June 23, 2017

Kerry Ryan McManus ’90

Editor-in-Chief 1989-1990

I absolutely loved being the Editor-in-Chief of The Cowl! I have so many happy memories of that part of my time at Providence College. Looking back now, holding that job while at the same time being a senior in college and thinking about my future was challenging—it wasn’t easy to do it all at the same time, and I recall pulling many all-nighters getting the newspaper ready for publication.  But, being in charge of putting out a quality college newspaper was great preparation for the real world, and it’s an experience I draw upon to this day. During my tenure as Editor-in-Chief, we modernized The Cowl by researching and selecting a new computer system for the staff to use during the year—I recall we went with Apple Macintosh computers, which was probably pretty groundbreaking at that time—and that was exciting. We were trained in a completely new way of working with copy, design, and layout, and the new system gave the staff much more flexibility and autonomy when putting the paper together.

Being Editor-in-Chief wasn’t always easy—my daily routine included managing deadlines and priorities, dealing with staff personalities and administration expectations—but the lessons I learned are lessons I carry with me to this day.

I recall when I was interviewing for the Editor-in-Chief position with then advisor Fr. J. Stuart McPhail, O.P., late in my junior year, I was told that I could either student teach (I was an English major and secondary education minor) OR be the Editor-in-Chief. My decision was easy—I really wanted to be Editor-in-Chief—and to this day, it’s a decision I’ve never regretted. I never did student teach, but I continue to write to this day, both in my career in children’s publishing and as a freelance writer, and I know The Cowl played a big part in my writing career. P.S., I still treasure my Cowl “gear”—despite the fact that they’re now vintage, I still wear my Cowl sweatshirt and jackets. (Or, my daughters wear them!)

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