These past four years have been quite a journey for me. I started out as a Sports Broadcasting major, then Public Relations, then back to Sports Broadcasting and then I stuck with Print and Web Journalism as a junior. I worked for PeayNation Sports for my first two years and The All State for my last two years. In my time, I freelanced for The Leaf-Chronicle, the Robertson County Times and the Robertson County Connection. I was able to write a story about Pat Summitt after she passed away that ran in The Tennessean and fell in love with high school sports.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what they do not tell you is that it also takes a village of professors to help you graduate college. I cannot even begin to explain the number of second chances I got when I was struggling in classes. If it were not for Amy Ritchart, Barry Gresham, Mike Dunn and their understanding and encouragement, I can honestly say I do not think I would be walking across the stage in May and I would not receive my B.S. in August.

While in college, I held a position for Panhellenic Council and was a member of Chi Omega. I traveled to London, England with the Sports Broadcasting department and made some of the best memories of my life.

Being on The All State made me into the best journalist I could possibly be. Because of The All State, I received a full-time job as a sports reporter before I even graduated college. Because of The All State, I was recognized nationally for the first time ever, which was easily one of the greatest recognitions I have ever had.

Throughout my time as sports editor, I grew as a person and a journalist. I learned major conflict resolution, how to work with people who are completely different from you and how to have fun while you work.

I can honestly say that I am ready to go into the real world and be the best journalist I can because of my four years at APSU and on The All State. I made the best friends I did not know I needed and the memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you to APSU and The All State for turning me into the woman I was meant to be.


Knowing this will be my last byline for The All State is a bittersweet feeling. Not much has done more to impact my life over the past four years than working for this publication.

When I started at APSU, I had no clear vision for what I wanted to pursue a career in. I knew I liked writing but was never that interested in being published. It was more appealing to do something for other people, but I had no idea how I could.

Eventually, I joined The All State’s staff as a copy editor. Behind-the-scenes work was satisfying, since I had a way to apply my interest and help others. At the same time, I saw how much community journalism could teach me about things I took for granted, watched my confidence grow and began to reach for more.

Being able to serve on this editorial board, along with taking a more active role as a writer, has combined what I hope are the best parts of the past and present me. It has been especially rewarding for me because the APSU community holds a special place in my heart.

As a Clarksville native, I spent my share of time on campus before I was ever a student, and I always knew I wanted to go here. To be able to inform this campus community has meant that much more to me, and I hope I helped give someone a fraction of what I gained.

Moving ahead, for the first time in four years I have no professional ties to a location. As scary as that might sound, the world is open now and my community can be whatever or wherever I want it to be.

However near or far from here I go, I want to build on the level of dedication I found in myself as an undergraduate. If The All State taught me one thing, it would be how journalism fulfills me because of the things I can learn and the people I can share the discoveries with. Even though I love APSU, I know I can keep that passion lit wherever it takes me.

I have no idea what the future holds, but whatever is left to come, I know my time here has prepared me for it.


If I could sum up my experience at APSU in one word, it would be growth.

During my four years here, I have grown immensely as a person, leader and scholar.

I learned in my classes how to communicate, write and research more efficiently.

Professors Andrea Spofford, Karen Sorenson, Mercy Cannon and Matthew Kenney have been especially influential to my growth and future goals.

After I graduate on May 5 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, I will attend Belmont University for their Master of Arts program. My goal is to become an English teacher to the youth of Nashville.

I have been involved in The All State, the President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP), Phi Alpha Theta and Literature Club while at APSU. I also had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in London and Dublin this past winter. These experiences have not only shaped me as a person, they have prepared me for my future career and graduate school.

I came into APSU with no intention to go to graduate school or become a teacher. After learning more about myself and my passions, I did a full 180 turn.

My goal is to teach young adults the importance of reading and writing in a time where polarization and false information are ingrained in society. Knowing the poetry of Emily Dickinson, French romanticism, the rhetoric in the Seneca Falls convention and the theme of adversity in literature may not seem that important to those in business or sciences. However, these concepts have resulted in my passion for the written word, communication and helping those in need in my community.

I have seen APSU grow so much in the last four years, from former President Tim Hall’s focus on the arts to President Alisa White’s goal for expansion.

While APSU has grown exponentially as I have been here, I have also grown from a scared high school student to a confident and talented young woman.

And to anyone who says otherwise, females are strong as hell.


As I reflect on my years at APSU, I am continuously in awe of the blessings I have received. From moving into Castle Heights, to representing my Govs for Homecoming Court the opportunities here have been bountiful.

I share this story with everyone, but when I was a sophomore, I truly wanted to transfer. I felt as though I did not belong here and wanted to leave. However, Mike Dunn, Matthew Kenney, Robin Moss and most importantly, Rob Baron are four people I would personally like to thank. You all have helped elevate me to what I am today and you saw my potential.

These professors helped me get to Washington, D.C. for an internship and reinvigorated my college career. From then on, I knew I would never let them down even if I did not have them as professors or see them every day. When I returned the Fall 2015 semester, I found my passions and my family. I was able to work in the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center (WNDAACC) and The All State.

Now, as an outgoing senior and the editor-in-chief of a nationally award-winning paper, I know it will be left in good hands. Patrick and Tammy will continue the beautiful traditions of this publication and will grow professional journalists. I want to thank you both as well.

For my future goals, as of now I will be returning to APSU to receive my master’s in marketing communication. Thankfully, I will also be returning to one of my homes on campus, the WNDAACC, as the graduate assistant. While in this capacity, I want to assist the director, Marcelius, with creating a mentoring organization for minority females on campus to help them grow.

I have grown so much during my time here at APSU and I love being a Gov more than anything. One of my favorite quotes is from a poem by Langston Hughes called “Dreams.” It says, “Hold fast to dreams/For if dreams die/Life is a broken-winged bird/That cannot fly.” So Govs, hold on to your dreams tight and never let them die. They are a part of you and never, ever, let anyone tell you that you can’t.

  • E.I.Celeste