By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Sophie Dewees, Editor-in-Chief
By Chris Ponce
The first time I met Sophie I was a nervous wreck. When I decided to apply for the Editorial Board I was a first year that was still finding my footing at Davis. I felt apprehensive to apply in the first place. Before my interview, I was worried I was in over my head, but then I was lucky enough to meet Sophie. You were so kind to me since the moment I met you, I felt I might fit in with the Editorial Board more than I had expected. Since then, you have become such an important friend to me and someone I know I can count on.
The laughs that we’ve shared over the dumbest things mean the world to me. I didn’t know what to expect my first time doing distribution but it certainly wasn’t you driving on the sidewalk saying, “It’s okay. It’s what we do, The Aggie.” That first distribution night we did together is still one of my favorite memories with you; it was so unhinged in the best possible way.
From the overlap in our music taste, our love of nature (we need to go hiking!!!) and our lack of knowledge of modern texting acronyms, I’m going to miss the things I could relate with you about, Sophie. I always appreciated feeling like an out-of-touch grandpa with you (seriously, that many people can’t know what TL;DR means, right?).
Saying goodbye hurts, but that’s how you know someone was truly important to you. I know that you are off to do amazing things in this next chapter of your life. But I’m so lucky that I was able to be a part of this chapter.
Katie DeBenedetti, Managing Editor
By Owen Ruderman
The first time I met Katie, I had just rode my bike over to The California Aggie office in blustering winds. I was all sweaty, my hair was a complete mess and I thought I bombed the interview. But despite all that, she must have seen something in me, because here I am now. I’m still a little sweaty and my hair is still a mess, but I’m closing out an amazing year as an editor, and I have Katie to thank for that.
Katie, at first you intimidated me, but now I know you are one of the kindest, strongest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We bonded over not having any job prospects, but I don’t think you have to worry about that — I know you have the gumption, drive and talent to do whatever you want in life. The place where you eventually end up is going to be perfect, and you’ll look back and laugh, wondering why you ever had any doubts.
I really can’t imagine this Editorial Board without you. If you hadn’t been there, I feel like everything would have fallen apart at the seams. You are the glue that held the team at The Aggie together. As you move onto your next chapter of life, take solace in the fact that you are a complete and utter girlboss. That’s right, I said it. Deal with it.
Sonora Slater, Campus News Editor
By Katie DeBenedetti
Sonora once looked at me and said “I think we would have been best friends in middle school,” and I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten a bigger compliment in my life. From the first time Sophie and I interviewed you, your energy was contagious. Your passion for journalism, and also for Taylor Swift and niche, outfit-matching earrings, always brightens the rooms you walk into. There’s no one else I’d rather tag-team edit last-minute articles or pre-plan Eras Tour outfits with, and I am so excited to watch you grow and succeed in your new role of editor-in-chief this year and as a journalist long after next year. Just don’t forget that you promised me we’d be best friends when you get famous and interview Taylor Swift.
Chris Ponce, City News Editor
By Sophie Dewees
Jonathan Christopher Ponce, I can’t believe I have to say goodbye to you! I’ve loved getting to know you this year; you are so sweet, silly and have been such a source of positivity on Ed Board. From our unhinged nights doing distribution with Clara to wowing us with your insane pickleball skills, you never fail to put a smile on my face. On a more professional note, I have been so impressed with your work on the city news desk this year. You’ve really grown into the role and have become such a strong writer and editor. I’ll greatly miss having an excuse to hang out with you four times a week next year, but I can’t wait to see what you do in the future (and for our pirates party to finally happen).
Owen Ruderman, Opinion Editor
By Clara Fischer
Funnily enough, last year’s goodbye to the previous opinion editor was penned by the lovely Allie Bailey, the prior arts and culture editor — it’s happened twice in a row now, which makes it a tradition, right? When I found out I was assigned you for this goodbye editorial, my first thought was, “Wow, that’s awesome!” My second thought was, “Wow, how do I fit the amount of retirement jokes necessary for Owen in only a paragraph?” Old man references aside, Owen, we’ve been incredibly lucky to have an opinion editor as great as you. Whether it’s pioneering The California Gaggie, keeping Editorial Board meetings (semi) on track, making campus administration (including Gary May himself) chuckle or filling up the entire “for the wall!” document with zingy one-liners, you always know how to handle situations with grace and humor. I don’t know anyone who is a bigger fan of The Cure than you are, and I definitely don’t know anyone who advocates for study abroad harder than you do — seriously, the Global Learning Hub needs to write you a check already. You are truly one of a kind, and I, along with the rest of us on Ed Board, are going to miss you. Good luck in the future, and be sure to check up on us once in a while (as any good great-great-grandpa would).
