When we meet someone for the first time, we are often asked to tell them something about ourselves. For all intents and purposes, my intention is just to give you a glimpse as to who I am as a person and what I do for the Schoolcraft Connection.
My name is Chantele Fox and I am the current Editor-in-Chief of the Schoolcraft Connection, although this is not where my journey began. I started with the Connection as a staff writer which transitioned into the News Editor position, until finally becoming the Editor-in-Chief. While I have a passion for writing and helping others enhance their writing and leadership skills, my ultimate goal is to become a kindergarten teacher. I have recently graduated with an Associate of Liberal Arts degree and I am currently in the process of completing my Associate of Early Childhood Education, after which I will transfer to Eastern Michigan University to complete my degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.
While I do spend a lot of time focused on school and work, I have hobbies and interests outside of those areas. I am very involved with my church, serving on two ministries and will begin a bible study course called Walking with Purpose in the next few weeks. I also have three dogs named Captain (as in Captain America), Snickers and Watson (in reference to Sherlock Holmes and Watson) whom I love very much and I spend as much time as I can with my family and friends. Some of my hobbies include reading, crafting and spending as much time as I can outdoors.
Something that many of the people who know me will tell you is that I am very much into environmental sustainability and awareness. I have such a deep passion for the ocean, trees and all wildlife that inhabit those areas of the earth and I truly try to do as much as I can to help. As the year progresses, you will probably read some of my editorial pieces which will focus on some aspect of the environmental or issue. I am even hoping to add a section on the Schoolcraft Connection website called, Environmental Edge, which will have a new column every two weeks focusing on s specific issue related to sustainability.
After many years of changing careers and majors, I have found my path of becoming a teacher. I truly believe that we can all contribute to making a difference somewhere in the world, regardless of major or career choice. If I can say one piece of advice to anyone reading this, listen to your heart and follow what you love.
In the famous words of Dr. Seuss, author of the book titled “The Lorax,” “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot… it’s not going to get better. It’s not.”
Some call me idealistic, but I like to think I see the beauty and potential in everything around me. It’s this mindset that helps me excel in photography and my position as the Photo Editor for the Schoolcraft Connection.
Introducing myself is always a daunting task, as ‘who I am’ can’t be summed up in a few paragraphs. However, I think a good place to start is my name.
Clarisa Alina Russenberger
My first name was given to me by my Nonna, a strong Italian woman who immigrated to the United States alone with her two young daughters (my mom and my aunt). My Italian heritage plays a huge roll in my life, and this past year I participated in a study abroad program in Florence, Italy. It was an unexplainable experience where I was able to better understand my culture and learn about the world outside of my Michigan bubble.
My middle name, Alina, was my birth name. The name given to me in Russia before I was adopted. Though I’m not as connected with my Russian heritage as I am my Italian heritage, I know I would not be the person I am today without the sacrifice my birth mother made.
My last name is Russenberger, and “the most Swiss last name I’ve ever heard,” according to one of my closest friends. My dad, like my mom is an immigrant. He moved to the U.S from Switzerland for work. He then met my mom, fell in love and the rest is history. I lived in Switzerland with my father when I was 10, and also feel a strong connection with the Swiss culture.
My family makes up a large part of who I am. They taught me the importance of perseverance and that the secret to success is hard work. I would not be who I am today without them.
One year with the Connection has taught me a lot. Having risen from staff writer to Campus Life Editor and now News Editor, it’s been a learning experience that I have been happy to share with my colleagues at the Student Activities Office.
I don’t mind the extra pressure because for me, being put into more stressful situations or getting a hard workload doesn’t intimidate or overwhelm me to the point where I just walk away and procrastinate.
No, it gives me clarity and a sense of purpose. Earlier this year, retired Navy SEAL Andy Stumpf was interviewed by Joe Rogan during the latter’s famous podcast. When asked about how he goes about skydiving and why he does it, with Stumpf summing it up as: “Danger brings clarity”. What that means is that when I’m in a situation where there’s no choice but to do something (or else), all ancillary nonsense I’d otherwise spend time on is stripped away, entering a headspace of just being in the moment and nowhere else in time, replicating that same headspace where my thoughts were more clear than at any other point in my life and using it in future moments where urgency is needed.
