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Time and Hard Work Produce News Worth Reading in College VOICE Student Newspaper


West Windsor, N.J. – When students sign up to work on The College Voice, Mercer County Community College's (MCCC's) student newspaper, they know it is not a social club. Long, hard hours go into producing the college's newspaper. But first-year advisor Matthew Kochis, a member of the English/Jounalism faculty, is happy to report that his staff of students was up to the challenge this year.

Kochis estimates that 20 students contributed to the five issues that were published during the 2015-16 academic year. The editorial board included Max Leavitt-Shaffer, Ousman Joof, and Ivana Airo. Among other Voice staffers were Pablo Araya-Chacon, Albert Bainbridge IV, Andrew Casale, Brodie Catherina, Kwame Colecraft, Rashida Diwan, Maura Dunn, Savannah Dziepak, John Flanagan, Onika George, Noelle Gilman, Alexia Guiducci, Brittany Lashley, Maria Mora, Patricia Ramirez, Kristen Robinson, Robby Rowley, Nick Sieczkowski, Lisa Tarr, Jaren Taylor, and Christine Villafuerte.

Among the many students who contributed to The College VOICE this year were, from left, Editor-in-Chief Ousman Joof, Copy Editor Jessica Powell, reporter Christine Villafuerte, Managing Editor Pablo Araya-Chacon, and reporter Robby Rowley, pictured with Adviser Matthew Kochis.

According to Kochis, the articles were mainly college-related, including several interviews with Mercer's new president, Dr. Jianping Wang, stories about events on campus, Vikings sports, editorials, and local and cultural news. He noted that students often took on multiple beats and roles as reporters, photographers and editors, which mirrors the real world of journalism today.

"We could not have accomplished what we did without the amazing amount of hard work that all the students put into every issue," Kochis said. " I am so impressed by how much they did considering the size of the staff and the time constraints on students who have other obligations. As their first-year adviser, I found the experience enjoyable and worthwhile." Kochis added that former adviser Holly Johnson provided key advice and support.

With a successful year completed, Kochis and returning staff members will set their sights on recruiting an enthusiastic new group of budding journalists, revitalizing the newspaper's website, which they hope to complete this summer, and the publication of six issues next year.

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Glenn Kraft