Editor-in-Chief Farewell: Sam Semerau

Sam Semerau served as the Albion Pleiad's editor-in-chief during the 2021-2022 academic year (Photo courtesy of Lauren Bergeron).

My first introduction to journalism was a year-long newspaper class I took my sophomore year of high school. I ended up switching out of the course halfway through because my social anxiety–largely stemming from my fear of talking to people, which is necessary for journalism work–flared up. 

Following this brief stint, I thought I realized journalism wasn’t for me. Instead, I returned to performing in the theatre arts for the remainder of my high school career. If you would have told me then where I am now, I would not have believed you. 

By my sophomore year at Albion, I had thought I had found my niche. I was heavily involved in the Umbrella Organizations and was even the president of an Umbrella organization at one time and the secretary on the Umbrella Council. 

Additionally, I had found work on campus working as a Peer Mentor for the Briton Path program through the Learning Support Center (now the Cutler Center for Student Success). This job only covered the fall semester, so I looked for another job. I settled on writing for the Albion Pleiad. 

Still, even with my new position as a staff writer during the spring semester of 2020, I was already plenty comfortable with my position on campus as a student organization leader and peer mentor. If you would have told me then where I am now, I would not have believed you. 

As we entered the era of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I was offered the position of opinions editor midway through the fall 2020 semester. I was ecstatic to be offered this position I did not personally seek out and excited to remain the opinions editor for the rest of my time at Albion. Once again, if you would have told me then where I am now, I would not have believed you.

All of this is to say that life is a winding road that often presents turns you can’t see until you’re actually taking them. I had no intention of returning to journalism when I came to college, yet I did. I had no intention of making my senior honors program thesis using 10 weeks worth of Pleiad archival research, yet I did. I certainly did not intend on acquiring the highest position within the Pleiad for my senior year, yet I did. 

Working for this publication has been the blessing I did not realize I needed. Because of my work with this publication, I have become a better writer, a better editor, a better leader and a better person, among others. 

The Pleiad has also led to me meeting some of the most brilliant and wonderful people in my life. I am grateful for the editorial staff that came before me, particularly Jordan Revenaugh ’21, the editor-in-chief before me. 

I am also grateful for the editorial team I have worked with this year, particularly managing editor Irene Corona-Avila, whose greater experience on the Pleiad has been invaluable in helping me find my footing as editor-in-chief. 

I am also eternally thankful and grateful for the Pleiad’s faculty advisor, Krista Quesenberry, who I am glad to report will be remaining with the college and with the Pleiad for the time being. Krista gave me the right amount of space to make this truly a student-run publication while still being an amazing asset and resource for our editorial team. 

While there are numerous other names that have helped me grow as the editor-in-chief this year, I would lastly like to mention you, dear reader. 

During my research on the Pleiad’s opinion section, I found that the thing that keeps the Pleiad running, even 138 years after the first publication of the Pleiad, is our readership. Your continued interaction and interest is what makes the Pleiad what it is today. Whether you liked a few of our Facebook posts, commented on a few of our articles or even just silently read our posts, you helped make our mission happen. 

As is true with all Albion alumni, graduation is never “farewell forever.” Even as I begin my MS in Publishing program at Pace University in the fall–a path in my educational career I would have never taken without my time on the Pleiad, I will continue to stay connected with my favorite student-run newspaper. 

I hope you continue to come back as well.

About Sam Semerau 45 Articles
Sam Semerau is an Albion alum from Oakland Twp., Mich. She double majored in English and History. She worked for the Pleiad from spring 2020 to spring 2022 and served as editor-in-chief for the 2021-2022 school year. She began Pace University's MS in Publishing program during fall 2022.

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