Staffers of the Week: Mary Nancy Walter and Danny Funt

As the semester comes to a close, Mary Nancy Walter and Danny Funt have seen the end of their terms as general manager and editor-in-chief, respectively. As a freshman writer starting at The Hoya, I certainly can see why so many look up to these Hoya legends. Both Mary and Danny seem perpetually calm and collected and – more importantly –  they always look fresh and fly. In fact, here’s how fresh they really are:
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Name Mary Nancy Walter
School College
Year 2014
Major German with Business Coursework
Hometown Louisville, Ky.
Position on The Hoya  General Manager

Why were you named staffer of the week?
For a year spent in the role of general manager, leading the publishing division [of The Hoya]. But it really wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing staff of my division.

What is your favorite part about working for The Hoya?

Being surrounded by our incredibly smart and diverse staff who challenged and inspired me every day.

If you were going to write an autobiography, what would it be titled?

This is a tough one. I think I would go with “Hot Coals,” which references one of the best pieces of advice that my father has given me: “Let your kindness rain down on them like hot coals.”

What are you going to miss the most about being general manager?
Being able to spend time with the publishing division staffers and helping them out with some really awesome projects. Having my own desk was a nice perk.

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Name Danny Funt
School College
Year 2014
Major Government and Philosophy
Hometown Carmel, Calif.
Position on The Hoya Editor-in-Chief

Why were you named staffer of the week?
I concluded my yearlong term as EIC on Nov. 23.

What is your favorite part about working for The Hoya?

When I joined The Hoya as a freshman, my game plan was to write a bunch of articles by myself without having to deal with the rest of the staff. Over time, I realized how incredibly misguided that was. Looking back on my term as EIC, all of our accomplishments – from development of the Business Page to the GUSA Poll or the Game Issue – required a significant group effort. Given my mindset when I started, I’m proud that I achieved what I did without needing to receive Staffer of the Week before this.

If you had to choose a theme song for your life, what would it be?

“We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters. Despite all the good fortune I’ve had and great memories I’ve made, I like to think that the best is yet to come. That’s not greediness, it’s just a sense of potential for self-improvement. People say that college is the best days of our lives. I hope it prepares us for that time. Also, Karen Carpenter has the voice of an angel.

What are you going to miss the most about being editor-in-chief?

I’ll miss shaking hands with every senior editor after submitting each issue at 2 a.m. As opinion editor last fall, I stressed too much about what could be better, and I did that a lot early on as EIC, too. Yet when I look back on this experience in five or 10 years, I won’t remember bad headlines, copy errors or weak articles, and I probably won’t remember most of the things we did well, either. I’ll remember the teammates who made all those times so special. That shared experience is what I’ll miss the most.

Staffers of the Week: Chris, Taylor and Many Office “Faces”

taylor chrisOnce a week, The Hoya recognizes a staffer that has done a particularly awesome job – now you can get to know about them too. As part of our Leavey 421 series, we’ll be posting quick interviews with each Staffer of the Week! In a special turn of events– poetic justice? divine intervention?– one of our staffers is celebrating his birthday today. Happy birthday, Chris! Keep up your fantastic work for The Hoya!

Names Chris Bien
Schools College
Years 2014
Majors Political Economy
Hometowns Los Altos Hills, CA
Positions on the Hoya Contributing Editor (former senior photo editor)

Names Taylor Wan
Schools College
Years 2016
Majors Computer Science
Hometowns New York, NY
Positions on the Hoya Web Manager (former resident female techie)

Why did you earn staffer of the week? 

Chris: I think credit first has to be given to the staff for doing a lot of work on the Faces campaign. All of the photographers and recorders worked hard in making sure we had enough people for the project. Also, Lauren Weber (former Chair of the Board) and Connor Gregoire (former Editor in Chief) for organizing the charge, while the tech team made sure the website looked sick. What I did was go through the pictures we had and make sure the matched the names and info, then resized the photos for the poster and online, and then laid them out while making sure the info and pictures were prepped and ready to go to the right people for them to do their part. It took a long time but it was worth it.

