Toni Shindler-Ruberg / Daily Nexus

Melanie Ziment

Managing Editor

As typical newspaper folks, I think it’s safe to say that most of us are pretty Type A. As such, we have been jumping into things all our lives. Running towards high school graduation and then college and clubs and internships and extracurriculars … until the COVID-19 pandemic hit us like a bus and suddenly we found ourselves stopped in our tracks. I feel like all I’ve done for the past two years is reflected. Going through this time has made me truly appreciate the wonderful community here at UCSB and the Nexus. But now I’m really ready to punch it into gear and get back to getting going.

Thank you to those who came before and inspired me, Hannah Jackson and Harper Lambert, and thank you to Katherine Swartz and Hannah Appel for being my partners in crime this year. I can’t wait to see what we all accomplish next. 


Joshen Mantai

Director of Social Media Strategy 

The Nexus has had such a special place in my heart since I was a wide-eyed freshman and Sanya Kamidi took a chance on hiring me as a social media manager with virtually no experience. I knew nothing about journalism or publishing in general, but began to write upon her encouragement. It felt cathartic but frightening to have my articles out in such a public forum, but I soon started to develop a passion for the storytelling process. Since my start at the Nexus, my interest in social media and journalism has only heightened, and I truly owe everything to the place that helped me find a dedication to a medium I never knew I had the bravery or skill for. The Nexus has not only given me a lifelong passion and path forward in graduate school, but also the funniest, sweetest and most hardworking co-workers in Ida, Jordan and the entire editorial staff. I truly can’t wait to see what every staff member at the Nexus goes on to achieve in their career and life and I am honored that I got to work with them. I hope that every wide-eyed freshman that gets to enter the bustling newspaper doors underneath Storke Tower gets to experience and witness the same journalistic magic I did for the past four years.


Hannah Appel

Production Coordinator

I first joined the Daily Nexus during fall quarter of my freshman year, and I have called the little basement under Storke Tower my home ever since! The Nexus and all of its contributors have been such an instrumental part of my UCSB experience. When I first began working on the production and design team, I loved the feeling of being at the forefront of local news and events. The Nexus provided a space for me to feel integrated into the university atmosphere and stay up to date with events on campus and in Isla Vista. But at its core, the Nexus is more than a workplace; it’s a community. I joined this space as a first-year student and was welcomed by the rest of the team with open arms. Now, as a graduating senior, I hope to pass on that feeling to anyone else who is considering joining the Nexus. This current group of editors had the untraditionally difficult task of keeping the Nexus afloat during the pandemic. Coming back to in-person after over a year of remote work was like night and day. Being able to see our coworkers and friends makes all of us feel more connected, and I am so grateful for the chance to work alongside my fellow editors in the rich and vibrant environment that the Nexus fosters!


Natalie Gomez

Co-Copy Chief

When I started UCSB, I had no idea who I was or what I was capable of. I came in undeclared, friendless and afraid to pursue my passions. However, I had always loved reading, so I attended the Nexus orientation and was intrigued by the copy section’s duties. I liked the idea that I could read the entire paper and learn from our student body. Luckily, I was hired along with two other freshmen, Caroline and Sean — two people who later became some of my closest friends. Each week, I entered the office happy to be surrounded by a diverse group of people who were passionate about storytelling. I loved the bustling energy of print nights: the laughter of reading a stench article, trying to figure out what a sports term meant, skimming a news page for glaring errors 30 seconds before deadline. Right when I was starting to find my place at UCSB, now an English and classics double major, the pandemic hit. I was afraid that the community and comfort I found at the Nexus would be lost. However, I was wrong; if anything, my connection to the Nexus grew stronger. Logging onto Zoom each week during my copy shifts was sometimes the only connection I felt to UCSB. I welcomed a new set of friends into my life: Zoë, Sophie and Grace. Once Caroline and I took over the copy section from our brilliant mentor Laila, we had the hard task ahead of us to bring back the copy section in person. I would like to think that we succeeded, and I have every confidence that our team will be able to improve upon our effort. I wish everyone on copy and at the Nexus the best. Enjoy the short time you have here, and trust the community you have around you! The most important thing I’ve learned is that you are always going to make mistakes, but with careful reflection and a great group of people to support you — you can learn and put your best self forward.


