Starting this week, The Clarion is welcoming two new editors to our paper. The two new editors take over along with a prior editor in the midst of the coronavirus-lead Sinclair College shutdown to bring new flavor and usher the paper into a post-COVID world when that ends up happening.
The two new editors, Ayzha Middlebrooks and Taylor Pendleton both worked at The Clarion during the spring semester. Middlebrooks was an Associate Editor at the start of the paper and worked diligently on the spring semester’s print editions with former editor Samuel J. Claude–now departing–and Richard Foltz, who will take on the Associate Editor role in his last semesters.
Pendleton worked as a reporting throughout the beginning of the spring semester and had accepted a position as a Copy Editor at the tail end of the on-site classes period of the spring semester.
Middlebrooks is now the paper’s new Executive Editor, taking that role from myself, thankfully, and is seeking a career in journalism. She is seeking a degree is in Multimedia Journalism.
“As Executive Editor, my goal is to enhance awareness of The Clarion,” said Middlebrooks on her new role. “In the past, I have casually spoken to some Sinclair students who did not even know there was a student newspaper. I want to do a lot of reaching out with faculty as well as a diverse range of students who really depict the wide range of people who are enrolled in Sinclair.”
On her time and Sinclair and her goals, Middlebrooks’ new role as the lead editor of the paper should go far in helping towards her long-term goals.
“I realized I wanted to be a journalist during my final years in High School,” said Middlebrooks. “Before that, I had ideas of being a novelist or a screenwriter. Even telling stories through animation crossed my mind, because I use to enjoy drawing. However, I came to the conclusion that drawing stressed me out severely. There was a sense of competition and there was also a lot of dissatisfaction due to my own perfectionism.”
Pendleton has taken a position as the new Managing Editor and is seeking a degree in English.
“Following graduation, I’m considering going to Wright State University to obtain my bachelor’s,” said Pendleton. “Initially, I thought about going out of state, but after attending Sinclair, I fell in with Dayton and I wish to stay in the area.”
Middlebrooks has been at Sinclair since August 2018 and is expected to graduate sometime in 2021. Though she remarked that for a lot of people, that is up in the air due to the coronavirus and Sinclair’s remote learning.
“It is difficult to say when the exact time will occur due to the potential cancellation of many classes during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Middlebrooks.
“After graduation, I plan on continuing my education to achieve a bachelor’s degree,” said Middlebrooks. “Presently, I am unsure of which university I will be attending. There’s an idea in my head that I should consider going out of state and broaden my horizons as I have been in Dayton my entire life. But, I am just unsure.”
Pendleton remarked about her time at The Clarion, noting the memories she’s experienced since she started as a reporter in January.
“There have been so many memorable moments that never fail to make me smile,” said Pendleton. “I certainly enjoyed the bake sale that we hosted last February because I got to meet everyone at The Clarion and I finally bore witness to Brian’s infamous Dirt Puddin’. Oh! And lest we forget the rubber duck occupation of 2020. I don’t know what was better—the fact that someone had disseminated paper sword-wielding rubber ducks around the office or the slew of duck-themed puns that occurred consequentially.”
Middlebrooks commented on her favorite story to write thus far for was February’s Black History 101 Mobile Museum.
“The curator, Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, was very kind and was willing to provide some time to speak with me,” said Middlebrooks. “In addition to that, I have always had this deep fascination of reading and seeing imagery of Jim Crow memorabilia. It really reinforces America’s problematic past in showing how racism was normalized to the extent that figures depicting racist caricatures were sold in abundance.
“The mobile museum was the first time I was able to see a Klu Klux Klan hood in person as well as the first time I was able to trace my fingers over a tattered whip. So it was both an experience to write, as well as an experience to encounter on a personal level.”
“My vision for The Clarion is to provide students with insightful information on what is going on in Sinclair as well as the surrounding community,” said Middlebrooks. “My goal is to keep them up to date with substantial information that can engage them into reading more articles on our website and bringing us united together. Among Clarion workers, I aim for consistency, constructive communication and a sense of genuine support so we can all be the best that we can be.”
“The Clarion is an excellent opportunity to not only exercise one’s passions but to meet some incredible, down-to-earth people,” said Pendleton about goals moving forward and about the environment at The Clarion. “You truly become more involved in such an amazing community and being a part of a collective body that serves as a voice for students is such an honor. I highly encourage anyone to consider The Clarion or simply drop on by and say hello.”