Senior Farewell: David Hernandez

Kelly Hillock, Features Editor

by David Hernandez, News Editor

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I’ve yearned for this moment for a while now; I’ve been eager to move on and begin a professional career. But what’s bittersweet about leaving San Diego State is saying goodbye to the newspaper that ignited a fire within me.

My affinity for writing was sufficient to choose journalism as a career, but I wasn’t entirely sure of what it entailed when I came to SDSU. Since then, I’ve come to live and breathe journalism because of The Daily Aztec.

I still remember seeing my first byline. I still remember Tara Millspaugh and Ana Ceballos, my first two editors, calling out my name at the end-of-the-semester banquet as the best new writer for the news section more than two years ago. I still remember running through the metro station in Barcelona last spring, running into my apartment, changing into a button-up shirt and tie I had picked out, and signing in on Skype to interview for the news editor position.

And the learning experiences: I still remember the shame I felt when I wrote an article using the percentage symbol (for the first and last time) instead of the word percent, as the (AP style) journalism gods require.

I’ll remember that and much more. I can’t fit in this piece what The Daily Aztec has done for me. This year alone, I’ve grown more than ever as a person and as a journalist. I’m ending my time with The Daily Aztec at the helm of the section that was tasked with covering sexual assault, student deaths and many other pressing issues. Covering these topics with immediacy and accuracy was stressful at times, but it was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

I want to thank Monica Linzmeier, our editor in chief, and Madison Hopkins, our managing editor, for putting their trust in me and hiring me on as news editor, and thereafter, for pushing me to a better leader, because I learned from how they led our brilliant staff.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t have done it without Camille Lozano, the assistant news editor, who I hadn’t met before this year because I was studying abroad. I now trust her more than she imagines. She kept me sane by making me laugh, and she was there to vent to when I needed to. Above all, she’s become an indispensable friend.

I’ll miss everything about my time with The Daily Aztec— except working at 9 a.m. on Sundays to produce Monday’s newspaper.

I wouldn’t have found my niche without you, The Daily Aztec. Thank you.

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