Taylor: I made and helped launch the website for the Many Faces project. I don’t know him very well, but I have a feeling Chris is going to be modest in his description, so I’m just adding this: Chris went through and made edits to every photo on the project multiple times so that they would all be formatted the same, without complaint. That’s 224 photos, and he finished everything in a day, which is simply amazing. He also offered to come to the office to help find files I needed at the last minute, and was up until 3am the night before the site launched, helping sort out last minute kinks.

What is your favorite part about working for The Hoya?

Chris: My favorite part of working at The Hoya is simply the people. While it’s cool to be able to cover cool speakers, interesting events and shoot basketball games, it’s the diversity and the personalities of the people on The Hoya that make it so much fun. I consider many of the people I’ve worked with my close friends and I’ve learned and grown a lot because of them. When you end up spending 20 or more hours a week with these guys, it’s impossible to not appreciate what they’ve done and their impact on you.

Taylor: The people! Everyone is fun, quirky and wonderful to work with. Also, someone always brings some sort of gummies to the meetings…

What was your favorite part about working on the Faces project?

Chris: My favorite part was working with Connor and Lauren on Sunday night until 6am laying out the posters and Facebook-stalking people to make sure we got the right person. It definitely felt like old times in the office when we were all in editor positions.

Taylor: The Faces project was definitely a great learning experience. I got to work with a lot of unfamiliar web-making code that I honestly still don’t completely understand, and I also got to meet a lot of great people in the process. Moreover, I pretty much just implemented the best stalking tool invented since Facebook… I’m going to have a lot more of those awkward “I-think-I’ve-seen-you-before-but-I-have-no-idea-where” moments after scrolling through all those photos and names.

As you probably already know, Hunter Main is our new Managing Editor, and you were his first selections as Staffers of the Week. How would you describe #1- Hunter’s hair and #2 Hunter’s fashion sense?

Chris: I must say, Hunter’s hair has a very nice “swoosh” to the side that very appropriately fits his fashion sense. Of course, I have no sense of fashion so I think Hunter’s fashion will always beat my laid-back Cali-ness.

Taylor: I’ve actually only seen Hunter maybe twice in my life, but I’m gonna go with dark Justin Bieber hair or quirky preppy-snazzy?

If you had to make a movie about The Hoya office, what would it be called, who would you cast – and why? (Author’s Note: this final question was slightly altered for Chris and Taylor. Though a bit different, their answers are nonetheless thoroughly entertaining and long.)

Chris: If I had to name The Hoya movie, I’d call it “The Black Hole” because you enter the organization as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman, eager to take on whatever the editors give you. Then, by the time you transition out, you feel like the life has been sucked out of you because of all the work you’ve put in it and realize you feel empty inside without The Hoya filling that void.

Since I’m old, I am going to cast the senior eds that I worked with:

So for EIC Connor, I would cast Danny Tanner from Full House as since we would always call him “Dad” in the office and you would hate to disappoint him.

Opinion Editor Katherine Foley would be Kate Middleton, cause Katherine is the Duchess of Delaware.

Executive Editor Upasana Kaku would be Michelle Rodriguez because she is a boss and can dole out the pain if you didn’t do what you were supposed to do.

Managing Editor Suzanne Fonzi would be Pam from The Office cause she was the voice of reason when the office got rowdy.

Campus Editor Mariah Byrne would be Claire Dunphy from Modern Family because she’s always on top of everything when taking care of the section.

City Editor Sarah Kaplan is Katie Couric cause she always got down to the bottom of those stories.

Layout Editor Remy Samuels would be Julia Child/Martha Stewart cause seriously, the things that Remy makes are literally heavenly.

Sports Editor Pat Curran would be Seth Rogan cause both are lovable guys who love to make jokes.

Guide Steven Piccione would be Adrian Monk cause he seems to always have a solution to a problem while liking things a particular way.

Copy Chief Sam Randazzo would be Heidi Klum cause her fashion sense is ridiculously awesome.

Blog Editor Michelle Cassidy would be a llama, cause she is one.

And Jon Rabar would naturally be James Bond. But not a Daniel Craig James Bond, more like Sean Connery James Bond, because Jon is more of a suave Bond than your rough-and-tumble Bond.

