Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Isabella MacKinnon: The next page

Florence Shen | Assistant Photo Editor

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches — “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story — to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

There’s a lot to be said for joining student orgs in college that align with your career aspirations. However, there’s also a lot to be said for trying something totally different. For sticking with an opportunity you land in by chance and for seeing where something new might take you, no matter the unconventional working hours it may demand. It might just be the perfect fit. 

The design section of The Hatchet is that something for me. At the start of an isolated freshman year, I applied to The Hatchet and checked the boxes of nearly every section. I wanted to write, but mostly I was just eager to get involved. So, when I received an email from the design section, I downloaded Adobe InDesign to my laptop and started to learn how to lay out pages. I had found this task extremely tedious while working for my high school newspaper, but I was happy to have something to do.

Nearly four years later, I look back at my time at The Hatchet with an overwhelming sense of my own luck. Grace Miller and I had never met in person when I was hired to be her contrib, and we could not have known how much precious time we would devote to this section together during the next three volumes. Basketball fonts, divisive forays into culture writing and many googled InDesign tutorials colored my first year, and when I had the opportunity to fill Grace’s role while she studied abroad, I leapt at the chance to spend even more time in the basement on Sundays. I was excited to have found my footing and now, 41 issues later, I could not be more grateful that this is where I landed. 

The world of print design is shrinking and the novelty of this job was never lost on me as I spent my Sunday nights fine-tuning the presentation of dozens of articles and photographs that would likely garner more viewers when they were published online. I have gained an eternal appreciation for print media, not just because I owe my college experience to it, but because I see it as the physical manifestation of all the hard work that I am privy to each week. 

Framed front pages of The Hatchet bearing some of the most historic moments at this University hang on the walls of our townhouse and it has been thrilling to watch the monumental storytelling of this generation of The Hatchet continue to grace the pages of papers that are spread across our campus each week. My job has given me a backstage pass to the mind-meld of profoundly talented journalists working to uphold that standard of telling the right stories in the right way and it is an honor to help immortalize their work. The pages that I got to put together would not have existed without the dedication of each reporter, writer, editor, fact checker, photographer and graphic designer and I am so grateful to each and every one of them.

When I tell people about my long Sunday nights, I tend to get more than a few raised eyebrows. I have done this job because I enjoy designing for print, but mainly I have done it because of the people I’ve written about here. You all are the loveliest, most talented group of individuals and your passion is contagious. I had the fortune of spending countless hours in the basement of a fragile townhouse with many of you weekly for two and a half years, and I am all the better for it.

To those people…

Grace Miller: My Design Editor! You shouldered an immense responsibility when you took over design and ever since you have set the standards for the levels of creativity, attention to detail and levity that this position demands. You are such a fun person to be around and you have been instrumental in making the basement a place where everyone wants to spend their Sunday night. It’s a wonderful reminder of your legacy to see everyone piling in to work together each week for our last volumes and I was so pleased that you chose to stick around for many issues this year because Sunday prodos do not feel complete without you. While our alternating semesters abroad were a perfect arrangement, I so deeply loved sharing the design work of this section with you and I’m so grateful to have you as a friend whether we are hunched over the desktop or lunching in Edinburgh. Thank you for teaching me everything I know about design, you are and have always been the blueprint. 

Auden: We moved up to our positions at the same time and words cannot express how grateful I am that I had you at the computer next to me for every paper that I worked on. No matter how late it got you were there to commiserate with, to not get school assignments done with, and to get emotional over “Little Women” with and I loved every second of it. Thank you for all the tiffs, black and white swaps, game pictures and cutouts over the years. Thank you for your beautiful photography work, for creating the visual anchor for the most electric front pages I had the pleasure of laying out, and for doing my job for me while I ran off to the airport. You are my co-conspirator in the great feat of getting crosswords into The Hatchet and making them with you has been an all time highlight of my Hatchet career. Thank you to you (and your roommates) for all the times you’ve hosted, I have so much fun with you in the townhouse and even more fun out!

Florence Shen | Assistant Photo Editor

Jaden: If only our little freshman selves, sitting petrified in Italian could see us now! It was one thing for us to joke about the shared plight of the sections relegated to the basement and entirely another to watch the basement gang become a tight knit, section-bridging group over the years that we have been here. I could not be more pleased and I am so grateful to you for being a great person to be antisocial at Hatchet parties with and an even better friend. I spent many Sunday afternoons and evenings crying with laughter at something with you because, despite all the chaos, you have always had the most wonderful sense of humor about the work we were doing and it made it very easy to appreciate how fortunate we all were to be there. I would be so lucky to find something I am half as passionate about as you are about copy and while I don’t think I fully appreciated how much you took on when we started, I certainly can appreciate how much you do now! Grazie mille!!

Maura: While I was very happy for you to get your Sundays back this semester, I have missed your presence dearly! When we started out, I found making pages for guide issues incredibly daunting, however it quickly became my favorite part of the job because conspiring and creating with you through long Saturdays in the townhouse was such a joyful experience. And every page was always better with a few extra lines. Thank you for holding together design through both semesters of Volume 119 and for taking on a number of technical and organizational challenges calmly and with a great sense of humor. Beyond your meticulous pages, your beautiful cartoons, graphics and illustrations brought life to our pages and you carved out a brilliant space for the contributing design editor. 

Nicholas: I am so pleased to have two former members of design in management this year and this was the perfect role for you to take on after your powerhouse years as graphics editor. Your devotion to making this paper feel like a community for all involved has paid off in spades and whether it was cooking us Thanksgiving dinner or stringing festive holiday decorations throughout the townhouse, you constantly went above and beyond in the kindest ways. Your high spirits and comedic timing were a fixture of our basement years and your graphics enhanced every page they landed on. I’m so excited to see all that comes next for you!

