Angelica Monroy Outgoing La Vista Editor

I joined the La Vista section at the beginning of my third year, without realizing that being part of the Nexus team would be such a great part of my college experience.
Not only did I learn valuable skills in college journalism, but being part of La Vista allowed me to connect with people who, like me, speak Spanish. I formed valuable friendships in the small but mighty La Vista section. To my badass editor, Mari, who is hilariously brilliant and a force to be reckoned with, I’ll miss our chaotic print nights and your outlandish articles that would always make me laugh. Thank you for believing in little old me. Aprendí mucho de ti, gracias. 

And to the future La Vista section leaders, Erick and Nadia, we are rooting for you always. I know you both will nurture and grow La Vista in the upcoming year. ¡Ustedes pueden!
Some of our successes as a section include hosting an amazing Dia de los Muertos altar event this past fall, beginning the transition to almost all original work to our printed editions and making the La Vista name more and more visible on campus! These memories and hard work will live very fondly in my mind.
Above all, I cherish the ways we were able to connect with the Spanish-speaking community of Santa Barbara, whether they were students or community members. I hope that our readers were able to connect with me, the way I felt connected to them. As a first-generation college student and Mexican-American woman, I wanted to share my experiences with my community in the hope that it would resonate with others — I like to think that it did. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to leave this little bit of legacy in our campus collective memory. And to my fellow seniors, ¡Felicidades, lo hicimos! Congratulations, we did it!

Emma Holm-Olsen Outgoing SciTech Editor

As my time at UC Santa Barbara comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on all of the experiences I’ve had over the past four years that have shaped me into the (almost) fully-fledged adult I am today. Undoubtedly, one of these has been working at the Daily Nexus. 

From beginning as a Science & Tech staff writer in the early post-COVID days, to moving on to assistant editor, to eventually becoming lead science editor last spring, it’s been a busy, and at times very challenging, few years. It’s also been a fabulous experience that I would not change for anything. After three very memorable and fulfilling years of writing articles, making InDesign pages, mentoring new writers and, above all, being able to work alongside an incredibly talented and passionate group of editorial staff, I can honestly say that my college experience would have been very different, and a lot less gratifying, had I not joined SciTech. In fact, I may even owe my eventual career to the Nexus, since, as an ecology, evolution, and marine biology major, I ultimately decided to pursue a minor in science communication because of how much I enjoyed being a part of SciTech. 

While it is of course difficult to leave behind what has been such a constant in my life, I have every confidence that I am leaving the section in very good hands; the new editorial team is a kind, eager and driven group of people, who are dedicated to continuing to uphold the values and goals of both the SciTech section and the Nexus as a whole. Kaitlin, Katharine and Olivia: best of luck, and I cannot wait to see all that you accomplish!

Mari Villalpando-Ortega Outgoing La Vista Editor

My collegiate career is coming to an end in three weeks. Last year, I looked at the seniors who were going through their own post-grad crisis and laughed to myself about how I still have time. I was still laughing until my housemate mentioned the last dinner we’ll have together. Since then I’ve been viewing the things I do at UC Santa Barbara as my lasts and as I write my last article, I am filled with memories of my firsts. 

I found a position at La Vista in a corner of UCSB’s Handshake website during my second year. I applied but never heard back — until one faithful linguistics class where I sat next to Pricila Flores. We got to talking about who knows what, only to realize I was speaking to the co-founder of La Vista and was then given an interview date. Was it nepotism or fate? That’s for you to decide.

I was interviewed on Zoom in my car with my friend in the passenger seat, who was desperately trying to hold in his cough. With delight and a slight misconception of what my role was soon to be, I started my time at the Nexus.

I was the La Vista copy editor for a quarter until I was promoted to section editor. It was a quick turnover. I had no time to prepare and zero experience whatsoever, yet I was tremendously thrilled. I spent endless hours hunched in front of a computer cramming a quarter’s worth of knowledge in a week, trying to manage my spontaneous promotion. On top of that, I still had to act as copy editor, and oversee a staff of writers who were then, few and far between. I was a one-woman team until I met Angelica, La Vista’s copy editor and my now good friend.

A relentless force of nature and the hardest worker I have had the honor of working with, Angelica, made the late nights and hard deadlines bearable. She and I broached journalism with wide eyes and an immense desire to advance our newfounded Spanish section.

My time with La Vista was nothing short of incredible. Earlier in my Nexus career, I joked about how, being a Spanish-only section, not many students would take the time to read it until one summer quarter edition, I received the first email from a reader. “I feel a little less scared, and more excited. Muchísimas gracias. Lo necesitaba,” her email read. 

Pricila texted me two minutes after I opened the email. We gushed, we giggled and we were reminded of why we do what we do, and to this day I remember clearly how many times I read that email (34 times, I couldn’t believe it!). I was so thrilled and then started making goals for myself. I wanted to increase the number of original articles published. We started off as a Spanish translation section where most, if not all of our articles were translations of articles written by other sections. By the end of Fall 2022, we had our first all original article layout and started a streak. 

I wanted to increase our campus presence and so we hosted our first Día de Los Muertos event which was an evening of cultural appreciation and community. What’s more, I wanted to leave La Vista in capable hands. I felt so much pride for that first edition of original work and felt a similar feeling when our incoming editors, Erick Ruvalcaba and Nadia Larios created their first spread. I’m happy to note that our team has expanded, and I hope La Vista flourishes under their leadership. 

Working for La Vista has been one of the most rewarding experiences I could have ventured into. The chaotic print nights, the chalked messages on the walls that I read and reread thinking to myself, “one day I’ll write mine, what will it say?” — I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The remarkable friends I’ve made, the people who motivate and inspire me and who have supported me in one way or another, I can’t thank you enough. Thank you to Atmika and Pricila, the EICs who accepted my outlandish pitches. To the production team: Daniela, Olive and Mina, who didn’t mind my incessant need for InDesign aid. To Angelica for everything and to Erick and Nadia, I wish you nothing but the best. 

La Vista will always hold a special place in my heart. The first time I felt community. Where every heart graf reminded me that my effort never went unnoticed and that mine was a presence to beheld. I have kept every single one. I am a very sentimental person. Everything is imbued with sacred meaning. So as I write this, I think about the last time my byline will read “La Vista Editor”, the last time I’ll sit in the rancid chairs, older than the paint on the walls, the last time I’ll read messages from predecessors and where I’ll soon be added. Anyone who walks through this office will think I’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome the way I write about this roof-leaking, grody place. But I remain that there is beauty everywhere for those with the eyes to see. 

Mil gracias Nexo. Fuiste mi hogar, dulce hogar.

A version of this article appeared on p. 20 of the May 30th, 2024 print edition of the Daily Nexus.