The Editorial Board looks back on a wonderful year together (and cries)
Anjini Venugopal, Editor-in-Chief
By Madeleine Payne
As I write this, you’re sitting across from me at a table in the Main Reading Room, vigorously editing stories before tomorrow’s layout while sipping on some Tazo Zen tea, pausing to ask my opinion on two pictures for the graduation issue. I think that sums up our library experiences pretty well — chaotic productivity in between spurts of laughter (or post-grad cries); time flying not because we’re doing our work, but because we end up chatting about everything from our favorite Scandinavian Swimmers to the million different things we might do after college.
Whether it’s been in the library or at our weekly pho dates, discussing our love for Madewell clothes or groaning about our theses, you’re always someone I can count on to give me honest feedback on everything, like what fit to wear or how to write a stressful text. While you’re one of my most dependable friends, you’re also one of my most driven ones. You work so incredibly hard at everything you do, whether it’s running The Aggie or grinding out a thesis, devotedly transcribing wall quotes or developing a style guide at a tech company (cue stereotypical honors kid jokes). I can’t wait to see you succeed in wherever your post-grad plans take you — be that teaching in an elementary school, becoming a girlboss tech leader or following your inner Elle Woods to law school — and know that I’ll always be a 30-minute drive away if you ever need to bawl while listening to Dr. Dog or a last-minute shopping spree at Nordstrom Rack. You’re such a strong, kind and hardworking individual, and just by being around you, you make me a better (not dimmer) friend — congratulations on graduating and get yourself a Tres Hermanas pitcher to celebrate, you deserve it!
Margo Rosenbaum, Managing Editor
By Anjini Venugopal
It feels sacrilegious not to start my ode to Margo Rosenbaum with our origin story: As two of the newest additions to the features desk at The Aggie in October 2018, we made our way to Monday afternoon desk meetings in Lower Freeborn from over yonder in Tercero. Every week as I walked to the office, Margo, whose well-researched articles about animals made me think of her as a true representative of the Davis spirit, would hurtle past me on her bike (more Davis spirit) with a friendly smile and a holler of “See you soon!”
Margo is equally intelligent, thoughtful, hilarious and supportive — she’s quick to liven the room with a witty joke or the latest she’s learned from a nature documentary. Beyond being one of the best people I know, she is a wonderful-beautiful-sensational journalist; her strong contributions spark conversation and help us all be more attentive and responsible in our reporting and in our (minimal) lives outside The Aggie too. As my managing editor for two whole years, she is often one step ahead of me (just like the good old days of her biking past me), putting out fires before they happen. Somehow, she makes time for it all — to be the greatest managing editor, to edit every single article on Sunday evenings, to be a nature (and horse, on the down low) girl, to band (and befriend?) birds and to create a Lord Farquaad costume — and she makes it look easy.
Margo — I’m so grateful to have led The Aggie at your side, and I can’t imagine the past two years without you. Features babies forever <3
Sophie Dewees, Campus News Editor
By Margo Rosenbaum
Sophie, I still remember meeting you at Aggie formal in 2020 and chatting about your interests in songwriting. Despite a global pandemic shutting the world down right after that day, we’ve gotten so much closer, connecting over our shared interests of journalism, Sidney Gish, the outdoors and most recently, Ali Baba’s thick cut fries. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you better over two years of Editorial Board meetings and on the trails of Desolation Wilderness and Point Reyes, and I dearly appreciate how you never fail to laugh at all of my terrible jokes (it’s quite the ego booster). Because you live with equestrians, I can officially call you an honorary horse girl and I absolutely love you for that reason (among many others). Your dedication to The Aggie, strong work ethic and desire to get the story right is so admirable and essential for any news editor, but especially for a future EIC. I can’t wait to see all you accomplish in this role next year, and all the mountains you will climb (both physically and metaphorically). Here’s to many more song recommendations, backpacking trips and good laughs together!
Madeleine Payne, City News Editor
By Eden Winniford
We started out together as writers on the city news desk (and English majors, but that didn’t last long), then became co-assistant editors and finally fully-fledged editors a year after joining The Aggie. I’m so glad I got to go on this journey with someone as funny and kind as you. I can’t imagine Editorial Board meetings without you there to brighten up the room and make everyone erupt in laughter over the smallest joke. There are so many iconic Maddie moments: committing “hummucide” (aka spilling hummus everywhere), naming your pet rat Madeleine, and, of course, being born2plays0ccer.
Even more than your joy, I’ve always been incredibly impressed with your determination — whether you’re hiking up Mount Diablo or training for a half marathon, you never give up. I can’t wait to see what you end up doing after graduating, because I know you’ll do it your way, with persistence and humor.
