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Letter from the Editors

Meet the Editors!

Jenn Ward (left) and Barb Kay (right) are the managing editor and editor-in-chief of The Phoenix for the 2023 to 2024 academic year (Photo by Donna Cornachio)

Dear Reader,

Welcome back! Here at The Phoenix we dedicate our journalistic passions to the Purchase community. We write about you, your professors, your shows and galleries, and the complications that are bound to exist within any institution. With this in mind, it seems only fair that you know who is steering this ship.

My name is Jenn Ward (she/her) and I’m a junior journalism major here at Purchase and I’m managing editor of The Phoenix. I’ve been writing for the Phoenix since the beginning of my freshman year of college, so over two years now! This is my first year as an editor and I could not be more excited.

Jenn is a junior journalism major from Long Island, New York. She’s also a residential assistant for Central, a freshman dorm and a huge Taylor Swift fan (Photo by Olivia D’Andrea)

Although I’ve only been at Purchase for two years, I have done so much here that it feels like I’ve been here a lifetime. I’m a residential assistant in the freshmen dorms, as well as a tutor for journalism at the learning center. I also have been a teaching assistant for two different classes. I was an intern for both Westchester Magazine for four months and the Phoenix for nine months. I also spoke at accepted students day for the journalism department and I’m one of the winners of the 2023 Mike McNickle Journalism Award for the School of Humanities.

A little about me more personally: I’m from Long Island, New York born and raised and my friends always tell me that it makes sense for me, so do with that what you will. I’m a huge reader, hands down one of my favorite things to do and I always have a book on me wherever I go. I’m also a huge theater kid. I’ve done acting and musical theater my whole life. Glee is (embarrassingly) my favorite show and Taylor Swift is (proudly) my favorite artist.

Studying journalism is hands down my favorite thing about me. Over the last two years, the Phoenix has become my safe space on campus and I can’t wait to help make it someone else’s and to continue my journey within it. I want to be a journalist so I can help tell somebody's story who may not have the means to say it themselves, and to be a voice to the people and to stand up for what’s right. I’m beyond proud of the work that we do at the Phoenix and to see where this year will take us.

My name is Barb Kay (they/she), I’m a senior journalism major and gender studies minor, and the editor-in-chief of The Phoenix. I’m from Brooklyn, New York. I’m a gemini sun, cancer moon, and taurus rising (which is just as turbulent as it sounds). I’m an avid fiction and mystery reader, which is ironic given the hard news I usually cover. And when I’m not writing, I’m listening to music, with my friends, at a museum, concert, or movie theater.

Barb Kay is a senior journalism major and gender studies minor, they’re from Brooklyn, New York and she is looking forward to getting her next tattoo (Photo by Catherine McLaren)

My first year of college was online, as it was for many of the class of 2024. Once getting to campus, I was immersed in the atmosphere. I was a teaching assistant for a college writing lab, an intern for The Phoenix, and was the recipient of the Mary Ellen Marks Editorial Fellowship my sophomore year. I became the managing editor, as well as the editor-in-chief of Submissions Magazine my junior year. As a senior, I’m able to reflect on my academic and professional career with a sense of pride that is always pleasantly surprising.

Growing up, I wanted to be a rockstar, or a baker, or an astronaut. But, I found the most solace in writing. Whether it was short stories, or journal entries, I found an outlet that suited my shy demeanor. What I always wanted, though, was to talk to people. To find out who was doing what, how, and most importantly, why. Luckily I’m not just nosy because every article I write feels like the first one, and every story I edit reminds me why the work we do matters so much.

Purchase has taught me so much about myself; from my gender, sexuality and mental health to how much I need a strawberry refresher to live. Through all the growing pains, The Phoenix has been constant. It has taught me to step out of my comfort zone, question my own insecurities, and admit when I’m wrong. It’s a joy to be able to work with Leah (our editor-in-chief last year), Jenn, our contributors, and our new recruits.

We’re looking forward to this new year, meeting you, and enhancing our journalistic skills!


Jenn and Barb



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