UCC Mainstream Online

Mainstream Editor Hannah Hawkins reflects as she moves on

Hannah Hawkins served as editor of the student newspaper for two years.
Don Gilman / Mainstream
Hannah Hawkins served as editor of the student newspaper for two years.

I have enjoyed many different experiences at Umpqua Community College: Participating in new courses of study, meeting new people (both faculty and students), playing basketball and more. However, nothing can compare to working on The Mainstream.

In 2011, I came to UCC to get my AAOT. Three years later I am finally moving on. The first year was spent solely focusing on academics. The second year, I finished my required classes to received my AAOT while playing basketball under head coach Dave Stricklin as well as being the managing editor of The Mainstream under adviser Melinda Benton. It was a challenge balancing everything, but I made it work. I returned to UCC this year to play another season of basketball as well as work on The Mainstream while completing specific classes to obtain a Fitness Technician certificate.

Last year was an amazing experience coupling myself with The Mainstream because everything was so new and different. The people I became acquainted with quickly became friends and some have even grown to be my confidants. The Mainstream has become my little journalism family. I have loved working with each and every person.

Many of the students who were a part of The Mainstream in 2012-13 graduated and left UCC, leaving me as well. I was sad to see them go and quite frankly a little worried because they were a fantastic, productive group when it came to The Mainstream. However, the fall of 2013 brought new faces to add to the few familiar ones. It took a short while to build a network with them, and the people have changed from term to term, but I am so thankful I got to meet each one.

Now that basketball is finished and my education at UCC will be done at the end of this term, my time at UCC will also come to an end. I am in the Army National Guard and will be going to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in April for Basic Training lasting 10 weeks then to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri for Advanced Individual Training for six weeks. I will become a 12R, which is an electrician, then serve one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer for six years.

When I return from training, I may attend University of Hawaii at Manoa and major in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science while participating in ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). I am still unsure of all this. At this point, I am just trying to take life one step at a time.

Editor Hannah Hawkins also played for the Riverhawks.
Dustin Barneburg / Mainstream
Editor Hannah Hawkins also played for the Riverhawks.

Because I am leaving, somebody obviously has to take my position. This lucky person is Haley Stammen. Haley has been a part of The Mainstream this year and has had experience with media reporting before UCC. She is an obvious choice, and I am so happy to relinquish the throne to her.

Likewise, there are many people, both past and present, that I would like to give thanks to for being such supportive people. For the sake of space (and time, since this isn’t the Grammy Awards) I won’t list all the names, but if you have worked with me on The Mainstream, you know who you are. You guys were always so understanding and appreciative of me, and I thank you for that.

I greatly appreciate both Melinda as well as Dave for working with my crazy schedule. I want to give a shout out to Deborah Whitaker and Nickie Bartram. Deborah no longer works at UCC but was the best academic adviser I have ever had. She helped me through the toughest of times. Nickie is the craziest fitness freak who taught me the word of advice I leave at the end of this letter. She has helped me grow as a person and that continually reminds me to do the same for others.

As I write this farewell letter, I reflect on everything I have experienced here at UCC. I realize that, although it was a lot of work, becoming the Managing Editor of The Mainstream was one of the best decisions I made. It has opened many doors of opportunity, not only within the media writing spectrum but in life in general.

One word of advice that I will leave is this: surround yourself with positive people. They truly make all the difference in your quality of life. I have experienced this firsthand because of The Mainstream crew and those I have met at UCC.

If I do move to Hawaii and go to UHM, though I will be 2,500 miles away, a part of my heart will always stay here at UCC tucked away in The Mainstream.