The Student News Site of Marian University

The Student News Site of Marian University


The Student News Site of Marian University


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The Marian Phoenix

I am grateful to have people and organizations that make saying goodbye so hard! Thank you for all for everything you’ve done.
Abby Titara
Jackie with Lizzie on the day of the last Pheonix meeting.

I’ll be honest, Marian University was not my top choice in schools to attend.

For my whole life, I imagined going off to some state school where I could party and be carefree and unmonitored- further than 30 minutes away from my house. When I was in high school, I discovered that I loved cheerleading. With that, I followed my heart- which led me to MU. I tried out for the team at Marian, because back then, it wasn’t very hard to make it, and I did. I had created this persona of myself that I wanted to be the ultimate cheerleader, even if that meant feeding into the stereotypes.

And boy, I did just that. I enjoyed collegiate cheerleading for approximately 3 months, until I was dropped and tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus in my left knee. Shortly after that, the girls that I had met on the team decided that they didn’t like me very much anymore. It was a very isolating time in my life during my college career, but not the last.

Ultimately, I found new friends and people to hang out with eventually. But I absolutely hated the career path I was on. I even began to dislike my minor in studio art, as I felt it took the freedom out of creativity. I was halfway through my junior year, hating my classes, and circulars. This was the second time I had felt isolated in my college. I had worked so hard towards my degree and my sport, but I couldn’t continue.

Therefore, in one fell swoop, I quit it all. I quit the team, I changed my minor and my major, and met with my new advisor the following week.

My new advisor for my communication degree was named Dr. Drew Stewart. I remember thinking that he was a pretty funny guy (he absolutely is) and I enjoyed talking to him. It was less formal and uptight than what I was used to and I really enjoyed that. I changed my major later than usual, so many classes were already filled that would count towards my new major. So, to add some communication credits, he advised that I joined The Marian Phoenix, MU’s student newspaper class.

Through Drew, I was introduced to journalism and the community of com students.

Dr. Marilda Oviedo, or Dr. O as we like to call her, was the supervisor for the student newspaper. The first semester I took the class, I had no idea what I was doing. However, through her guidance, as well as the guidance of Julia Akre (one of our past editors), I learned the skills to succeed in journalism. The next semester, I applied to become Editor-in-Chief of the paper, and received the position. Under Dr. O’s guidance, I learned how to be the best Editor I could be within the year of her supervision.

The Phoenix had become somewhat of a passion of mine. I was building real friendships, connections, and passions with every passing day. I began to become close friends with fellow people in the Phoenix, and in my major. Some of these people included Tristan Grider, Amari Fields, Julia Akre, Abby Titara, and more.

Through Dr. O, I learned how to be a good journalist and found a passion for news writing.

The spring of 2023 brought Dr. Jackie Liu. When he first came to our class, I had grown very fond of Dr. O, and I wasn’t so sure that I would like him. Those thoughts quickly exited when I realized how incredibly talented he was in journalism, not to mention how supportive and kind he was to me throughout my college career.

From Jackie, I learned how to be a great journalist. He taught me how to copy-edit, proper APA style in journalism, as well as technicalities of the field. His expertise helped me grow exponentially.

I had the pleasure of being apart of this wonderful organization for 2.5 years, and it is safe to say that this department and it’s staff has helped shape me into the passionate writer that I am today.

Being the Editor-in-Chief for The Phoenix gave me a true sense of calling, and was the first and only place that I felt like I belonged in my college career. The feelings of isolation I faced in other ways I was involved at MU disappeared when I was welcomed with open arms by this department.

Although I will greatly miss The Phoenix, I cannot wait to watch it grow and thrive from afar.

Signing off as The Phoenix’s Editor-in-Chief for the last time,

Lizzie Schmidt




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About the Contributors
Lizzie Schmidt
Lizzie Schmidt, Editor-in-Chief, Social Media Manager
Lizzie Schmidt is the Editor-In-Chief of the Marian Phoenix for the second semester. She enjoys classes on news and digital journalism. Her area of expertise is news editing and magazine writing. She will be with us for another year, and she is excited to see how the Phoenix continues to grow!
Abby Titara
Abby Titara, Staff Reporter
major in communication

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