The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The ‘Write’ stuff: A&M Student Media announces 2024-25 leadership

Meet the new editors of The Battalion, Aggieland Yearbook, Maroon Life magazine
The+Editor-in-Chiefs+of+The+Aggieland+Yearbook%2C+The+Battalion%2C+and+Maroon+Life+magazine+pose+for+a+photo+in+The+Battalion+office+studio+on+Wednesday%2C+May+1%2C+2024.+%28Chris+Swann%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Chris Swann
The Editor-in-Chiefs of The Aggieland Yearbook, The Battalion, and Maroon Life magazine pose for a photo in The Battalion office studio on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

Texas A&M Student Media is proud to announce its new editors-in-chief of its three publications.

Neuroscience freshman Amy Leigh Steward has been selected as the summer and 2024-25 academic year editor-in-chief of The Battalion. Once current editor-in-chief and journalism junior Zoe May steps down, May will lead the newest standalone publication, Maroon Life magazine. Journalism junior Cara Hudson, who previously served as design editor, will head the Aggieland Yearbook as editor-in-chief.

This semester, Steward has served as an editor for the Life & Arts desk, and as she steps into her next role, she said her main goal is to increase community engagement with readers and local Bryan-College Station residents.

“More than anything, I want people to know that this is their paper,” Steward said. “In our very first issue, back in 1893, the editors addressed the readers by saying: ‘This paper is yours. Make it something.’ Everything I hope to do ties back to that.”

Although Steward isn’t a journalism student, she believes a diverse newsroom with a variety of majors helps incorporate more perspectives into The Battalion’s coverage. While her chemistry jokes don’t land nearly as well in the newsroom, as she put it, Steward said her peers are incredible and hopes to support their talents.

“They’re really the ones running the newspaper — my main job is to help them do theirs,” Steward said. “Besides, I’ve always believed the core of science is collaboration, communication and helping each other understand the world we live in. What’s journalism if not that?”

In her three years at The Battalion, May was an editor for the Sports desk, and previously a sports writer. Her time as the 2023-24 editor-in-chief has prepared her to take on the biggest challenge of her student media career: building a brand-new organization and its staff.

Maroon Life was a Battalion special section since 2017, but it has officially become a standalone magazine this year. While there’s still work to be done, May said she’s ready to recruit new people and use her skills in a new medium.

“I know we have a lot of work to do to make this a new org,” May said. “We’re just really excited to get it started and build our team, our place and get our content out there for everybody to share, see and connect with new people.”

Now that Maroon Life can build its own staff, May is building a strong foundation by instilling a strong sense of teamwork. May said she wants to recruit a variety of creatives who have a variety of experience.

However, Maroon Life isn’t the only publication that has been working to build up its staff.

Incoming Aggieland Yearbook editor-in-chief Hudson said her time as design editor was a perfect balance of leading designers and working with writers, helping them create award-winning work. After she found out she was selected as editor-in-chief, Hudson said she began creating plans for improvement in all areas.

Hudson’s biggest goal is the continue growing the publication and its staff.  Since Hudson has joined, Aggieland Yearbook’s team has grown from one to 12 staff members in the past year.

“I feel like with a year as an editor under my belt, I have a good handle on how things run and what we can do to grow as a publication for next year,” Hudson said. “… I think all of our staff members are excited to have opportunities for growth.”

Associate Director of Student Media Spencer O’Daniel is the adviser for all three publications. O’Daniel shared high praise of Steward, May and Hudson for their ability to lead.

“While each of these driven young ladies carries different media and journalism experience, they all share the same traits that are ideal as a student media leader here in our program,” O’Daniel said. “All three are coachable, trail-blazing in approach, competitive, approachable and really are invested in what’s best for The Battalion, Maroon Life and The Aggieland.”

Likewise, each new leader said there is a shared admiration for each other.

While Steward hasn’t been with The Battalion for very long, May said she thinks her Steward is incredibly talented and ready to take on the role.

“She’s already going around around talking to everybody and getting to know everything she can before she takes them into the position,” May said. “I think that it’s really admirable of anybody to acknowledge the gaps in your own knowledge and abilities and find ways to fill those gaps … [by gaining] new insights and perspectives.”

When Hudson met May, Hudson said she has felt inspired by her confidence, which makes her want to be better too.

“I had no doubts when she started showing interest in moving over to the magazine that she would make a great leader,” Hudson said. “People gravitate toward her. It’s not just because she’s a good leader, but also just a great person. I remember having a class with her before I ever considered joining Student Media and she intimidated me so much at the beginning because she exudes confidence and her talent speaks for itself.”

Steward said she has faith that both May and Hudson will continue the legacies of A&M’s newest and long-standing publications.

With Maroon Life finally standing on its own two feet, I know Zoe is going to do everything she can to establish it as its own entity. With the amount of hard work and changes that has gone into the yearbook this past year, Cara and the Aggieland team are going to use that momentum to travel far. It’s a whole new era in Student Media, and I can’t wait to see it.”

— Amy Leigh Steward, Incoming editor-in-chief of The Battalion

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About the Contributors
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
Chris Swann
Chris Swann, Photo Chief
Chris is a Journalism junior from Winnsboro, TX. Chris served as the Social Media Manager and Assistant Photo Chief prior to becoming Photo Chief for The Battalion’s photo desk. Before transferring to A&M in the Fall of 2023, Chris spent two years at Tyler Junior College, where he was Photo and Design editor for their student media, The DrumBeat. He is expected to graduate in May of 2026.
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  • M

    Mike Mecke '61May 10, 2024 at 12:47 pm

    You have got to be kidding us! Those are three College Station 9th graders, right? hahaha Good bull.

    Reply
  • M

    Michelle HastingsMay 9, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    Woot woot Amy

    Reply