Ida Kazerani

Social Media Manager, Staff Photographer

I joined the Nexus my freshman year as a staff photographer, intending to continue the same work I had done in high school journalism, but I ended up also applying to be a social media manager towards the end of my sophomore year. I want to give my thanks to Sanya Kamidi – she has since graduated but is the only reason I even considered the position in the first place. Through the social team, I got to meet Joshen and Jordan, who became not only my colleagues but two of my wonderful friends. Here’s to the times we spent scrambling to get breaking news tweets out ASAP, the silly typos (real ones remember “Sign up for our wee” on the Daily Nexus Facebook page) and the lovely memories we could make together even though almost all of our work was done remotely. I’m also incredibly grateful for the photo staff and all the unique, random and interesting opportunities and assignments I’ve had as a photographer. Without the Nexus, I don’t think I’d have pushed myself to explore these different avenues, whether they were alongside the social team or the photo team. The best part? You don’t have to pursue journalism as a career to be a part of the Nexus; Our staff is made up of truly amazing and diverse individuals, and I wouldn’t give that experience up for the world.


Jaze Matteo Wharton

Nexustentialism Editor

I’ve never been in a worse smelling place than the Daily Nexus office under Storke Tower. A lot of other people will tell you about the welcoming environment or the friends they’ve made during their time at the Nexus, but if you want the real scoop, you should know that if the Nexus were a candle, it would smell like lagoon water and fermented cigarette butts (no one smokes here, it just smells like that). However, despite the smell, I have indeed met some of the most important people in my life and made some of the most impactful memories that I possess at the Daily Nexus. The key is finding the positives through the odor, and I would like to think that is also what my section has done and does for all of you: provide some breaths of fresh air amongst the miasma of everyday life. Maybe that’s why those “in the know” affectionately refer to Nexustentialism as “stench.” Or it could be that all of my writers and I reek after spending so much time in the office. Who’s to say?


Sean Crommelin

Science and Tech Editor

I came into the Nexus as a copy editor in Fall Quarter 2018, straight out of high school. I had few expectations, drawn to the position mainly for its seeming relatedness to the copy editing I’d done in my high school yearbook and my naive compulsion to treat college as a continuation of what I’d done there. Copy editing and writing in the Nexus, however, proved very different from what I’d been doing before. At the Nexus, I found a vibrant community of writers and journalists, people who opened my eyes to the possibilities and constraints of the paper. At the Nexus, as both a writer and an editor, late nights, innumerable challenges, periods of suspense and uncertainty — yes, insecurity too — provided catalysts for growth and opportunities to learn. Learn how to do things, talk to people, get sources and develop relationships. I also learned what I liked and didn’t like. What I wanted to get out of the things I poured my time into. While I’ve dove into other things, quit classes, changed majors, joined labs and worked other jobs, the Nexus has been my one constant, the place I’ve stayed through it all — rose, bud and thorn.

I’ve met wonderful people here and am nothing but optimistic and excited for the future of the paper. To Natalie, Caroline and Laila, thank you for being my friends, for seeing the good in me when I struggled to do so myself and weathering some rough print nights with solidarity, understanding and some essential humor. To Jacqueline and Kylie, thank you for seeing the potential in me. And to Devanshi, thank you for writing about mathematics, physics and engineering. Lord knows I wasn’t about to.


Caroline Gee

Co-Copy Chief

I started copy editing at the Nexus in fall of my freshman year. I remember taking selfies with the polaroids on the wall, surprised I somehow made it into this vibrant place of chaotic people. I’m not where I thought I would be when I graduated college. There have been good surprises, but also many regrets. And I’m [[OK]] with that. But throughout these past four years, the Nexus community has been my one constant. Through a pandemic, rejections, fuck-ups, imposter syndrome. No matter what was going on in life, I always had weekly print nights with the copy staff, where we could pool all our energy, almost irrationally so, into making a beautiful paper. I’ll miss the late nights, eight hours in the office spent reading straight with the copy crew. Getting a sugar rush from gummy worms and collectively losing it after midnight. I’ll miss the hours spent debating every comma, every word choice, every little thing that the readers likely won’t notice, but it’s important to us. Most of all, I’ll miss the people I pored over these papers with. I’ll miss every member of the copy staff, my brilliant Co-Copy Chief and close friend Natalie, the ever-curious Sean and everyone on the Nexus, who all amaze me with their creativity and dedication. Copy has this magical quality in that its knowledge is passed down with each generation. And by knowledge, I don’t mean only for editing. I mean the knowledge of how to accept oneself, how to handle the ups-and-downs, which can only be communicated through solidarity and friendship. I’m grateful to the then-seniors who mentored me and have spread across the country; the freshmen who I Duffl’d with and will one day lead the copy team themselves. I leave this to the copy team: Never apologize for caring too much, and remember to give yourself the grace to stumble and grow.