I should start by saying that, in my experience, the most stressful part about writing is writing about oneself. From introductory columns to cover letters, it always seems to be a constant struggle between too little information and too much information, or interesting stuff versus uninteresting stuff.
Instead of myself, I’ll start with Alex Hulvachick, the previous editor of The Courier. While searching for her successor, she assumed editorship of The Athens Messenger, and juggled both editorships for several weeks while searching for her replacement. I want to thank her for her dedication and commitment to both publications and for her helping me navigate editorship at The Courier this past week.
I hail from Fairfax, Ohio, a small suburb located about ten minutes away from Cincinnati. I graduated from Ohio University in May with a degree in journalism. Growing up, I can’t say I ever thought I’d be a journalist. My favorite classes in high school were always science and math because I love problem solving. I was a theater kid too, though I don’t think my acting chops were sufficient enough to turn into a career.
My enjoyment of writing and storytelling motivated my decision to study journalism. While oftentimes writing has no clear solutions in the way that many math problems do, the process of brainstorming story ideas and playing with sentence structure always captivated me. But also, I’m not good at math, so a career in writing was the obvious choice.
While studying at Ohio University, I worked at a student publication called The New Political. There, I covered campus, city and state politics. During the summer of 2020, I interned at CityBeat, an arts and issues publication that covers the Greater Cincinnati area. I mostly wrote about the pandemic’s effect on local businesses, though I occasionally covered city politics. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced my internship to be entirely remote, so I never had the chance to meet my editors outside of a Zoom call.
A year and a half of online education and two vaccine shots later, I landed here at The Courier. I’m still getting used to the new space and the transition from six years of working in food service to a career at a desk job. It still hasn’t really sunk in that I now have the freedom to decorate my work space with things like Star Wars toys.
I love Cincinnati, and once upon a time, I had dreams of working out of a big city like New York City or Chicago. But, after spending four years in Southeast Ohio, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The air out here is cleaner, and the stars illuminate the night sky free from the harassment of city lights. I’m excited to return to the region and to continue to serve its communities so soon after my graduation.
Outside of journalism, I love reading comics and books in my free time. Thor is my favorite superhero, but I also have a large collection of Batman comics. My favorite book series is “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, though I can’t say I’m a big fan of the television adaptation after the last few seasons. I also love going on hikes, and I’m eager to visit local hotspots such as Lake Hope and the Moonville Tunnel.
I’m excited to start my professional career here at The Courier. If you have any tips, or just want to chat, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a direct message on Twitter or Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter @azensoup. My phone number for The Courier office is 740-596-5393. You can also reach me at my Athens desk at 740-592-6612 ext 301132.