Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Managing editor, former copy desk chief pens third byline, actually

Emma Berke

I received my acceptance into the copy department at the Texan in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru about 30 minutes before orientation was supposed to start. If you’d told me then that, three years later, I’d end up running this thing, I would’ve crashed my car. 

During my first editing shift, I embarrassed myself by butchering an article so badly that my copy desk lead, Phoebe, called me to tell me I’d made a mess of the whole thing. In four semesters of leadership at the Texan, I have never felt the need to call someone during production. I’ll just let you sit with that. 

Since that mortifying first night, I’ve worked six semesters at the copy desk and two in management, written two articles (three if you count this one), written an entirely unfunny advice column and edited at least 750 articles. I still can’t believe all I’ve achieved at this paper, but most of all, I can’t believe I made friends.  

Joining the Texan at the height of the pandemic when production was completely remote, I didn’t have the opportunity to really get to know fellow staffers until about a year ago. In the past year, I’ve spent hundreds of hours laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe with people I now call some of my very best friends. None of what you’re about to read truly captures how much I love these people. 

Mantra, I forgive you for not hiring me that one time. Working under you has been the highlight of my time at the Texan, even if spending five minutes with you means hearing at least five complaints. On balance, you were a competent boss and are not a bozo or a moron or a them. And you are certainly not from Ohio.

Morgan, it’s just uncanny how much we look alike. You have the sharpest news judgment of any student I’ve ever met. You are a kind and graceful leader, and I can’t wait to see you kill it as managing editor in the fall. 

Mihir, I’m sorry you weren’t able to escape minion status under my leadership, but if it makes you feel any better, you were a great minion. You are one of the smartest and most driven people I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to see all that you achieve at the Texan, UT and beyond. 

Kate, my perfect angel. You are the only person whose work I don’t have to double-check. You are so talented and smart and hardworking and lovely and sweet and gorgeous and amazing. 

Christina, you are my first and only convert to the Duffl way of living and one of the funniest people I know. I love when you send me lullabies (eight-minute voice memos). Seeing you succeed in sports journalism brings me so much joy. 

Lawson, Phoebe and Lana, thank you for being my mentors in the copy department. Your feedback helped shape me into the editor I am today. And Trinity, Sarah, Madison and Brennan, thank you for making Wednesday night copy a blast. You are my bright shining stars. 

Shez, you are a ray of sunshine and have shown me warmth from the moment I met you. Thank you for being such a gem. Breigh, thank you for always supporting me. I wish you were my associate this summer, but I can deal as long as you’re Morgan’s associate in the fall. 

Karina, you are a design wizard. Thanks for coming into the basement with me this summer and getting chicken over rice and sussy fries from Al Petra. We’ve got to get you on The Daily Flexin’ next semester. 

Speaking of The Daily Flexin’, playing dodgeball with y’all is one of my favorite memories at the Texan. Please let me play again in the fall, but only if I don’t have to be captain again. 

Lucero, it’s been lovely working with you this summer. I’ll miss complaining about all the ridiculous emails we get. 

Peter, before I got to the management level, you terrified me. Now I know you are merely needs-work scary, or maybe even ok-scary. You have been a great adviser, and I will take your advice with me wherever I go. 

Alexis, although you’ve never been on staff, this paper has no idea how much you’ve contributed to baseball and golf fact-checking. I promise you’ll never have to do that again. 

And Mom, you’re the reason I’m any good at this stuff. Nobody else’s mom is cool enough to know that health care is two words. Without you, I wouldn’t be a sliver of the editor and person I am today. Thank you for always being my biggest fan. Xoxo. 

At the Texan, I’ve learned that even if the little voice inside your head tells you you’re untalented, there are leaders — students just like you — who will recognize your potential and invest in your growth. 

That is the kind of leader I hope I was and will always be.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kamryn Brownlee, Managing Editor
Kamryn Brownlee is a fourth-year journalism and architectural history student from Dallas, Texas. She currently serves as managing editor and was previously associate managing editor and copy desk chief.