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Monday, June 24, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

And so I face the final curtain

My goodbye to The Spectrum

[insert cliché here]

Instead of attempting some cliché introduction, I’ll get straight to the point: The Spectrum is amazing. And when I say The Spectrum, I mean all of it: the publication itself, its history, its staff and alumni, its office (and the decorations on the walls), and the impact it has on this campus.

Most people don’t get to say that they worked for a publication as old as color TV, and I’m proud to be a small part of this newspaper’s legacy.

In my two years at The Spectrum, I went from fledgling staff writer to senior sports editor to managing editor. Along the way, I wrote and edited stories that I truly believe made a difference in people’s lives. It was only possible because of the education, mentorship and friendship that I experienced here.

Even before I joined The Spectrum, I had the privilege of learning from journalism professors Charles Anzalone and Bruce Andriatch. Both had the wisdom, savvy and passion to instill the core tenets of journalism into their students. Professor Andriatch was a true professional, a lifelong journalist who showed me the importance of accurate and ethical reporting. Professor Anzalone was a larger-than-life storyteller, and he ignited in me a passion for writing that I never knew existed. I owe them both so much.

Armed with training from two of the best professors at UB, I enrolled in ENG 394: Spectrum Writing Workshop in the fall of my junior year. I knew this class was required for the UB journalism certificate, but I had no idea what I was walking into.

The first day of class rattled me. It was unlike any class I’d ever attended. And I struggled initially to find my place in the newsroom as a staff writer. But I kept working, writing stories about people and things that I felt passionate about.

My breakthrough came when I wrote a story about two UB students and their brother who represented Puerto Rico in an international hockey tournament. I brought a hard copy of the story to the then-Editor-in-Chief Anthony DeCicco. It got his attention. 

We spent the next week working one-on-one to refine that story, and it landed on the front page. I was hooked.

After I saw the dedication and personal attention that Anthony gave me, I knew that I belonged at The Spectrum. During this time, I also became acquainted with many of the other staff members. Assistant Managing Editor Andrew Lauricella, Managing Editor Grant Ashley and Multimedia Editor Moaz Elazzazi all became close friends and colleagues.

I also got to know Matt Parrino, the professor of ENG 394, The Spectrum’s faculty advisor and an accomplished, active professional journalist. He offered me encouragement, wisdom and advice right away. I am grateful for his continued guidance and I place him right next to Anzalone and Andriatch in the ranks of great UB professors.

After my first semester with the paper, I was invited back in the spring as senior sports editor. Receiving that promotion was an honor and I dedicated myself to giving other journalists the same experience that I had under Anthony, Grant, Andrew and company.

I was lucky to work alongside fellow Sports Editor and friend Amy Maslin during this time. We were a dynamic duo, pumping out sports stories like nobody’s business. But more than that, I’m most proud of the fact that every single one of our sports staff writers had at least one story published under our watch. That means we did our job.

I unfortunately cannot name every person I worked alongside during the 2022-23 school year (this article is already way too long), but I hope that they all know how much they mean to me, and I hope they know that they changed my life.

I continued my journey at The Spectrum this school year as the managing editor under Editor-in-Chief Grant Ashley, alongside Assistant Managing Editor Moaz Elazzazi and Business Manager Matthew McCulloch. They’re each going to get their own paragraph.

Grant, I couldn’t ask for a better editor-in-chief to work under. Your vision for moving this paper forward — going fully digital, implementing the email newsletter, revamping social media — was a complete success and I’m proud to be a part of that. You are a tremendous journalist and have such a bright future. You’re also a great friend, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and a one-of-a-kind person that anyone would be lucky to know. Thank you.

Moaz, it’s hard to believe that photography is just a side hustle for you. You are one of the most talented photographers I’ve ever seen, and I’ve learned so much about journalism from you. The images you’ve captured will live forever in Spectrum lore, and this publication would not be the same without your work. You amaze me with your many talents and infectious personality. I am so glad that we became friends, and you inspire me to be a better person and journalist. Thank you.

Matthew, asking you to join The Spectrum as the business manager was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. None of the great things we accomplished this year would be possible without your hard work and input. You helped us navigate countless chaotic situations and always gave us confidence that things would work out. You are also one of my oldest and best friends, and a great, intelligent person. Thank you.

*checks word count* “Holy s—t, Grant’s gonna kill me.”

Serving as managing editor this year was the highlight of my college career. The staff constantly amazes me with its inventiveness, work ethic, talent, and unique perspectives. There are few — if any — student groups on this campus that can rival The Spectrum staff. Again, I can’t name them all, but I would like to extend my gratitude to every single member of the staff: editors, staff writers, photographers, contributors, and multimedia staff. I hope you got as much out of this journey as I have. Thank you.

For those of you graduating this year, I wish you nothing but success and happiness in whatever comes next. I know you’ll do great things.

Finally, I’d like to offer my best wishes to next year’s staff and executive board: future Editor-in-Chief Ricardo Castillo, future Managing Editor Xiola Bagwell, and all the returning editors and staff members. This publication is in good hands and I’m excited to see how it grows. You are the next link in the long and prestigious Spectrum chain, make it count!

Thank you and goodbye,

Ryan Tantalo

Managing Editor

UB Class of 2024

Ryan Tantalo was the managing editor and can be reached at ryan.tantalo@ubspectrum.com


RYAN TANTALO
tantalo-2023

Ryan Tantalo is the managing editor of The Spectrum. He previously served as senior sports editor. Outside of the newsroom, Ryan spends his time announcing college hockey games, golfing, skiing and reading.

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