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Four years in a flash, thank you Prospy for everything

SalmaPaola Baca
Alyson graduated on May 11 with her bachelors in multimedia journalism

In August 2020, I sent an email which changed the trajectory of my whole life. At the age of 18 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to become a clinical laboratory scientist and spend the rest of my life being tucked away in the lab, because growing up I always loved meeting new people, writing, photography, and making videos, but I never knew I could turn that into a profession.  

My mom told me that before I started my first year at UTEP I should try out for The Prospector newspaper to see if I really wanted to change my major to journalism. She saw the ad in The Minero Magazine that was included in my orientation packet. So, I sent an email to the editor-in-chief at the time and got an interview.  

Originally, I wanted to be a photographer for the paper but when I was hired, they made me a writer. At first, I was disappointed at my new position, but then I began writing story after story and I fell in love with telling the vibrant stories of El Paso during and after the pandemic.  

Through this job I have met so many incredible people that I have gotten the honor of telling their story. I still can’t believe that I have written over 100 stories for The Prospector over the past four years. I never thought that I would stay this long, but I am very grateful that I did.  

I owe this newspaper so much, if it wasn’t for ‘The Prospy’ I never would have discovered my passion and love for reporting, had my six incredible internships, met my amazing coworkers/ lifelong friends, or even met the love of my life who I met when I interviewed him for a story a year and a half ago. 

During my time at The Prospector, I have met so many talented people who became my best friends. These people inspired me, believed in me and supported me every step of the way.  

First off, I would like to thank the old assistant director of student media, Tracy Roy. Thank you for pushing me to become the best journalist I could be when I was a freshman and for supporting me when I was first starting out.  

I would also like to thank the wonderful ladies of the front office. Crystal, Vero, Isa and Amy, thank you ladies for helping me out when I needed someone and for all the lovely conversations we had. I am so happy I got to know all of you. 

Crystal, after  Tracy left, I never thought I could become close to another assistant director but when we first met, we hit it off right away. Thank you for helping me with ideas for stories and for teaching me to put my mental health first. Also, for reminding me that I am not a failure and helping me prepare for the next step of my journalism career.  

I will always look back fondly at the memories of being at the office and sitting down at the long table with everyone. So many funny and random conversations happened at this table.  I am grateful that I always had a safe space at school where I always felt welcomed.  

To my longest friend Emmanuel, one time you told me how lucky and honored you were to be my friend. But  actually, I’m the lucky one. It has been so awesome seeing you grow as a person and journalist over the past two years. Thank you for always being there for me and believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, I can’t wait to work in Dallas with you!  

In 2023, I met some new members of the team that would later become great close friends of mine. Avery, Marco and Catching, I am so lucky to have met you and gotten close to you all.  I love all our conversations and adventures outside of school. You guys are amazing! I look forward to seeing you all flourish in your journalism careers and I hope our friendships continue long into the future.  

I wish I had a large enough word count to thank each and every person I have met at “The Prospy” who had a big impact on me, which includes past editors, team members, and the current staff.  

Thank you to the current team Erik, Sofia, Gael, Salma, Gianluca, Joel, Adam, Nico, Esteban, Alyda, Ximena, Iziah, Elias, and Eddie for making my last semester at UTEP and at the newspaper memorable! I am so grateful to have gotten to know you all and I wish you all the best in your remaining time at UTEP and your post grad life. I’m always here for you guys! 

Goodbye Prospy and UTEP, thank you for an incredible four years. Now on to the next adventure in Dallas and beyond.  

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on X.

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About the Contributors
Alyson Rodriguez
Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor/Writer

Alyson Rodriguez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, currently majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in leadership studies. She is a contributor at The Prospector. She joined The Prospector in the Fall of 2020 as a contributor for the Arts and Culture section and has now written articles for the sports and news section and has done podcast segments as well. After discovering her passion for journalism through The Prospector, Alyson has gone to intern at El Paso Matters, NPR Next Generation Texas Newsroom and the Texas Standard. 

SalmaPaola Baca
SalmaPaola Baca, Photographer
SalmaPaola Baca is a senior at UTEP majoring in engineering innovation and leadership with a concentration and minor in civil engineering and an emphasis in computer science. Her passion for photography enables her to be photographer at The Prospector. While a full-time student, she freelances while planning to grow her platform through travel photography. After graduating, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in architecture while working on her photography simultaneously.
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