Eden Winniford, Opinion Editor
By Allie Bailey
When I sat down to write this blurb about Eden a year ago, the bulk of the time I had spent with her was through a screen. Though this was enough to grow a deep appreciation for her — I believe the analogy was fine wine and good cheese — I am so glad that I had the opportunity to spend almost every day with her in person this year. Eden, I am so proud of how you’ve taken on the opinion editor role. I never doubted that you’d excel, but I was consistently impressed by how well you balanced letting us all share our thoughts (even if they weren’t worth sharing) with taking control of the conversation when it was needed, always leading us in the right direction. You always brought original ideas and a sense of calm to what are often hectic meetings; I can’t thank you enough for coming up with headlines and layercakes as the rest of us went off on a tangent while editing. I was lucky enough last year to wrap up this message with a see you later rather than a goodbye, and I’m tearing up now that I don’t have your bright smile and witty replies to look forward to this time around. I’m really going to miss you, and I wish you so much love and luck with all that comes next for you.
Katie DeBenedetti, Features Editor
By Sophie Dewees
Katie, you are one of the people I have known the longest at The Aggie, and I feel so grateful to have worked with you over the past three years. From starting as writers on the features desk our freshman year to hiring you as my assistant editor last year to working with you on Ed Board this year you never fail to inspire me with your insightful ideas, positivity and joy. As we step into our new positions, I have full confidence that you will handle the transition with the poise and grace that you bring to all of your work at The Aggie. From the challenges we’re sure to face to the rewarding moments, I know there is no one I’d rather have at my side. Despite the headline of this editorial, I’m so happy we don’t have to say goodbye; I’m so looking forward to a year full of editing, laughter and (hopefully) only a little bit of chaos with you.
Allie Bailey, Arts & Culture Editor
By Omar Navarro
It feels bittersweet because it feels like I just got to know Allie a little more this year that we were in-person. Zoom made getting to know people a little harder, but I quickly realized that she was one of the most thoughtful, caring and welcoming people I had ever met. Not only was she the voice of reason in a lot in our meetings (although she did have some great, funny comments), she also never shied away from saying what a lot of us were thinking. Not only that, but even when she said she was not enthusiastic about writing a certain ed, she would produce some of the best, most insightful writing and I always knew whatever the topic was, it was going to be great. Plus, the amount of time and effort Allie put into the arts & culture desk, whether it was events or articles, was something I always admired and noticed because I could tell how much it meant to her — she was the best arts & culture editor we could’ve asked for.
Although the time at Davis is coming to an end (and so are the gatherings at the Farmhouse aka, the best house in Davis), I know you are going to do great things on your next journey Allie, and I can’t wait to see what amazing things you do in this world. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to work with you and getting to know you the past two years.
Michelle Wong, Science & Technology Editor
By Katie DeBenedetti
Michelle, I’m so thankful to have been able to join Ed Board with you this year, since I think we can both agree that coming into such a well-established, close-knit group was a little bit intimidating, but having someone as kind, intelligent and welcoming as you to do it with made it so much easier. I remember that one of my first impressions of you during the first few weeks of fall quarter was, yes, that you were quiet. But I’m so glad that throughout the year, I have gotten to see so much more of your funny, thoughtful personality — when all of the huge personalities and louder voices (guilty) would quiet down and give you the chance to speak!
Your ed-writing speed is faster than anyone I know and your incredible editing skills have shown on the science desk, which I’ve got to say, is probably my favorite section of The Aggie to read (not to choose favorites). I’m also amazed by your ability to somehow be a student, do research, work at The Aggie and take the MCAT all at the same time, and oh so gracefully. Even though I’m so sad to lose you — and your thoughtful mask tapping while you wait for us to stop debating where a comma should go or what flavor of Scandinavian Swimmer is the best — next year, I can’t wait to see all that you accomplish post grad.
Omar Navarro, Sports Editor
By Michelle Wong
Omar, from the day I joined the Editorial Board, I knew that you were the quiet backbone of the group. Transitioning into this role when almost everyone else already had a year of experience was intimidating, but your kind, welcoming demeanor made me feel more at ease. As I have had the pleasure of getting to know you throughout the school year, I have realized that not only are you a kind person, but you are someone who is incredibly genuine and caring. You are the type of person who is hard to come by, and I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to meet you — to anyone who has not met Omar yet, he is truly one of the good ones. I have never met someone who lives and breathes sports to the extent that Omar does; I have so much respect for the work you do for the sports desk, especially since I have never felt so lost writing an article than when I covered that baseball game. But aside from our time spent at work, thank you for being a wonderful friend and for the kindness you have extended to me and all those around you. I have no doubt that wherever you end up after college, you will continue to positively impact those around you and become immensely successful — I am so excited to see all that you are going to accomplish.
Written by: The Editorial Board