Meet the New Editor-in-Chief: Yaasmeen Piper

Photo Credit/ Adam Lambert Piper looks forward to becoming editor-in-chief next year.

By Ryan McFadden

News Editor

From soft-spoken book lover to editor-in-chief of the Stroud Courier, the trajectory of Yaasmeen Piper’s professional career features boundless potential and attained achievement.

Piper is currently a sophomore at East Stroudsburg University, majoring in English and concentrating in professional media writing.

She has a passion for journalism and a dedication to improvement. Piper was awarded the Robert C. Walker III Scholarship last Tuesday for her journalistic efforts over the past year.

Starting in second grade, the desire to imagine and write stories exemplified Piper’s public-school experience. She was a huge fan of the “Goosebumps” series. Reading those books influenced the style of storytelling that first attracted the new editor-in-chief to journaling.

“We would have ‘journal time’ and we were supposed to write about how our day was,” said Piper. “Instead I wrote fictional stories about ghosts in the school and the teachers actually being zombies.”

These early interests helped shape the young writer’s identity in the classroom as a dreamer, and deep thinker.

They also directed her intellectual pursuits toward journalism. Soft-spoken, and in love with books, Piper found that her voice expressed on the blank page fits naturally with her personality.

“I was always a bit soft-spoken and writing finally gave me a voice,” said Piper. “Through journalism I feel as though I can give others a voice as well or at least give them a platform to share their story.”

Piper was elected editor-in-chief of the Stroud Courier by the club’s members and will assume full responsibilities starting next semester.

Currently, Piper is assistant editor-in-chief to Samantha Werkheiser, a graduating senior who spent the past year in the Courier’s highest position, training Piper along the way.

“There  is  truly  no  better  fit  for  this  position  than  Yaasmeen, ” Werkheiser said. “Her  leadership  and  journalism  skills  have  grown  so  much  in  her  time  here. She  is  an  extremely  passionate  and  intelligent  individual. The  Stroud  Courier  will  be  in  good  hands,  and  I’m  sure  she’ll  continue  to  do  great  things  with  the  paper.”

Piper believes the Stroud Courier is in the perfect position to deliver breaking news to the students of  East Stroudsburg University.

Establishing the Courier as a “go-to place for campus news” is one of the objectives Piper seeks to accomplish in her time as Editor-in-Chief.

She also sees ESU’s student paper as the premier platform for its students to show their writing skills.

“Students  witness  everything  first  hand  so  sometimes  students  are  the  ones  who  discover  the  breaking  news,”  said  Piper.

“What I hope for the Stroud Courier is that it becomes a go-to place for campus news and a place for student  to show their writing skills.”

The skills Piper brings to the Editor-in-Chief position have been developed over a lifetime of reading and writing.

A  knack  for  delving  through  details  and  analyzing  critical  nuances  within  written  stories  have  always  been  staples  of  Piper’s  repertoire.

The  aspiring  journalist’s  reading  schedule  includes  at  least  40  books  per  year.  Now  at  the  Stroud  Courier,  Piper’s  potential  is  being  fulfilled,  one  issue  at  a  time.

“I  was  the  former  A&E  Editor,  so  I  know  how  the  newspaper  works,”  said  Piper. “I  also  worked  with  all  the  editors  before,  so  I  know  their  vices  and  virtues. I  also  have  a  lot  of  experience  in  writing  and  editing  so  I  can  make  sure  not  only  does  our  paper  look  good,  but  our  writers  are  learning  as  well.”

On  the  grounds  of  a  college  campus,  in  a  nation  where  social  justice  issues  are  widely  publicized,  a  student  paper  can  represent  the  voices  of  students  the  rest  of  the  nation  might  not  have  heard  from,  yet.

The  responsibilities  held  by  the  press  in  this  situation  are  taken  with  great  esteem  by  Piper.

Over  the  past  semester  as  Assistant  editor-in-chief,  Piper  has  written  stories  such  as,  “Welsh  Apologizes  to  Davis-Boone,  Suspects  in  Stabbing  Now  Identified  and  Queens  of  Color  Tackle  Societal  Issues:  Students  Create  Support  Group  for  Black  Women”.

Overall,  Piper  covers  a  diverse  range  of  news  topics.  Piper  is  now  the  third  woman  in  a  row  to  manage  the  Stroud  Courier  from  the  editor-in-chief  position.

She  follows  a  long-line  of  dedicated  editors  hoping  to  find  work  in  the  changing  landscape  of  journalism. Piper  hopes  to  work  for  either  the  New  York  Times,  New  Yorker  or  Teen  Vogue/Vogue  after  graduating  from  ESU. Balancing  classes  with  editor-in-chief  duties  takes  time  but  Piper  has  her  priorities  set  and  her  objectives  identified.

“I  really  love  the  Stroud  Courier  and  for  me  it  always  comes  first,  and  I  think  the  editors  really  see  that,”  said  Piper. “I  want  what’s  best  for  the  paper  but  also  for  my  editors  and  writers.”

Email Ryan at:

rmcfadden5@live.esu.edu

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