is Coral Ciupak; I am the other Editor in Chief of The Wooster Voice.
What other things are you involved in at the College?
M: I’m an English and art history double major, I work at The College of Wooster Art Museum, I’ve been an ARCHer for two summers and I’ll be a Graduate ARCHer again, so that’s pretty fun. And I’ve done some light editing for The Artful Dodge.
C: I am a philosophy major and psychology minor, I have worked four years at the Registrar’s office and I did three years of Moot Court.
How did you get involved in the Voice?
M: I came in as a sophomore because a friend of mine convinced me to join with her. And it was mostly for editing practice. I didn’t really think of myself as a journalist. Something that’s stayed with me is that I still don’t think of myself as a journalist, which is kind of funny. So yeah, I was News Editor, Managing Editor and Editor in Chief, and it’s just been three years of learning more about different parts of the campus community, more about what matters to different parts of this community, how to tell those stories, represent those voices across all sections of the paper and also a lot of mentorship and teaching. It’s been a real honor this year to have such a young staff, to be able to work with them with the knowledge that a lot of them will be coming back and to set them up to succeed even more in the years to come.
C: I also got involved with the Voice my sophomore year. I had applied because I was interested in getting more involved in the campus community and I saw the Voice as a really great way to do that because of the reach I felt like — still feel like — it has on this campus. I was Viewpoints Editor for two years and that’s really informed my role as Editor in Chief this year, just because it has really taught me how special it is to have a platform that’s accessible or that should be accessible to everyone to really share their perspectives, whatever they may be, in a campus publication that’s run by students, published by students, put together by students. It’s been a really cool thing to be a part of.
What’s been your favorite part of working for the Voice?
C: My favorite part of working for the Voice has to do with how connected it makes you, not just to things that are going on and news that’s being released, but also to the people that I’ve worked with, to the stories that we’ve published and what those stories mean to the people here on campus. That’s been really special.
M: I have really enjoyed watching the process of our editors and our writers come into their own on staff, and watching them go from really nervous and kind of confused to seeing the pride on their faces every time they do something new or write something that they didn’t think they had in them or cover a different area on campus that they’ve never covered before. It reminds them what we do here is so important and even though it kind of feels like a routine week after week, that every single issue is just as special and important as the last and to make sure that’s something that as a group we can be very collectively proud of.
C: I would echo that as well. I’ve really enjoyed seeing people learn things about themselves and about others. It’s kind of related to what Mackenzie said earlier about not seeing herself as a journalist; I’m probably the same way. I’ve just been way more excited by seeing my coworkers and our writers, our photographers, our editors, become passionate about the things that they’re doing and connecting with other people.
What’s your favorite article that you’ve written?
M: My very first article was an article about when the Black Student Association (BSA) did a demonstration outside of Lowry my sophomore year. And I wasn’t supposed to write the article but the person writing it passed it on to me because they were unable to complete it. I felt very nervous, it was my first article and it was such a big thing happening on campus that week and I wasn’t sure if I could do it justice. So to finish that article and to have the other editors tell me that they thought it was well-written, that was a really big moment for me because it was like, ‘hey, I can do this; this is something that I’m able to do.’
C: I haven’t actually written a whole lot of articles for the Voice. My time as Viewpoints Editor was more focused on getting other people to write Viewpoints. But as Editor in Chief this year, I did write a feature, kind of last minute, on International Education Week, and that was something I really enjoyed. Particularly reaching out to organizers of International Education Week and hearing what they had to say and getting their perspectives on what this event and that week meant to them, and then the process of weaving those perspectives together into a kind of narrative that was informative but also reflected what these people put into the work, was a really rewarding thing for me, even if it was just a small article. I enjoyed being able to do that.
What advice do you have for Wooster students interested in joining the Voice?
M: I think for students interested in journalism that haven’t really pursued it at the College yet, your voice is super valuable. Every single voice that we have come through here, whether it’s in the form of a contributing writer or a person that’s on our editorial staff all year long, all of those voices are so valued throughout every single section of the paper. So I would suggest just coming down to copy edit just to meet people, send an email to a section editor and ask if you can contribute to a story, just really put yourself out there. We’re always looking for people to get involved, we never really turn anybody away. So if you’re thinking this might be something that interests you, it’s a really good pocket of campus to get involved in, if you want to know more about all of the pockets of campus.
C: I want people who are interested in the Voice to reach out to get involved, but I also want them to be really critical of us and of what we are and aren’t doing to get people involved in the first place. So if someone’s interested, and they reach out and they do become a part of what’s happening here, I want them and everyone to feel really open and really comfortable letting leadership know what is and what isn’t working. Because I know we do have some people who are interested in working with the Voice, but I also know that that interest isn’t as widespread or it doesn’t seem very accessible, so I would really ask people in coming years to be really mindful about what we are and are not doing to make that platform accessible for everyone.
What are your plans after graduation?
M: I will be attending Case Western Reserve University to get my Master’s in art history. So I’m moving to Cleveland.
C: I’m taking a gap year and then will be applying to graduate programs in clinical social work.
M: So, we’re not pursuing journalism, is the short answer.
Do you guys have anything to add?
M: I would add to all Wooster students: This is the only time in your life where you will have access to so many kinds of cereal in Lowry Center. And also unlimited fries all day long. And eggs and stir-fry. Eat all the cereal you can. If you ever eat dinner and you think to yourself, ‘Hm, I kinda want a bowl of cereal but maybe I’ll pass.’ Eat the cereal. That’s my advice.
C: My advice is to learn people’s names. Everyone you speak to, or interact with, learn their names.
M: Eat cereal, learn names, join the Voice.
Interview by Waverly Hart, Managing Editor at the Voice (Photo by Angad Singh).