Editor in Chief Scott Young: After three years at JSU, it’s time to say goodbye

Editor in Chief Scott Young, pictured, reads a newspaper in The Chanticleer’s office in Self Hall. Young is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication on May 7. (Courtesy of Rebekah Ledbetter)Editor in Chief Scott Young, pictured, reads a newspaper in The Chanticleer’s office in Self Hall. Young is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication on May 7. (Courtesy of Rebekah Ledbetter)

Scott Young, Editor in Chief

Well, this is it.

I remember walking into my first class in Ayers Hall three years ago, probably anxious and pouring sweat after walking up a flight of stairs.

Now, my time at Jacksonville State University is sadly coming to an end. In fifteen days, I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree in communication.

In the fall semester of 2018, I transferred from community college to JSU and began writing as a staff reporter for The Chanticleer. Later, I was promoted to news editor and now serve as editor in chief, at least for the next nine days.

My journey at JSU and The Chanticleer has been so beneficial for me, both in the things I’ve learned, amazing people I’ve met and fond memories I’ve made.

Thank you all, sincerely

To everyone who has supported me, whether they be my close friends, my brothers and sisters in Zeta Phi Eta, my professors and advisors, members of JSU’s administration, the SGA or my staff at the newspaper: thank you for everything.

This academic year, particularly with COVID, has been very unusual, but featured a lot of big news, including a maskless Brother’s concert where an attendee later tested positive for COVID, a 3,500-person concert sanctioned by JSU during a pandemic (still wondering who on Earth thought this was a good idea), the renaming of Bibb Graves Hall, vaccine distribution at Kennamer Hall and plans to exit the Ohio Valley Conference.

News Editor Miranda Prescott and her team of volunteer writers — who regularly take time out of their academic schedule to report this news — did an excellent job this year staying on top of what’s breaking and keeping the student body informed.

Breanna Hill, our features editor, has been on the newspaper staff for three years and deserves recognition for the countless hours she puts in writing reviews and editing stories. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Ashley Phillips, a recent addition to the newspaper staff, has done amazing work as sports editor and put together a great team of sports writers. This year has featured a lot more sports coverage than previous and Ashley took the challenge on head first.

Special shoutout to Thomas Ashworth, who was kind enough to step in as interim sports editor while Ashley took a leave this month.

I also want to give a special thanks to others who have guided and supported me this year and prior.

Mike Stedham, the newspaper’s advisor, my academic advisor and master of puns is a gem to the Department of Communication and cares about his students. His advice to both the newspaper and myself as a writer has been invaluable, and I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done.

Patrick McGrail, the head of the Department of Communication, has put his support behind The Chanticleer’s group of hard-working journalists every step of the way. Much thanks to Dr. McGrail for being an advocate for student journalists.

And lastly, but certainly not least, I want to thank Ben Cunningham, who currently serves as an instructor for the department. Prior to Ben’s employment at JSU, he served as managing editor of The Anniston Star, where I was offered an internship last summer.

It really was a unique learning experience working for a local newspaper and I’m very thankful that you thought of me when that opportunity arose.

So, what’s next?

While the next editor in chief has not been selected, my contract with JSU ends on May 1, and six days later I walk across the stage and enter a new chapter in my life.

Recently, I was accepted to the University of Alabama’s journalism master’s program, where I will attend virtually. I’m honestly not sure what to expect from a master’s program, but I’m super excited to immerse myself in the field of journalism and learn more important concepts.

Oh, and also: surprise! I am moving to Tampa, Fla.!

A month ago, I had every intention of remaining in Alabama after graduation, as I have since birth. That all really changed when I visited the city for spring break and fell in love with the area.

It also made me realize that there’s no growth or development when you remain in your comfort zone. Trying new things, exploring the world and taking risks is key. I’m very excited for the future.

Goodbye, for now

Kate, you were absolutely right: “Time sure flies.”

I’m proud of the work that The Chanticleer editors and volunteer writers put in to continue providing reliable and accurate news to the students of JSU. I have no doubt that the newspaper will continue to do so for years to come.

My time at Jacksonville State University has been full of great memories, experiences, mistakes, friendships and learning. 

Though it’s sad to say goodbye to all of that, I’m overjoyed to see what the future holds for me.

Thank you all, for everything.

Scott Young served as Editor in Chief of the Chanticleer from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. He graduates on May 7 with a bachelor’s degree in communication.

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