DeAndra Miller, a senior English major, is the departing as editor at the Red & Green, Minot State’s student newspaper. Her time in the position comes to an end as she graduates as moves on in her pursuits of a career teaching university-level creative writing. Her time in the position was met with many highlights, challenges, and lessons.
“I assist with COMM 281 (a class in which students write for the Red & Green). I help come up with story ideas for them, I do copy editing, and make meetings with the students and go over their articles. I structurally put the paper together and figure out the layout while overseeing everyone else’s parts as well.” Miller said. “We have a features editor, a sports editor, and everything, but I make the final approval on how everything looks and what gets printed, which is difficult, and Nicole (Thom-Arens, Red & Green faculty adviser) never makes a decision for me. She will ask me, ‘Do you want it print it?’ So, she really leaves the decision up to me if I want to start a firestorm or not with certain things. I also decide what (articles) get held for the website or held for later issues.”
Being the editor comes with some challenges, Miller highlighted patience as a key virtue when dealing with trouble-some interviewees.
“It will frustrate me sometimes when someone who is supposed to be interviewed is being difficult or people who are supposed to give us answers give the students a hard time, and as much as I want to go out there and tell them to do it, I can’t,” Miller said. “I have to step back and remember every semester it’s a different rotation of students and I don’t want to send them out into a froth of tension.”
Miller is an English major, with aspirations to teach creative writing one day — she earned a position at Florida International University to study fiction writing in an MFA program beginning in the fall. Miller found a lot of parallels when involved with the Red & Green and writing for news. Her time as editor gave her many opportunities to expand her writing and leadership.
“I think one of the biggest takeaways from this experience has been the leadership, also working with Nicole — she’s really mentored and molded me to be someone who is very decisive, a good leader, and can make those decisions that need to be made when they need to be made,” Miller said. “Another take away is knowing not just that stories need to be told but what stories should be told. All stories matter, but you have to think about who you’re serving best. I feel like I’ve learned a lot as to knowing your audience and that has made me a better person, a better writer, and more socially conscious. It’s been a great experience because I really care about the wellbeing of everyone.”
Miller’s favorite moment as editor was the opportunity to be involved in an issue of the Red & Green that highlighted student rights during the fall semester. The articles answered issues or questions students may have about their liberties across campus.
“I feel like it was interesting to do a themed issue where everything in it followed a singular idea of student rights. It felt very impactful and that meant a lot to me,” Miller said.
Shalom Baer, a junior broadcasting and professional communication major, will take the reigns as the Red & Green editor in the fall for the 2019-2020 academic year. Miller had some words of advice for the upcoming leader.
“Be the best leader. You also have to know how to follow the lead of the people you are in charge of,” Miller said. “You have to know when to think of them first, and they are more important than you are. Everything is for the good of the team, so always make decisions in a team-based mindset.”