Graduating Editor-in-Chief reflects on personal growth, connections at CSUSM

Cory Kay, Staff Writer

Amy Chastain, Mass Media major and current Editor-in-Chief of The Cougar Chronicle, will be graduating from CSUSM this month and discussed points of reflection about what she’s accomplished during her time here.

Chastain served as the Editor-in-Chief during the Fall 2016 semester, and previously held Assistant Sports Editor and Sports Editor positions. She expressed that working at The Cougar Chronicle has provided her with a family on campus and has also allowed her to grow professionally.

“Now that I’m in the role that I’m in … it is a family. We hang out, we eat together, we’re all in this office together … and I think that’s been my favorite part, finally getting a network of people that I really enjoy being around and working with,” Chastain said. “I think that’s definitely what I’m going to miss the most.”

Chastain also discussed her personal development she experienced through her time at CSUSM and with The Cougar Chronicle.

“I’ve gotten a lot more confident and sure in what I want to do in my life. I definitely place a lot of value in doing something that I’m passionate about as opposed to just earning a paycheck,” said Chastain. “Through the newspaper and the classes that I’ve taken, especially Sports Marketing … now I’m confident that pursuing a job in sports marketing or sports journalism is definitely something I want to do.”

Chastain mentioned the professor of the Sports Marketing course, Vassilis Dalakas, as one of the most notable professors she’s been able to connect with because the real-life applicability of the course.

“Without him bringing in sports professionals, I wouldn’t have been able to connect to mentor now, who I’m interning for … I can already see it shaping the way my life is going to go,” she said.

Because of the skills and qualities she’s developed, Chastain feels a sense of confidence in what is in store for her after graduation.

“I’m taking my time to apply to a lot of positions, particularly on [sports] teams. At first, I thought about going the traditional journalism route … and now I’ve kind of shifted to thinking about working on a team,” she said. “So I’ve cast a really wide net … looking at all the major pro sports … and looking at Bleacher Report, ESPN, ESPN magazine.”

While Chastain does feel confident toward her future plans, she says that stepping out of her comfort zone to expand her horizons has been one of the most difficult challenges to overcome.

“The people who will really ride with you the whole time will be there no matter where you are … and the biggest thing that I have to continue to overcome is just not being afraid,” she said.

Reflecting on what she’s learned throughout her college career, Chastain reflected upon the idea of trying to find a place of belonging on campus, offering advice to new college students.

“Getting plugged in is the most valuable thing you can do … because it makes it feel like home,” she said.

“Find what’s for you, but find it as soon as you can.”