Levi Goldstein, Features Editor
By Brandon Nguyen
After one of our very first Ed Board meetings, you had asked if anyone wanted boba at iTea as soon as we walked out of the office. And I remember saying, “Sure, why not?” It was just you and I, the clear boba enthusiasts that day, who ended up going. We then walked together to the Unitrans terminal at the MU, shockingly finding out that we took the same G line back home. This memory remains vividly clear in my mind to this day, resurfacing every now and then as if I had just gone to get boba with you like it was yesterday.
For an encounter that may seem trivial yet remained so memorable, I knew that I had met someone special. From being neighboring strangers just across and down the street before this school year to becoming fellow editors and now officially my number one uber customer (free of charge, of course), I am so grateful to have come across someone who is so kind-hearted, thoughtful and diligent as you. And I probably speak for everyone on this, but whenever we had a more difficult or controversial ed and you had volunteered to write it, we knew we could count on you to deliver a masterfully written piece. As I came to learn throughout our time together, you were determined and reliable when work needed to be completed, and in moments when you opened up, you also had a silly, funky side to you that never failed to make me smile. Before I get all teary-eyed writing this sentimental bit, I wanted to let you know that I will always be cheering you on, excited to see what you will accomplish in Washington, D.C. this summer, for the rest of your time here at The Aggie and beyond. I have no doubt you will find success wherever you go and in whatever you do. Levi, I’m going to miss you (and miss being your personal chauffeur).
Clara Fischer, Arts & Culture Editor
By Levi Goldstein
Clara, since we both started our first year on Ed Board, you have been a constant — from hours upon hours of editing in the office on Fridays to giggling over monkey videos on Instagram reels. I can’t help but feel like we are on the same wavelength. Your easy going, dry sense of humor never fails to make my day, and I am always more than willing to play along. Assignments? What assignments? What do you mean I missed the ball? That was a perfect serve. I don’t quite know what you’re talking about.
Thank you for your easy, no-questions-asked companionship this year. You are an incredibly kind-hearted person, and I can confidently say, having personally witnessed more than one arts desk editing session, that you are also an incredible journalist and editor. I extend my sincerest apologies for always poaching arts stories, but you’ve paid me back more than a few times, so I think we’re even. This isn’t really goodbye, it’s more like, “See you next year,” and I’m so grateful I get to continue working with you. I know you’ll do an amazing job as managing editor. Cheers to the many BeReals in the office yet to come.
Marlon Rolon, Sports Editor
By Sonora Slater
It only seems right that I would draw your name out of the hat, and get a chance to redeem myself for making that joke months ago about never reading sports articles (I know you haven’t forgiven me since, so hopefully this will change your mind). I might not understand those weird orange poles they move around in football, the fouls system in basketball or anything at all about tennis, but I do understand what a valuable part of our team you are, and I am so grateful and honored to have worked on the paper with you this year. Your hard work and reliability — even once skipping our very own Couch Concert to stay home and get your articles into 1copy — never ceases to amaze me, and your Big Dawgs emoji choices are impeccable and always unexpected. You kept our group chat lively and our meetings upbeat, and you steadfastly stuck to your vendetta against the people who don’t use their library voices inside Shields (get it together, people). I can’t wait to see what you do next, and I promise that when I read — at the very least — the baseball and soccer articles next year, I’ll think of you.
Brandon Nguyen, Science & Tech Editor
By Marlon Rolon
Brandon, it has been a pleasure working alongside you this past year. Although our time together was short-lived, it feels like I’ve known you for a long time. Your kindness, along with your humble personality always made me feel welcomed. Aside from this, your contributions to The Aggie were evident through your amazing, well-written articles and your crocheting. The octopi you made for the entire team were heartwarming — yes, I still have mine, which rests on my desk. What I will always remember about you is your positive energy and your radiant smile. I think it’s safe to say you’re the nicest member on the Editorial team, I’m positive Sophie can attest to that. I know I told you this the other day, but I’ll say it again: I’m proud of you for what you accomplished so far and for continuing your education upon graduating from UC Davis. You truly are a hard worker and I’m extremely lucky to have met you. We’re both seniors and life will take us on different paths, but I’m 100% certain that you will do great things in the future.
Written by: The Editorial Board