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The Hilltop


The Variety Editor’s Reflection

Alyse Martin finishes her second academic year as Variety editor. (Alyse Martin graduation photo)

When I first arrived at Howard University, I immediately set my sights on joining The Hilltop newspaper. To be transparent, I did not understand the newspaper’s gravity regarding American and Black history. Like most freshmen or sophomores, I began as a staff reporter in the Campus section and worked to become a Variety editor, which has been one of my greatest honors while at Howard.

I was seldom a strong writer, but I always had a passion for writing. While the School of Communications was created to train student journalists, The Hilltop sculpted me in a manner distinct from my professors’ teachings. Immersed in a hands-on environment, my editors closely examined my work and assisted me in strengthening my skills.  Through their mentorship, I was able to evolve as a writer, an opportunity I do not take for granted. Though initially challenging, this journey forced me to overcome my ego and embrace the role of a student before I could become a teacher.

Initially, I was not sure I could assume this position. I thought it would be best to stay as a staff reporter, which was comfortable for me. However, you rarely grow when you’re consistently comfortable. So, I decided to challenge myself, take a chance and apply for a position I did not think I was qualified for.

I am not usually one to put myself in these positions, but I am grateful I was placed in this position by our beloved editor-in-chief, Jasper Smith. She saw something in me and granted me this opportunity that I will be forever grateful for. 

What I did not know was how greatly this role would affect me emotionally and professionally. It allowed me to become a more confident journalist and compassionate person. Being able to tell the stories of my fellow classmates has been a gift, as has being able to assist in the growth of other journalists. 

I’ve poured every bit of my heart and soul into the Variety section to revive it in the best way possible. Along the way, I’ve experienced both triumphs and setbacks, yet my commitment to my passion remains. I believe that joining this organization taught me not only about journalism but also about yourself and life. 

There will always be a time when you may drop the ball, but how you handle it defines who you are. The Hilltop showed me what it means to persevere. With this accomplishment of graduating from an esteemed university, enriched by the experiences garnered from working with this revered college newspaper, I hope to uphold that same tenacity in my professional life and make The Hilltop proud. 

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The future of The Hilltop will maintain its distinction, and the Variety section will continue to exceed the benchmarks set by my tenure. To my reporters, it was a phenomenal experience working with you to build your ideas into your stories. To my editors, it was inspiring to work alongside you all to help me be a better writer, editor and person. I will miss Howard University and The Hilltop with all my heart.

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell 

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