Skip to content

Lights Campus Action

So, I just sat in the Journalism lab for the last time as a student. Our Publications class worked hard throughout the semester to put together a magazine on entertainment around town and on campus. We put together the online version and a print version and now it’s all over. [:

Hey, here it is.


Personal Press Kit

As part of a social media class I’m taking at IUP–taught by the wonderful Dr. Michele Papakie–we were assigned to put together a personal press kit. This is the first time I’ve done something of this nature, but it was a lot of fun, and I got to use my knowledge of layout and design to make it simple and informative, while still visually pleasing.

Check it out: Press Kit

This press kit was done using Scribus, which I’ve reviewed and discussed here.

Cute and Creative!

I’ve seen graphics like this before, and it’s always been something that has intrigued me. I’m not an avid reader of these magazines–far from it–but I like to keep my eye on things. This is something that I found over at and I have yet to determine who is the actual creator of these images, but I want to give them “mad props.” Not only are these faux magazine covers clever and creative, but they’re something that a huge part of my generation can respect, regardless of what magazines we read.

They’re not perfect replicas, of course. Since these Disney princesses aren’t real people, it’s not like the creator of the graphics can just call them up and do a photo shoot. But taking that aside, here’s the comparison of the mock-ups to some actual magazine covers. It’s really impressive!




Are you into video games?

I am! I firmly believe that video games can and should be considered an art form. One game in particular has had my heart since it’s release in November of last year–

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. 

You may find yourself asking why I’m talking about this, and I can understand your confusion. What is the point of an aspiring graphic design editor posting something about a video game? The fact of the matter is, I love Skyrim so much that I, along with a friend, decided to create and run a blog devoted to it!

The blog, hosted on the ever popular tumblr, is called Skyrim Problems. The name may sound like something a whiney, adolescent gamer who hates TES would come up with, but in truth, it’s just the opposite. At our blog, you’ll find hundreds of posts, each one with a unique “problem” or quirk that only avid Skyrim fans can relate to. We currently have 420 problems and 4,703 followers.

The afore mentioned problems come from the afore mentioned followers! As moderators of the blog, we open up our submission box to anyone and everyone who has something they want to share about the game. Be it something that made them rage-quit and throw the controller across the room, or some minor glitch that causes major chaos, you can submit.

Because we use a queue to keep the posts steady and spread out, we often get dozens of the same problem from multiple different users. As a moderator of the blog, it’s my job to make sure that we don’t post any repeats. I also make sure to route out the nonsensical problems. We’re open to any submission, but if it just doesn’t make sense, or is unintelligible, then chances are it will not be posted.

I encourage you to check out the blog if you’re in any way interested in TES. Even if you haven’t played Skyrim, we have a list of affiliate blogs that we’re friends with. Give them a look-see, as well!

Discovering my reason for pinning

I know I just made a post, and this one will be brief, I promise. I just had to share that I think I’ve finally found my perfect use for the huge, new social media site: pinterest

I was doing my usual before-bed rounds to all my social media sites, and almost forgot to go to the newest one. I navigated quickly to it, thinking I wouldn’t be there long, since I still wasn’t sure what I was doing there to begin with. It took one minute of scrolling through the pinners I follow to make me realize why I was there and what I would do in the future. 

Type. Font. Layout. Design

There are tones of boards on pinterest dedicated to these areas of creativity. Some of the pins that I saw were creative on a level that I wouldn’t have imagined. Needless to say, what was supposed to be three minutes of scrolling down the main page turned into an hour of searching for new boards to follow. 

My professors, since day one of college, have been telling me that if you want to do something like write, you have to read. You have to know what’s out there if you want to be good at something. But if you don’t trust them, it was Stephen King who said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” 

The same goes for graphic design and typography. Now, I have a quick, beautiful way to keep up with current trends in this industry. Not only that, I can share my own designs, or designs that I absolutely love. 

Pinterest. I think we can make this work. 

