Senior Farewell: Kelly Hillock

by Kelly Hillock, Editor in Chief

Most days, it feels like the only peace I can get is walking home from The Daily Aztec newsroom, headphones in, and taking deep breaths of the scents of jasmine and peach trumpet flowers. Here is usually where I remind myself why I have been running around for the past 12 hours with a never-ending to-do list and drinking too much coffee.

It’s because every day, I had the honor of working with incredibly smart, talented and dedicated students. It’s because I had the honor of cultivating the stories that best represent and illuminate the diverse, inspiring student body on this campus.

It has been an honor to serve the SDSU community as the editor in chief for this 103-year-old news organization. It has been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding experience of my college career.

The Daily Aztec has been very much engrained in my life at SDSU. The basement of the Education and Business Administration building (also fondly referred to as the dungeon) has been my home. These past four years would have not been possible without The Daily Aztec, but these people in particular:

Ethan Bailey and Lauren Yap, for being my first editors.

Leo Castaneda, for giving me my first real shot.

Monica Linzmeier and Madison Hopkins, for being the best DA parents.

My mom, for being the first eyes on every article I wrote and being my biggest support.

Natalie Mason, for sharing with me the peaks and valleys of student leadership.

My staff, for joining me on this crazy journey and always exceeding my expectations — and special shoutout to Hannah Lingle-Veale and Kaylee Andrews, for jumping in headfirst when I said I wanted to produce a magazine. I honestly would not be here without any of you.

We had a lot to live up to this year and a lot was at stake. The Daily Aztec continued to face financial struggles this year and will continue to struggle to reinvent itself without a permanent solution. We have cut our staff, cut our working hours, cut our print publications and relied on support from alumni and the university just to uphold our mission of producing news for our community. I am most proud of continuing The Daily Aztec’s legacy in the face of our adversities. Journalism is at the crux of our democracy, and the SDSU community needs storytellers who can continue to shine the light in the face of uncertainty. I look forward to watching the ways the DA continues to do just that.

To Jacob Sisneros and his team, I know our news organization is in safe hands under your leadership and vision. Hold on tight — it goes by way too fast.

It’s bittersweet to leave this chapter of my life, but I know the things I learned these past four years at SDSU will stay with me and carry me through the next chapter of my life. Thanks for everything, SDSU.