Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Letter From the Editor | It takes a village

Courtesy of Maven Navarro
Incoming editor-in-chief pictured with some of the 2024-2025 Desk Editors.

Entering high school, I was dead set on becoming a pediatric oncologist. Then I registered for a journalism class because it was taught by a family friend, Chrisanna Melick. Little did I know, that third-period freshman journalism class would change the trajectory of my life forever. 

Due to Melick’s encouragement, I quickly became involved in academic University Interscholastic League, where I succeeded in several journalism competitions. My junior year, I placed in a state competition. That was the moment I realized I was not destined for a career in medicine, but could help people in a much more creative way. 

Coming to the Capstone, I could not wait to start writing for The Crimson White. The news editors at the time, Kayla Solino and Ainsley Platt, could tell you I applied before I was even enrolled in classes.

I still remember the moment I received the email from Ainsley that I had been accepted as a contributing writer for the news desk. I was sitting in Dreamland Bar-B-Que and squealed. I texted Melick first. I was so excited to thank her for pouring into me in high school, leading me to accomplish my goal of becoming a college journalist.

I had thought I was learning just by taking college journalism classes, but the paper taught me so much more.

Ainsley and Kayla took a chance on me when I was a baby journalist, and for that, I will be forever grateful. They hired someone with no collegiate experience and taught me invaluable lessons I will use for the rest of my career. The countless edits they made to my stories have helped mold me into a far better reporter and editor.

As a contributor, I met Sarah Clifton — a staff reporter at the time and an assistant copy editor this past year — who has been one of the best mentors I have had in college. Every story I have written has gone through Sarah. Every ethical dilemma I have faced at The CW has been talked through with Sarah.

Every time I have felt discouraged and wanted to give up, Sarah has been there to pick me back up. Everyone needs a Sarah. 

Another unique opportunity The CW has given me was the ability to attend conferences quite literally all over the country with our phenomenal student media advisers, Jessie Jones and Monique Fields. Both of these amazing women have offered me opportunity after opportunity.

They have seen me fail, soar, and everything in between, but have always stood behind me, and have been there to answer every question I have had. 

In addition to my advisers, I have also had professors who exemplify nothing but support for all my journalistic endeavors. Mark Mayfield, Tom Arenberg and Eric Parker are three of the greatest, who have all played a role in drastically improving writing and my ethical values. 

Starting my first year on the editorial team this past year, I was terrified. I was scared that being a sophomore and a woman, I would not be taken seriously. I was quickly proved incorrect.  

Outgoing Managing Editor Carson Lott and Editor-in-Chief Ashlee Woods have both shown me grace and mercy, while always expecting my best. They were so gracious to me while I was learning how to be an editor for the first time. They are always the first people to congratulate me when I do something exciting and are always there to say, “Good job, Maven. You are doing great,” anytime my self-confidence shakes. 

Last but not least are my co-editors on the 2023-24 news desk, Jacob Ritondo and Ethan Henry. Every day this year, they have challenged me to be a critical thinker. They are both so passionate and have helped me grow in my love for The CW. The number of times we have spent hours on the phone talking over trivial things such as a couple of words or a comma honed my dedication to making the paper the best it can be.

To my new editorial staff, thank you for the willingness to work with me. As I have seen in my two years at The CW, nothing gets accomplished solo. The legacy of this paper is and always will be the result of teamwork. 

I can not express my excitement to lead the paper this year. This has been a dream of mine since I started at this university. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in my story, and who will continue to guide me along the way. All good things take a village.

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