North Central College - Naperville, IL


Three friends who serve as editors of three campus publications share one common goal––they want to be good managers and leaders, just as they learned from great student leaders before them.

Mandy Kilinskis ’09 edits The Kindling, the campus humor magazine; Alyssa Vincent ’09 is coeditor of The Chronicle, the student newspaper; and Rachel Hamsmith ’09 is editor of North Central Review, a literary magazine. They represent a triumvirate of writing, editing and management prowess that dates back to their first year, which coincidentally began when they all lived on the same floor of Rall Residence Hall.

All three English majors found their way to meetings of their respective publications as first-year students and immediately found their niche on campus. Four years later, the three friends recall how they were encouraged to become involved and take on leadership roles by their upperclass mentors.

“I went to my first meeting of the Kindling staff and I thought ‘I so want to run this,’” says Kilinskis. “Then Brady Gunnink ’06 asked me to become layout editor. He was a powerful leader and taught you what you needed to know.

“I do try to be like Brady—he was able to get things done without being too business-like,” says Kilinskis. “And his approach to leadership was that when people are confident and ready to move up, you give them a job to do.”

Vincent wasn’t too confident of her journalism skills at first but that changed quickly. “I wrote an article for the arts section of The Chronicle and one of the editors, Heather Ulbrich’07, said, ‘This is fantastic,’” says Vincent. “She said, ‘Please write for my section.’ It was great to have someone lead me into the fold.”

Last year, Vincent was inspired by the endless energy and thorough organization of Amanda Bert ’08, who was editor-in-chief and a student-teacher. Now coediting The Chronicle with Chad Comello ’10, Vincent proposed that a junior and senior always coedit together so a senior is training a junior for the following year. “It’s important for a junior to learn from a senior because putting out those first issues is pretty scary,” Vincent adds.

Hamsmith is in her third year of editing North Central Review, which she says has yielded great leadership experience. “After two terms, the editors approached me about becoming an editor my sophomore year,” says Hamsmith, who learned the ropes along with Regina De Iorio ’08 from two experienced editors. “The hardest part for me was public speaking and leading a meeting, but a speech class also helped me feel more confident.”

Now these three seniors are replicating the leadership lessons that so influenced their achievements as they prepare younger students to assume their positions when they leave. “When younger people take over, you want them to be prepared,” says Hamsmith. Adds Vincent, “You have to take someone by the hand and say ‘Come, let us teach you.’

North Central Now Annual Report 2008