Old Dominion University Alumni
The Mace & Crown student newspaper has an extensive alumni network working all over the world. We have records for 263 Mace alumni from 1960 to present. Don’t see your place of employment on the map? E-mail us at email@example.com, so that we can add you in!
Bernard Bergan, Software Engineer, Microsoft
I was always interested in the teamwork mentality of a newspaper outlet. I thought that working for the Mace & Crown would be a great opportunity to learn and combine my hobbies, photography and storytelling. I was a staff photographer and back then I had the latest camera. I had plenty of opportunities to photograph sports and various events on campus. The Mace was very innovative in that we were always trying to drive people back to our website and didn’t feel the need to operate in a silo. I enjoyed the teamwork and the deadline mentality has served me beyond the newsroom. The Mace has helped me in the sense that it’s an environment which allows for creativity within a particular set format. The Mace championed creativity while adhering to professional standards and continuous improvement. What really has stuck with me over the years is that you can be creative while having strict standards. While at ODU, I also worked with the campus police department as an intern and had an award-winning radio show at our campus radio station, WODU Studios.
Jessica Scheck, Deputy Clerk, City of Norfolk (2013-2014)
I joined the Mace & Crown because I wanted to get involved more on campus and wanted to know more about the various opportunities available to students. I started out as a staff writer, eventually making my way to become news editor. I really enjoyed my time because the Mace & Crown is a group of like-minded individuals who genuinely care about the student body and social issues. It gave me great skills and significantly improved my writing. It also helped me find a voice and have more confidence in myself as a leader and worker. While in college, I also worked at ODU ITS and the Perry Library. I really liked how the whole staff would hang out in the office and do homework together – it was strange and wonderful.
Vanessa Vennard, Associate Producer, MSNBC (2008-2010)
I had wanted to be a journalist since I was in the fifth grade. When I got accepted to ODU, my goal since day one was to get the most out of my journalism degree, and I knew writing for the Mace & Crown would be the best way to do that (you can only learn so much in the classroom). I started out a staff writer for the Mace, then worked my way up to being the entertainment editor and ultimately editor-in-chief during my senior year. My experience at the Mace was unbelievable. It was super challenging since it was essentially a full time job on top of being a full time student, not to mention the amount of responsibility that goes along with producing a student-run newspaper, but it was still to this day one of the most eye-opening journalistic experiences I’ve ever had. As a video producer on a live show at MSNBC, I’m constantly multi-tasking, which was one of the key skills I developed while I was editor-in-chief. Working for the Mace has also helped me develop my management skills, budgeting skills, writing, pitching and editing skills. The advisers and fellow student editors helped mold me into being a better, stronger writer. And, reading all my edits and reading letters to the editor has also helped me handle criticism better. I’m sure there were many strange experiences but only one really comes to mind! I got to interview a lot of bands while I was entertainment editor, which in itself was such an amazing experience. One lead singer I spoke with backstage at the NorVa was a chiropractor by day, and he actually adjusted my neck right after our interview (sounds crazy, but i have no regrets on this one!).
Matt Michalec, Assistant Athletic Director for Communication, Norfolk State University (1998-2002)
I knew since my senior year in high school that I wanted to major in journalism, so it was only natural for me to write for our student newspaper. Once I got acclimated to college life, I attended an interest meeting and got started right away. While at the Mace & Crown, I was a sportswriter for my first year and a half on the staff, then served as sports editor for my last year and a half with the paper. Working at the Mace was a very rewarding experience. I was surrounded by an ambitious and creative staff and worked under the leadership of two excellent journalism professors who helped mentor and guide us to put out a product that we were all proud of. Being in a leadership role helped prepare me for being in a leadership role in my full-time job after I graduated. Also, it enabled me to immerse myself in the world of collegiate athletics at a Division I university, so I knew how the business of collegiate athletics worked when I applied for my current position. While at the Mace, I also worked part-time in two roles for the Daily Press, as a freelance sportswriter and nightly sports clerk. The strangest experience I had was when myself and my editor, Chris Clay, had the fortune of attending the 2002 NCAA Mideast Regional in Milwaukee when the ODU women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 that year. We flew with the team to Milwaukee and back. I got sick from eating some bad airplane food on the way back after we lost to UConn in the Elite 8, and we were on a very tight deadline to turn that week’s newspaper around as soon as we landed. So after gutting my way through a game story, Chris was kind enough to crank out the accompanying column for me since I couldn’t quite stomach writing two stories in my condition at the time.
Lorraine Eaton, Staff Epicure, The Virginian-Pilot
I have been involved in newspapers most of my life. My grandfather — my inspiration — was a newspaper editor on Long Island and I joined my junior high and high school’s newspaper staff. I knew I wanted to pursue journalism as a career, but didn’t really have the money to go to a big journalism school. Like a lot of students back then, I was a working commuter student paying my own tuition, etc. Of course I wanted to get involved with the campus newspaper, and the fact that it paid $50 a week — enough to pay my rent — made it possible for me to do that. I started out as a feature writer and moved up to style editor. I learned a lot working at the Mace — time management, writing on deadline, not to rely on tape recorders, how to paste up copy and size headlines. I had the opportunity to hone my interviewing skills and the newspaper also gave me an outlet to have stories published that I was writing for my journalism classes. My work at the Mace provided me with a critical element needed to pursue a journalism career: published clips. It was not economically feasible for me to work — or even get — a big-time internship at a daily newspaper. I had to spend my summers earning tuition money waiting tables. So those clips from the Mace, which I pasted into a binder, were the centerpiece of my application for real world jobs. Additionally, the leadership role I had at the paper greatly strengthened my resume. I did have a hard time finding a newspaper job out of college but eventually landed a job as editorial assistant at the Virginian-Pilot’s Nags Head bureau. While in college, I also worked at Elliott’s, then a busy Colley Avenue Restaurant, Kelly’s Tavern and took on an unpaid internship at The Courier, a weekly campus newspaper published by the University. Looking back, I think the strangest thing about working at the Mace back in the early 1980s, was the gigantic white box at the back of the layout room. It was the newspaper’s first computer, and it was the size of a hall closet turned on its side. I had no clue how it worked. Only a guy named Jim Meecham (I think) knew what it did, and the rest of the staff seemed to have a vague dread that once Jim graduated, we’d be in deep kimchi. The machine spun out glossy ribbons of text that we would then size, wax the backs and then fit onto the pages. Back then, editors did design as well as assigning, writing and editing. All in all, a good way to earn fifty bucks a week!