Goodbye UConn, hello New York City

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind.

I finished my last week of final exams.

Attended the last banquet for The Daily Campus.

My fabulous Daily Campus staff at the banquet. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Weiss)

My fabulous Daily Campus staff at the banquet. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Weiss)

Packed up my dorm room and left my roommates.

Me and my roommates (from the left) Lindsay, Shreena, Nikki, me, Alivia and Andrea  on Horsebarn Hill at UConn. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Scheller)

Me and my roommates (from the left) Lindsay, Shreena, Nikki, me, Alivia and Andrea on Horsebarn Hill at UConn. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Scheller)

Said goodbye to all the amazing friends that I have made over the last three years at UConn.

And graduated.

Now that I am an alumni I have no idea what to do with myself. It is a difficult to wrap my head around the concept of being done with college.

I had an incredible time studying at UConn. I loved my classes, professors, friends and The Daily Campus. I learned more about myself during my time in Storrs than ever before. I learned that I want to be a journalist. I learned that I enjoy leading people. I learned how to be a good friend. I learned how to be independent but also how to ask people for help when it is needed.

Thank you to my parents Carla and John for helping me get through the last few years, both financially and personally. I would not be where I am today without them.

Thank you to my roommates who I lived with the last two years. Six girls living together in two bedrooms, with one bathroom, seems like a recipe for disaster. But for us it was a recipe for greatness. We became a family. I relied on their support, love, humor and company countless times.

Finally, thank you to my coworkers and friends at The Daily Campus. The newspaper shaped my college career and led me to find what I want to do next. Day after day of late nights, trips to Storrs Center, editorial meetings and weekend outings brought us close together. You were my other UConn family.

And now that I have left Storrs, Connecticut for the last time, I am off on my next big adventure: NBC. In two weeks I will start as an NBC Page. I am incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity and I cannot wait to begin.

Stay tuned to hear stories from my next chapter!

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UConn’s The Daily Campus covers the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four

The biggest news event of the year hit The Daily Campus, UConn’s independent student-run newspaper, earlier this week. The NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four was one of the most exhausting, stressful and exciting events that the 2012-2013 staff has reported on.

Coverage began in the weeks leading up to the last two  games in New Orleans, as we covered the tournament from start to finish. Managing Editor Brian Zahn created a Storify piece entitled “How they got here: The NCAAW Final Four,” which explained the long-time rivalry between Notre Dame and UConn. For the first time, I figured out how to embed Storify stories on our website, which led to an embarrassing happy dance in my office.

The big push came when the UConn women’s basketball team and our reporters landed in the Big Easy. (Our four correspondents, Dan Agabiti, Tyler Morrissey, Matt Stypulkoski and Jess Condon, were excited to be there, to say the least.)

To thoroughly cover the event we utilized our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blog more than is typical for us. For the most part we have always been a print-focused publication. But this year it has been my goal to push us into the digital world. This was our biggest test because of the national attention UConn received.

A screen shot from The Daily Campus' Instagram account. (@dailycampusphoto)

A screen shot from The Daily Campus’ Instagram account. (@dailycampusphoto)

Our three sports writers, Agabiti, Morrissey and Stypulkoski began reporting as soon as they touched down and did not stop until they returned. Agabiti wrote a blog post about predictions for the Final Four game between UConn and Notre Dame for the Daily Campus sports department women’s basketball blog on Sunday, April 7.

Photo editor and online production intern Kevin Scheller created individualized graphics for each game that he posted on Instagram.

The staff covered each game as it unrolled.

Scheller worked with Condon, our photographer on the scene in New Orleans, to post photos from the court during the game.

Screen shot from the UConn vs. Notre Dame game on April 7 from @dailycampusphoto on Instagram.

Screen shot from the UConn vs. Notre Dame game on April 7 from @dailycampusphoto on Instagram.

The sports writers live blogged the game during every media timeout and tweeted updates from @DCSportsDept.

Condon and Scheller created five photo galleries for the Daily Campus website. There was a gallery from the Final Four  and National Championship games, one recapping the team’s journey to the Final Four, one showing fan support around the arena and one that gave a little tour of the city and the arena.

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The line up of four of the five galleries the photo team created for the NCAA tournament.

The staff continued to cover the tournament through the Tuesday night championship game. The writers attended press conferences on Monday, the off-day, and uploaded stories to the website throughout the day. Agabiti wrote a piece comparing the UConn coach, Geno Auriemma, and the Louisville coach, Jeff Walz. Morrissey wrote a story about Stephanie Dolson playing through her injury during the tournament.

We made an effort to write SEO headlines and to share our stories. I found the most difficult part of covering a multi-day story online was the constant need to upload a variety of content. My staff was diligent and tolerant of my numerous requests. Throughout the four days we uploaded more stories, photos, blog posts and polls than before and shared our content more proactively than we usually do.

I am incredibly proud of the work we did and hope the newspaper will continue this type of online coverage for future events.