Considering how long its been since I've written on RABA I debated even writing that I would be departing the NIU blogosphere/message board. After considering where I'm going from here, it's probably good to give a heads up.
This August I'll be returning to Northern Illinois to begin my new adventure in graduate school, majoring in communications with a focus in public relations and hopefully will be gaining some experience in sports communication as well. As with many recent grads (journalism or not) the economy threw us all a curveball of Stephen Strasburg proportions.
That's why after working part-time for over a year now it's time to move on. So why am I leaving RABA and the boards? For at least one semester I'll be working back at the Northern Star to make some cash and hone some skills, while hopefully broadening and rekindling some connections with the people at NIU athletics and beyond.
I would like to thank the RABA readers for your time and thoughtful opinions of my writing while I was here. I hope I was able to show most of you that I am capable of a fair and balanced opinion on NIU sports.
I also hope whatever reputation I have now, good or bad, does not follow me. I know I have written some things that have not come down lightly on NIU (my Bleacher Report, Mike Korcek column) or have pushed the limits of ethical journalism which many major media outlets do by the day (Me'co Brown rumor mill story). (For the record: Breese heard the same Brown rumors I did and gave his consent to run it, so please nobody think that one was personal bias coming out).
At the same time I've written things that touched the general opinion (Fire Ricardo Patton), highlighted the people doing good things at NIU (Wolfe and English), while keeping things pertaining NIU athletics in perspective (staying humble after Purdue column) and giving knowledgeable analysis (sticking with the run game).
Anyways, I'm hoping for a fresh start this fall at NIU with everyone from my Star colleagues, to the students, the alumni, the Star readers, the Star haters, RABA, the message boards, and just as important, NIU Media Relations. Good reputation or bad, I'm giving NIU a fresh start and can only hope for the same.
Nothing was ever personal to any of the parties and I plan to continue to call things how I see them (there's the news side of my journalistic background). With that said, however, I'm also looking forward to further exploring what NIU athletics brings to NIU and the student body; a note I think has often been lost in wins, losses, money and student fees.
In the past year-plus I have grown and matured as a journalist, a writer, an interviewer and much more. I am beyond excited at the chance to put my growth on display for the NIU fan base. I hope you all keep reading and I am always open to your opinions on my writing, which I'm happy to accept via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you're interested in any other writing, you can find various links on my website (sorry, had to self-promote).
In the meantime I thank you guys again. Best of luck to you all and a special thanks to Mike Breese for allowing me to come on and write for Red and Black Attack. I appreciate the opportunity and again, I appreciate all the feedback.
You'll be seeing my name again soon.