Writer’s Rights

I’m currently taking a class called You Have Rights. Our latest project was to develop a reading list of scholarly articles that focused on a specific rights issue that we had not and would not discuss in class. For this project, I chose to focus on the rights of the author, publisher, and editor. These are all fields that I am very interested, so getting a project that allowed me–forced me–to sink my teeth into the dense legal material was actually pretty refreshing. 

I learned a lot of interesting things. For instance, some academic journals don’t allow contributing articles to title their own work. Instead, the editors of the journal will decide a title. I was genuinely surprised to learn this. I know that in a newspaper it is unlikely that a reporter will ever write the headline, for most papers.

This isn’t a newspaper, though. This isn’t a story that comes in one day and is forgotten when “the next big thing” happens. No, this is a scholarly article that obviously means a whole lot to the author. They are likely to devout an extended period of time to this piece of work because it’s important to them. Then for the editor to take away naming rights from the author?

I know sometimes authors of scholarly articles will actually ask for someone else to name their piece. Sometimes the editor knows what’s better. But not every time. There have been several cases where the title of the article, as written by the editor, was misleading and did not accurately represent the article or the author. As someone who has done research and devoted months to a scholarly project, I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be smacked in the face with someone renaming my work. 

But that’s just me. If anyone wants, I can upload the annotated reading list that I developed for my class. All of the articles I found were on my college’s library database. 


Journalistic Writing Samples

This section shows my skills at writing in various journalistic styles. As an editor, I think this section is important because it shows that I can be unbiased in my writing, while still engaging the reader.

This section includes four feature profiles, each one about a very different, unique individual. The first profile is of Dr. SJ Miller, of IUPs English department, highlighting his life and accomplishments. The other three profiles are of my peers. The first, on Brianna Buynak, is unlike the others in that it is a piece about her done in a creative way that really showcases my use of language. Whereas, the following two profiles on Mark Anderson and Alycia King, are personality profiles done in a limited amount of time, focusing on career and educational goals of the individuals. All four profiles not only show my strengths as a writer, but also my ability to work and communicate with others.

The following three pieces in this section cover events in IUPs 6:00 Series program. I included these pieces because they show my ability to pay attention to detail, both of the guest speaker and the audience.

Finally, the last piece in this section is an example of a breaking news story involving crime reporting, which I included in this portfolio to emphasize my diversity in writing.

Short Review: The Child Thief by Brom

I came into The Child Theif with the understanding that Peter was a villain and a tyrant. The book was first brought to my attention in my British Literature class that focused on childrens’ tales of the Victorian era. The primary readings for the course were the Alice stories of Lewis Carrol and Barrie’s Peter tales. Someone in the class did a project on Peter Pan adaptations, and that is how I learned of Brom’s fantastic novel.

**Possible spoilers

As I said, I came into the story with the predetermined notion of Peter’s villainy. Brom himself, in the author’s note, remarks on the evil nature of the boy eternal. And whereas I can see the argument, I cannot stand by it. There were several decisions made by the author that made me dislike the route the story took, but I cannot say that they ruined anything for me.

For one, if I were in a situation similar to half of the Devils–Cricket’s included–I would gladly fight Avalon’s war. As a child, I was so in love with the idea that magic existed. I still hold true to some shadow of these beliefs, so is it so hard to believe that they didn’t truly want to be there? None of them? Did Peter really poison their minds with his infections smile? I guess if the the author says so, that’s how it goes. But I don’t like that idea. I don’t like it at all. I would have fought, willingly. All Peter would have had to do was nudge me along.

Aside from that, this book was amazing, beautiful. It took me on a journey, the likes of which I haven’t traveled since I first went to Narnia. Albeit, a different kind of journey for certain. I highly recommend this book if you believe in magic and would follow Peter to wherever his Neverland happened to be.

Newsletter Sample 1

This is a sample of a newsletter that I created (Using Scribus!) for Women’s Studies Club at IUP. The content for this sample is not as important as the layout and design. I had to make a newsletter for class, and decided that I wanted to actually make one that could be used, unlike my other newsletter sample, which was solely done for the design. Everything in the newsletter was either written by me, public domain, or obtained via permissions.

I’m still learning, but I absolutely love this kind of thing. Tell me what you think!

WSC Newsletter [Sample]