An: I am constantly impressed by the range of visualizations and illustrations that you create for each paper and it took me exactly one attempt at using Adobe Illustrator for my already immense respect for your creative talents to multiply tenfold. You are such a kind, reassuring presence in visuals meetings and during guide prodos and I have enjoyed watching you make the section your own this year. I am so excited to see all the clever and expertly crafted icons and graphics fill the pages of many future guides!

Abby, Anusha and Mollie: I could not be more pleased for the three of you to be taking on the design section next year. You each have blown me away with your creativity, your intuition for page design and the speed with which you have picked up all the mysterious Hatchet design style intricacies. Thank you for coming back each week this fall to take pages, and for your dedication and hard work this spring. You guys have been so much fun to be around and it has been so exciting to watch you come into your own and start to advocate for the section. The three of you will be a wonderful breath of fresh air for the pages of the paper and I am so excited to see all that you do with it. Enjoy your time with design, I may be a little biased but I think it’s the best job on the paper. 

Nick Pasion: No amount of work, no matter how small, goes unnoticed by you and you are always first to extend recognition and thanks to the people around you. Your reactions to our designs did wonders for our morale and you have a well earned honorary design credit for pitching so many great ideas, including a front page layout that appeared in print multiple times this year! Whether you guys were materializing behind me to inflict some great change on the front page or tearing down the stairs after we sent you the basketball guide, I am grateful for the steadfast support and kindness you always gave us, and I was always so impressed with how calmly you dealt with every obstacle that Sunday night presented.

Zach: I think you’ve picked up enough InDesign knowledge to do my job at this point. Though design is a small part of this massive operation, throughout the madness of prodo each week you constantly afforded us your consideration and enthusiasm and we were always so incredibly grateful. Your willingness to go to bat for colors, become immersed in crossword clues and catch all the smallest details no matter how late pages were read was emblematic of the immense attention to detail and dedication that you gave the print editions, and the paper, and they were all the better for it each week. Thanks for letting us put a crossword in your paper!

Shea: I’ve missed seeing you in the townhouse every Sunday, but I’m so excited that you too got to break free for a semester! I’m beyond grateful that we found each other through this paper. You radiate warmth and you are so thoughtful and considerate to everyone you encounter. You deserve everything good that is coming your way and more, and I look forward to more dinners when you are back! You will always be my favorite Owens sister. 

Jenna and Nick Perkins: Design and culture has always been my favorite crossover and you both were an absolute joy to work with. From Wordle typography to cherry blossom petals, you guys had the best ideas and the guides from this year were consistently my favorite issues to make. I have always looked forward to our visuals meetings for the wacky and brilliant graphics pitches and to get to observe you guys work your culture magic. And, Jenna an extra thank you for all the wonderful opinions cartoons and graphics you contributed over the years, it’s been so nice to get to know you more this semester outside the townhouse!

Grace Chinowsky: It was an honor to provide you with a bit of calm via the guide pages on hectic nights and your excitement about all aspects of visuals has made me so incredibly excited for the future of this section, and for all of multimedia, next year. You have an excellent way of balancing great energy at prodo with remarkable talent and focus, and I wish you nothing but the best running the show next year. I know with absolute certainty that you will do amazing things!

Cristina and Faith: My Massachusetts girls! You are both endlessly talented and I had so much fun getting to know you more this year during the slower moments of Sunday nights. I was alway so impressed by your discerning eyes and entertained by your witty side remarks during page read, and I wish you both all the best next year — you guys will crush it!

Florence: Thank you so much for our 30 photos! They, like all of your work, turned out wonderfully and it was so much fun to see you in your element. 

To all section heads who have had to cut pages for me: Sorry!! I can’t imagine page cut is your favorite part of the night, but I’ve massively enjoyed getting a front seat view to the incredible writing and editing you guys put out. I appreciate your patience when I tell you I simply can’t fit three more words on the page and you’ll have to cut several more before the story will fit. 

Amanda and Nuria: While it’s been a while since we have worked on staff together, I am so grateful that The Hatchet brought me you two! Nuria, you were a trooper through insanely late night page cuts each week and I was completely blown away by the talent and time that you poured into your Basketball guide and the sports section on the whole. Amanda, you were the highlight of sitting in the back of the basement for staff meetings each week, and I was always thrilled to see the wonderfully creative videos you were crafting at the back computer. The physic medium video was an all timer. You are both so lovely and it’s so much fun to keep up on all the amazing things you are up to!

Grace Hromin: You gave Grace and I the warmest introduction to the basement during our first volume. When I barely knew anyone in the townhouse, I always knew I could chat with you which meant the world to me. I adored our walks, particularly when we hiked all the way to Adams Morgan for nonexistent holiday projections, and you were a sweet and wonderfully sarcastic presence during many of our first long nights. 

Olivia and Riley: While we only met over Zoom and we spent just a short time on the section together, we have referred back to your work countless times during our years and your introduction to design left us with invaluable instruction and big shoes to fill!

Lia and Jarrod: My two former EICs, you each marked incredible years for The Hatchet and great volumes to have been a part of design for. I am very grateful for your kindness and hard work, and I wish you all the best!

And outside the townhouse, Christina: I could not wrap up my time at The Hatchet without thanking you. Even though we have lived together for over three years, we can probably count the Sunday evenings we’ve spent together on one hand, but despite this you have remained my biggest supporter and a steadfast cheerleader of the papers I bring home. Thank you for rescuing me from outside the building at 5 a.m. when I forgot to bring my keys to prodo. You are the greatest gift that’s come from my time at GW and I don’t know where I’d be without you!

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet