University President Fr. Mark Poorman has appointed Gabi DiPaulo as the editor-in-chief of The Beacon for the 2020-21 school year.
DiPaulo, a junior psychology major, began working at The Beacon during the spring of 2019 as a news reporter. She first applied because she was looking to get more involved on campus, and The Beacon looked like a good opportunity for just that. Over a year later, DiPaulo is thankful for her decision.
“I didn’t really know what to expect when I first joined The Beacon,” DiPaulo said. “I thought that maybe I would just improve my writing skills, but it’s given me so much more than that. It was such a cool feeling knowing that I was doing something bigger.”
The editor-in-chief is in charge of reviewing all Beacon content, leading three weekly meetings, maintaining efficient communication among the team of over two dozen student journalists and making final decisions on any large issues.
After only a semester on The Beacon, DiPaulo was appointed living editor for the 2019-20 school year by current editor-in-chief Claire Desmarais, who has seen DiPaulo’s growth from reporter to editor. Desmarais is confident that DiPaulo will work hard to ensure The Beacon continues producing high-quality content.
“When she started working, I noticed how powerful her writing was and how much of a voice she had in her writing,” Desmarais said. “She is super creative and I think it just really shows the kind of mind she has for just being able to tell stories. Seeing her go from reporter to the Living editor, I’ve seen her put in so much work and she’s grown so much.”
However, DiPaulo did not have the easiest path to editor-in-chief. As a first-generation student, DiPaulo faced imposter syndrome while adjusting to her editor position. It took some time for her to recognize her own value as an editor and a leader.
“My first weeks as an editor were super stressful; it’s just so much all at once,” DiPaulo said. “Just little things like assigning stories and having other people ask me how to do their jobs was a lot. After some time, I really just fell into it, and it was more like when I had an idea I knew that I had the power to do something about it.”
DiPaulo was recommended for the editor-in-chief position by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Student Media (PACSM), who gave the final recommendation to Fr. Poorman. The PACSM is a committee with faculty, staff and students from departments across campus.
DiPaulo is excited to take on the new role and help her fellow staff members. Her first act as editor-in-chief was appointing sophomore Austin De Dios as news and managing editor. De Dios has worked at The Beacon as a news reporter since the spring of his freshman year.
DiPaulo is particularly looking forward to sharing her love of telling stories with staff members, both new and old.
“I just love seeing when someone is clearly inspired about the story or is very proud of what they have done,” DiPaulo said. “When it’s a passion project, I feel like it’s so contagious and you just want to do a great job and it’s so great being around those kinds of projects all of the time.”
Beacon adviser and Assistant Director of Student Media Nancy Copic has worked with DiPaulo throughout her time at The Beacon and is confident about DiPaulo’s ability to lead The Beacon. She recognizes the valuable skill set that she brings to The Beacon.
“Gabi is such a strong writer, discerning editor and strong editor,” Copic said. “I’ve seen her grow so much at The Beacon. Being on the editorial board helped her grow in so many ways. It’s challenged her in ways that every new editor faces, but she’s handled every obstacle so gracefully and with so much effort. She has really stepped up to the job and she’ll have that same mentality going into the editor-in-chief position next year.”
Carlos Fuentes is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.