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The Editor-in-Chief’s farewell to The Connector

Photo courtesy: New Hampshire PBS (The Connector office overlooks the Merrimack river)

Troy Lafond
Connector Editor

I first joined The Connector when I was a freshman in the fall of 2018. Coming into UMass Lowell, I was certain I wanted to be in mechanical engineering. When I became disillusioned with this dream, I needed to find something else I wanted to do with my life. Contributing to The Connector helped me rekindle my love of writing and find my true passion in life.

Throughout my tenure at The Connector, I have served in a variety of positions. I grew from a staff writer to Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor to Arts & Entertainment Editor to Managing Editor to Business Operations Manager and now to Editor-in-Chief. Even when I had to take time off from school for mental health, The Connector and my commitment to the paper have never wavered.

For the last five years, I have used The Connector as a way to make friends, learn more about campus and express the ways in which this school can be a better place. Even as my frustrations with UMass Lowell have increased throughout my extensive time here, I have always tried to use my writing as a way to instill positive change in the campus community and see it become a place where everyone can have a positive experience.

We have accomplished much as a paper in the last year. The Connector has been nominated for Student Organization of the Year and I have been nominated for Student Leader of the Year. We have covered important and breaking issues around campus and built a strong editorial staff to carry the paper for years to come. Interns have worked to bring life to our social media.

As a senior who will be graduating at the end of the fall, I will be stepping down from my position as Editor-in-Chief at the end of this semester and passing the position over to upcoming senior Riley Fontana. I am positive he will be an excellent Editor-in-Chief who will carry the paper to new heights.

I will still be writing articles in the fall, so this will not be my final article. However, this will be my final article as Editor-in-Chief, so it feels bittersweet regardless. I look forward to seeing how the paper continues to grow and develop without me here, but it feels clear that it is my time to hand it over to someone else.

I am thankful to our prior Editor-in-Chief, Ashley Rose Rivera, for giving me a chance to take over the paper. I am thankful to our faculty advisor, Dr. Jonathan Silverman, for guiding me through the process of running the paper. I am thankful to our student activities advisor, Sarah Rine, for giving us guidance in running a student organization. Most importantly, I am thankful to our editors, writers and readers for keeping the paper running after all this time.

I encourage everyone who still has time remaining in their education to take part in campus extracurriculars at UMass Lowell. Doing so has brought me friends, has brought me new opportunities in my future career and has brought me joy during stressful semesters. Without joining The Connector, I might have still been stuck in an academic program I did not love with minimal friends and connections.

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