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Spring 2020: Meet the Staff

The people responsible…

 


Payton Fletcher

Editor-in-Chief
pdfletcher@valdosta.edu

Classification: Junior
Major: English

Born in Fitzgerald, Georgia and taught at Irwin County High School, Payton Fletcher grew up learning how to write, but not what to write for. Now at VSU, Payton is learning exactly that as Editor-in-Chief for The Spectator. Now with a couple college credits to his name and drive to keep VSU students in the know, Payton is always on the look out for the next story. In his free time, Payton likes walking, board games, and writing short bios about himself.

Prince Robinson Jr.
Managing Editor
parobinson@valdosta.edu

Classification: Junior
Major: Journalism

This is my first year serving as managing editor for The Spectator. Previously, I served as the beat writer for a variety of Blazer sports teams. I am also a staff writer for VSU’s On Tap Magazine. Last summer, I served as an intern for Chapel Hill News & Views USA in Chapel Hill, Ga. I serve as president for the Georgia College Press Association, where I was nominated by my peers this year in Athens, Ga. Recently, I was the recipient of the 2018-2018 Otis A Brumby ll scholarship, given directly from the Georgia Press Educational Foundation. Upon graduation, I aspire to work as a columnist. Outside of the newsroom, I love to hike, watch sports, and play video games.

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Isabella Schneider
Copy Editor
imschneider@valdosta.edu

Classification: Senior
Major: English

This is Isabella’s first semester as the copy editor for The Spectator. She is from Saint Petersburg, FL and has been at VSU since August 2017. She wrote her first column in spring 2019 and wrote stories for The Spectator in fall 2019. During that time, she was an accounting major. However, she learned quickly that writing and editing are what she is truly passionate about. When she is not editing for The Spectator, she likes to watch films and t.v. shows, go horse-back riding and spend time with friends and family.

“You need to step out of your comfort zone in order to become stronger and grow.”

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Kyle Grondin
Sports Editor
kpgrondin@valdosta.edu

Classification: Senior
Major: Journalism

 Transferring to VSU from UCF, I joined The Spectator  as a great opportunity to meet new people and get involved with the VSU community. In just one year, I’ve gone from just one of the sports writers to the sports editor of The Spectator and ITG Next. Sports is my passion, and you’ll typically find me playing or watching sports in my spare time. My goal after graduation is to advance as a sports writer and become a sports talking head at a major media company.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott

Lenah Allen
Campus Life Editor
Lrallen@valdosta.edu

Classification: Sophomore
Major: English/Journalism with a Mass Media Minor

Lenah is a junior English journalism major from Douglasville, Georgia. This is her first year as the Campus Life Editor, but she has been writing for The Spectator since her freshman year. Lenah is also apart of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and loves doing community service with her sisters. Her favorite hobbies are playing tennis and writing. Lenah’s goal for after graduating is to become a news reporter.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Gerald Thomas III

Digital Content/Social Media Editor

gdthomasiii@valdosta.edu

Classification: Junior
Major: Mass Media

I am the Digital Content and Social Media Editor for the Spectator. I am  a Junior Mass Media major with a passion for journalism and film writing. If not at the Spectator, you can find me at an athletic event or at home playing video games.

Malia Thomas

Berliner/Entertainment Editor

malithomas@valdosta.edu

Classification: Senior
Major: Communication

As a senior Communication major, this is my second year on the Spectator staff. Because I love working my body to mental exhaustion, I juggle being an editing intern at In the Game magazine, public relations intern at Rotary International, a customer service rep at CDK Global, member of PRSSA, full-time student and volunteer babysitter along with my editing responsibilities. When I actually have time to myself, I love to read, travel, party, indulge in pop culture and try my hand at archery (don’t mess with me). My end goal is to become a strategic manager of a large PR firm, take the entertainment world by storm by becoming a top publicist/reporter or just get more than five minutes to myself.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel…hopefully its not a freight train!”- Mariah Carey, The GOAT

Kaitlyn Baich

Web Editor

kebaich@valdosta.edu

Classification: Senior

Major: English/Journalism

Growing up in West Palm Beach, FL, I have learned to make Valdosta my home. The Spectator has given me the voice I didn’t know I had and a goal of mine is to make sure The Spectator continues to grow. I’ve had an internship with South Georgia Today and plan on adding another internship to my list in the Spring of 2020. In my free time, I enjoy writing and spending time with my friends, family, and pets. I love meeting new people so hopefully I can become a familiar face for people interested in joining our staff at The Spectator. After graduation, I hope to go into marketing where I can use the things I have learned as engagement editor to help my career grow.
“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
Cecil Merkerson III
Photo Editor 
Classification: Senior
Major: Mass Media
cmerkerson@valdosta.edu

This is my first year serving as photo editor for the spectator. The last couple years, I was a writer for various sports teams. Outside of the news room, I run my own barbershop business called “Men’s Hair Corporation”. I love to write about things I’m passionate about. My dream is to be a columnist and or a screenwriter/director.

“If you’re not living out your dreams are you really living ?”