Editorial: The Shield enters a new era during the pandemic

Business+Manager%2C+Cobi+Schieferstein%2C+Editor-in-Cheif%2C+Shelby+Clark+and+Sports+Editor%2C+Pat+Baker%2C+stand+at+The+Shield%27s+booth+during+the+Fall+Student+Involvement+Fair+September+1%2C+2021.

Photo by: Josh Meredith

Business Manager, Cobi Schieferstein, Editor-in-Cheif, Shelby Clark and Sports Editor, Pat Baker, stand at The Shield’s booth during the Fall Student Involvement Fair September 1, 2021.

Editorial Staff

The Shield is in a semester of positive transition. 

After a year of operating under a pandemic, The Shield has recently made changes and is looking at a bright future.

Since the start of the pandemic, The Shield has had five Editor-in-Chiefs, a record low editorial staff of three in Spring 2021 and the resignation of two long-term advisers. 

Hayden Olberding was named Editor-in-Chief in Spring 2021 after serving as interim EIC for a month. Olberding graduated in May of 2021 paving the way for our current EIC, Shelby Clark. 

Clark, Olberding and Chief Photo Editor, Josh Meredith, were the only members of the editorial staff for a two-month period in Spring 2021. Through their combined efforts, The Shield was able to operate under the challenges the pandemic presented.

Clark, a sophomore marketing major, was named Editor-in-Chief in May 2021. She previously worked as a staff writer in Fall 2020 and Digital Editor in Spring 2021.

Kenna Griffin, outside student publications adviser, resigned at the end of the Spring 2021 semester citing a change in career. 

Erin Gibson, faculty student publications adviser, resigned suddenly mid-July due to challenges caused by the pandemic and a different career opportunity. Gibson was The Shield’s faculty adviser for 14 years. 

Despite the surprise of both of their resignations, The Shield staff is grateful for the guidance of Griffin and Gibson. 

The Shield is now working with interim advisers Chad Tew, associate professor of online journalism, and Greg Blair, assistant professor of art and design, until the student publications adviser position has been officially filled.

The Shield is in a season of transition as we enter into a new chapter with new leadership and advisers. 

During this season of transition, Clark has worked tirelessly with the interim advisers and the editorial staff to grow The Shield. 

Since the start of Fall 2021, The Shield team has grown to over 20 members. In addition, The Shield has over 20 more recruits. 

The new EIC, leadership team, interim advisers and staff members have brought a refreshing energy to The Shield. The mood of The Shield staff has transitioned from panic in survival to excitement in growth.  

The Shield will continue to publish The Shield Source, the weekly email newsletter, every Thursday at noon.  

The staff is excited and looks forward to returning the monthly themed print editions in Fall 2021. There will be no print edition for September due to onboarding and training a large new staff. 

With a larger staff, The Shield can uphold our mission to serve the students and the campus community with factual information, entertaining content and a forum for discussion. We will reflect their unique interests and concerns at a greater level than before the pandemic. 

The staff will continue to make adjustments throughout the semester as we transition from a pre-pandemic Shield to The Shield’s future. It is our joy to be a part of this historic moment for The Shield. 

As The Shield enters its 54th year of publication, the future of The Shield is bright and hopeful.