If you had to make a movie about The Hoya office, what would it be called, and which celebrities would you have play Danny Funt and Mary Nancy Walter — and why?

Taylor: Umm… some sort of musical comedy, maybe titled “The Publisher and the Published?” Also disclaimer: I stink at matching people to celebrities, so I’m just going to go with Daniel Radcliffe and Jennifer Lawrence. (Editor’s note: this is beyond hilarious to me).

Photo: Many Faces/The Hoya

An Interview with the New Chair of the Board

60566_10200176222313622_1508792366_nLast week, after a vote of the senior staff members, The Hoya was proud to announce that Evan Hollander would be the 2013-2014 Chair of the The Hoya Board of Directors. To get to know Evan and his exciting new plans for Georgetown’s newspaper of record, here’s what Evan had to say about The Hoya, his favorite memories on the paper and, of course, his home state of Kentucky.

Name Evan Hollander
School
SFS
Year
2014
Major International Politics
Hometown Lousiville, KY
Positions held on The Hoya Deputy Sports Editor, Senior Sports Editor, Member of the Board of Directors

What has been your favorite part about working for The Hoya?

Growing up in Louisville, I’ve been passionate about college basketball since about the time I could walk and talk. The chance to cover Georgetown’s basketball team, including travelling up and down the East Coast for its tournament appearances this season, has been the most exciting thing about working for The Hoya.

What is your favorite Hoya office experience?

There are some I can’t remember and there are some I’ll never forget, but I keep those pretty close to the vest. One of the most ridiculous, without question, was the time Emory Wellman (former Layout Editor), Jon Rabar (former General Manager) and I chased a bird out of the office, eventually trapping it in a trash can to fling it out the window. When Mary Nancy Walter (current General Manager) came in as we were chasing the bird around, it’s safe to say she was quite confused.

This year you served on the Board of Directors. What was the experience like? What were the most memorable moments?

The Board is a great institution made up of some great people and we had a lot of fun over the last semester. I’m especially proud of the work we did revamping personnel, and I’m really excited to see the results of our work on the Faces campaign (which launches next week! #shamelessselfpromotion). One of the most memorable moments was our impromptu trip to Booey’s for a lengthy meeting. There’s nothing quite like having a two-hour powwow in the middle of a deli.

If you had to pick someone on the Board to have his/her own reality TV show, who would it be and what would his/her show be called?

Without a doubt, it would be Lauren Weber (current Chair of the Board). Anyone who has encountered her ridiculousness knows that her show would feature her frequent loud declarations, and a play off of CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, would definitely be in order.

Describe your goals and vision for The Hoya under your leadership as Chair.

The Chair has a big role in shaping the strategic vision for The Hoya, and there are a couple directions we are going with that.

First, we want to make sure that our staffers get the most out of our experience, so we are planning to launch more training and mentoring for new hires in the fall. We offer some of the best experiences on campus, and we owe it to our staff to help nurture them as they help make our product great.

Second, The Hoya should strive to be the best news source at Georgetown in print and on the Internet, and we plan to continue to improve our online presence. That includes creating a new position of online editor, which will be filled by the very capable Victoria Edel (current Managing Editor). We will also be rolling out a new email newsletter and a mobile app in the fall — I think the response to these will be great.

Finally, one of the best parts about The Hoya is the connection with the people who came before us. Our corporate development department, led by rock star Mariah Byrne, is working on a plan to renew outreach to alumni and we have a digitization plan in the pipeline.

These are all really exciting initiatives and I hope we can see them through to execution this year!

What are your three favorite things about Kentucky?

1. The passion, excitement and revelry surrounding the Kentucky Derby at the beginning of May.
2. Cheering for basketball’s best team — tied with the Hoyas, naturally — the Louisville Cardinals.
3. Enjoying a bowl of burgoo in the shade on a spring day at Lexington’s Keeneland Race Course.

Lastly, would you rather have an unlimited supply of the most quality, expensive, delicious bourbon you could imagine or resurrect Ted Kennedy for one day and spend it with him?

Having read a lot about Ted Kennedy, I imagine that a day with him would end with a limitless supply of bourbon — after I’m 21, of course.