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Faces of New Paltz

Andrew Wyrich

Past Faces of New Paltz
Amie Staley
Elizabeth Sydney

Major: Journalism
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2013
Midland Park, New Jersey
Editor-in-Chief, the New Paltz Oracle

Have there been any stories you’ve covered for the Oracle that stand out for you? 
The best sports story I ever wrote was interesting and kind of moving. It was my first real experience with a big story that was impactful to me. A freshman recruit for the tennis team from Michigan had overcome stage two Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was a child. I got to do a profile piece on her and how she overcame that huge obstacle in her life, and how it drove her to continue playing tennis. She described to me the first time she walked onto the field after going through all this treatment, and it was so interesting. It was the first moment, for me, that I decided this is something I really want to do. I want to be able to tell these kinds of stories to people. It was really inspiring.

What are some of the strides you’ve made with incorporating technology such as the Web and social media into the Oracle?
When I joined the Oracle, the editors at the time really wanted to build an online presence and make it comparable to something that locals would be able to get in town, like the New Paltz Times. Our hard work paid off in 2010: We won a Society of Professional Journalists Award for the best college website in the northeast, and one of the top three in the country. In 2010, I moved into management and I wanted to keep that online presence. I think it’s a great way to build exposure for the highly connected New Paltz students and the local area.
In terms of Facebook, we’ve been working on ways to get more “likes” so people will see the stories that we post. We’ve done contests – we gave away wristbands to the local O-Positive Festival, we’ve given away tickets to see Andrew Bird. We are definitely trying to use social media to get the stories that we write to readers who might not necessarily be on campus or in the middle of town to pick up the paper. And it’s been working. We’ve been looking at the site analytics, and Facebook is a huge help.

Why did you decide to attend New Paltz?
I get that question a lot coming from New Jersey. To be honest, I’ve always really wanted to be a reporter. I’ve always, even as a little kid, woke up and read the newspaper. I think I read the newspaper in class in high school more than I actually paid attention. But I came here because I recognized this area as very passionate about a wide, wide range of topics. I came here because I wanted to be able to tell those stories and put myself in a position, as a reporter, to see what’s going on and tell people what’s going on. I think that everyone here has a wide variety of opinions about things that are unique to this area.

New Paltz is a place for you to learn and become a part of something that you’re passionate about. For me, that was The Oracle. It’s been a defining experience in my time here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s been incredibly rewarding.

Know any outstanding students, faculty/staff members, or alumni? Let us know!