Saying goodbye is a chance to say ‘thank you’ for it all

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Tracy Roy, Editorial Advisor

Goodbyes are an opportunity to express gratitude to those to whom you are bidding farewell. It is exceedingly difficult to leave my role as assistant director and editorial adviser in Student Media and Publications, and there is simply no good time to depart from my students. The timing would be terrible whether it was in two weeks or two years.  

By the time you read this, I will already be gone to my new town and new role. I have a wonderful opportunity in Albuquerque to work as a magazine editor, which will allow me to live in the same town as my husband, spend more time with my children and take care of other responsibilities. While it is difficult to leave a job I love, the change is necessary to set up my life in a way that functions better for everyone in it. I want to take a moment to give a nod to the wonderful students and talented professionals I have had the pleasure of working with during my time at UTEP.  

When I first started at UTEP, Claudia “Gigi” Flores was at the helm of the student newsroom as editor-in-chief, and to this day, her leadership, creativity and kindness shine as she completes a graduate degree in creative writing. She helped me build trust with the students as a first-time student media adviser; some of the other students were most certainly unsure of me. Daniel “Curley” Mendez as sports editor kept everyone laughing through the change, and I remember coaching the students through a Trump rally in which Beto stumped across the street. The talented Brianna Chavez, now a reporter for KVIA ABC-7 in El Paso, worked with me until nearly midnight on her story. It was an extremely chaotic day.   

Of that first group, Isaiah Ramirez was a steady presence as a sports reporter and was here longer than most. Another longtime sports reporter who will be missed is Daniel “Danny” Alec Lopez. This is where I also need to mention sports editor Michael Cuviello. He was a huge presence during my time here, and although I was in the mentorship role to the students, Michael mentored me plenty of times as well. He is a good person and a great friend.  

Valeria Olivares, Grecia Sánchez, Marisol Chávez, and Maria Ramos Pacheco were exceptional women and leaders in the newsroom during my time as adviser. I will never forget the trio of Victoria “Vicky” Almaguer, Glenda Avalos, and Noah Sarabia. Vicky continues to be a welcomed presence in the office, often visiting and mentoring the current staff. Paulina Spencer, Alexia X. Nava Carmona, Sasha Minjarez, and Noelia Gonzalez made their mark on me in those early days, as well. One editor-in-chief, the particularly impressive Bryan Mena, went on to intern at The San Francisco Chronicle, The Texas Tribune in Washington, D.C., and is now a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Former podcast manager and multimedia editor Margaret Cataldi holds a special place in my heart; she is not only talented but super cool. I wish her the very best life has to offer.   

Former editor-in-chief Julian Herrera had a gentle presence and endless amounts of patience that were necessary instruments in the newsroom during our transition back to the in-person learning. The lovely Victoria Rivas has gone on to graduate school and graciously continues to contribute her perfect prose. Just last semester, designer extraordinaire Hugo Hinojosa and now-NBC News Page and Top Ten Senior Anahy Diaz earned their Student Media and Publications stoles through our freshly minted departmental curriculum.  

There are not enough words and not enough space for me to say everything I would like to the current staff at The Prospector and Minero Magazine. To the editors-in-chief of The Prospector and Minero Magazine this semester – Emily Autumn Velasquez and Brandy Ruiz, respectively – I have so much respect for you both. I see you as natural leaders and I have no reservations about leaving the leadership of the publications squarely in your hands as I depart. The rest of you have received my comments individually and I have gathered all your numbers to keep in touch, but overall, I want to say something to the group. Fatima Alvarado, Gibel Amado, Josie Avila, SalmaPaola Baca, Diego Ballesteros, Jasmin Campoya, Roman Carr, Carlos Castro, Gianluca Cuevas, Alberto Silva Fernandez, Eduardo Flores, Abril Garcia, Meagan Garcia, Itzel Giron, Maria L. Guerrero Duran, Angelica Gutierrez, Annabella Mireles, Joel Molina, Elisha Nuñez, Christopher Renteria, Alyson Rodriguez, Yoali Rodriguez, Karina Saldana, Kristen Schaeffer, Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Ethan Thomas, Sophia Villalobos, Katrina Villarreal and Brianne Williams: I adore every one of you and I thank you for being here. It is admirable that you have taken the steps to get experience and bolster your future careers through working at Student Media and Publications.  

I would like to thank Amy Bocanegra for being such an organized administrative leader in the department. You do a lot, and your hard work is appreciated. Isabel Castillo, thank you for your never-ending patience and moral support. You have known me since my early 20s and through all my changes as well as all the different scenarios we have encountered in the department, you are always there with your infinite wisdom and steady help. I will miss you tremendously.  

Veronica Gonzalez, you have been the most amazing boss. It truly could not have been a better experience with you at the helm of this department. I have watched the students turn to you time and again for everything under the sun, and you never waver in your commitment to them. You are patient, helpful, empathetic, and above all, always kind. Over the 20 years I have known you, you have always been understanding, thoughtful and caring toward everyone. Your reliability and patience – not just with the students but the staff, too – are unparalleled. I admire you. Thank you for everything and I will miss you.  

I will cherish the experience I have had here at UTEP and in this role and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve students. 

Tracy Roy was the editorial advisor and may not be reached at [email protected]