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Thank you, Professor Morano

I wanted to write you a letter thanking you for, well, everything. However, I thought a more appropriate channel would be to thank you using a platform that serves as the very foundation of our teacher/student relationship: the newspaper.

I would not be who I am today nor where I am today if it were not for you.

You changed my life the second that I stepped foot into your ‘Introduction to Journalism’ course my sophomore year of college. There I was still navigating Monmouth University, not quite sure of what I wanted to make of my life nor the potential that I even had. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I liked writing. I knew I was okay at it and I knew I liked talking to people. I didn’t necessarily know how I could combine all of those skills together to really make something of myself, though.

Then there you were—simply enlightening me within minutes of your class. When I heard your introductory speech regarding your expertise, experience, journey and accomplishments—everything that you have done and everything that you will do—I was blown away and mesmerized knowing that I was in the presence of greatness. (And trust me, Prof, I’m not just saying that. I look at you as a professor, an expert, a mentor and a role model.)

Following the ‘Intro’ course, I knew I wanted to explore The Outlook—and you pushed me into that direction. You supported me. You nurtured me. You groomed me. You literally made me the writer that I am today through the combination of many soft and hard skills.

You taught me how to be resilient, relentless and unbiased while also guiding me on skills as they pertained to simple sentence structure and grammar (yes, yes, I know that the comma goes inside of that quotation mark!).

You taught me how to capture an audience, write in inverted pyramid style, create a complete story and think uniquely when trying to round out the story with different sources to freshen up with new perspectives.

From there, we grew. Academically, I enrolled in your ‘Newswriting’ class to ‘Features Writing’ and even ‘Writing the Review.’ Not many people can say that they were honored to have four classes with one of their favorite professors.

In terms of The Outlook, I climbed my way from ‘Contributing Writer’ to ‘Staff Writer’ to then the ‘Club & Greek Editor.’ My senior year I was then bumped from the ‘Managing Editor/News Editor’ to the ‘Editor-in-Chief’—all under your leadership.

Now Prof, I know that my undergraduate years weren’t always so easy; I had several personal things going on that didn’t help to calibrate my mental, emotional or even spiritual state. Despite this, you knew how to communicate with me in a way that would encourage me to persevere.

You continually gave me that strength to keep going. Because of you, I was able to graduate with a smile on my face and an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment in my heart.

When I embarked on my mission to return to Monmouth in pursuit of my graduate degree and you reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in the graduate assistant position with The Outlook, it was yet another blessing you bestowed on me. You… asking ME… to be your right-hand person and really take this award-winning newspaper to the next level—wow, was I proud.

You’ve once again given me that platform to grow—this time just in a more senior-level position. I was able to teach my writing, reporting, interviewing and editing skills to undergraduates. I was able to develop my managerial, leadership and organizational skills while testing my patience at times, too.

These past 3 ½, almost 4 years, with this paper as the graduate assistant has been one of the most gratifying (and challenging) experiences to date—and I am forever thankful. 

Prof, I’ve been privileged to have you in my life for nearly 8 years now—and though my time with Monmouth is coming to an end (at least for now), I trust that our friendship and mentorship will not end.

I’m a bit indifferent on the ‘everything happens for a reason’ cliché—but if there’s one thing I know, there definitely was a reason that I walked into your ‘Intro to Journalism’ course my sophomore year. Because of you, I’m right where I’m meant to be now.

Thank you, Prof, for everything.



PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Universityi