That makes sense. Being put into situations normally considered stressful, overwhelming or otherwise fast-paced is kind of refreshing because it kick-starts the fight-or-flight response, switching off anything not relevant to the current situation and focusing squarely on what’s in front of me or on the desk at the Connection office.
I’m very aware that doing this too much will quickly lead to burnout. That’s why I keep as predictable and linear a routine as possible, since I always have that as a safety net to catch me after the dust clears from the aforementioned “fight-or-flight” scenario. Sleep also helps, because if our phones need a charge every night, then so do our bodies. Unlike phones, though, our bodies don’t have the privilege of getting a portable charger hooked up to prevent themselves from dying due to overwork or lack of rest.
When I’m not working in the office or studying, I like to kayak. I’ve always been a hands-on person, so this hobby is a good outlet because I’m passionate about it and I can maintain a respectable amount of control without interfering with nature.
For example, the time when I went to the Rampart Reservoir near Colorado Springs, paddling out with the sights and sounds of nature lulling me into sleep, the waves gently carrying my craft along, as well as the return trip where I avoided a wildfire that burned just a few miles north are the moments I’ll cherish to the end.
Right now, though, I want to achieve my goal of helping people for one simple reason: because I care. Currently, I’m learning about how the brain works in Dr. Lisa Jackson’s awesome psychology class and want to pursue a career in psychology. For the sake of helping future generations to be in good mental health, I want to be the best student I can be, learn what I need to know about my field and use it to hopefully make other people’s lives simpler and with a clearer perspective.
Just as long as I’m not bogged down by this stupid writers’ block that I still get, for some reason. At the very least, I can remember that doing good for its own sake is the right thing to do and doing that because I care is a good perspective to keep. Makes the rest a little easier.
Campus Life Editor
Hi, my name is Madison and I’m the Campus Life Editor. I started working for The Connection during winter 2018 semester after seeing the website and reading through the posted articles. I’ve had a passion for writing since I was about 12 years old, so I decided that I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. Even though I didn’t have any formal work experience, I figured it would be a unique first job.
I could have never imagined what The Connection would come to mean to me or how much I would grow professionally and personally. It was amazing to form new friendships with people who shared my interests, to be recognized by some of my professors for my work or even to see a complete stranger pick up our newspaper for a quick read. It’s not an understatement to say that when I found The Connection, I found not only myself, but the greatest people I’ve ever known. During my first term as a writer, I was eager to be involved in everything. We have always believed in cultivating the next generation after ourselves and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of the editors before me.
In addition to working, I attend Schoolcraft full-time working toward earning my associate degree in science and a certification in phlebotomy. Although I love writing, I came to realize after many health issues that I want to become a physician. My hope is to continue working with The Connection to engage in my most treasured hobby of writing while saving for medical school.
To anyone considering joining us, please do. Everyone is welcome with the paper and though I’m far from graduating, I know that the Connection will always be the highlight of my time at Schoolcraft.
Arts & Entertainment Editor
My name is Kevin O’Neil and I am contractually obligated to introduce myself to you. I apologize in advance.
I decided to be a part of the Connection as I have a passion for writing and my thoughts were that this would be enough of a challenge to keep the point of my prose nice and sharp, while also exploring how I’d enjoy journalism as a possible career.
My love of writing closely followed my adoration of books, particularly works of fiction that managed to create a universe simultaneously impossible and palpable; one that promotes thought and reflection within its readers, with moral themes tucked within every dark corner of the plot. Be sure to keep your eyes open for some of my favorites.
If you want to get an idea of me as a person, well, I’ll try and keep it short. According to my results on the MBTI personality test, I classify as INFJ, which in essence means I’m introverted, highly abstract in thinking and am tightly bound in some such moral code.
I’m here at Schoolcraft mainly because the financial wound would pale in comparison to that of a university and in terms of curriculum, I’m pretty much getting my general education out of the way before I transfer. With effort on my part you lot will be able to tolerate my work, but with enough luck you might be able to enjoy it.
Layout & Design Editor
Hello readers, my name is Evan Cerezo. This is my second year as the Layout & Design Editor for the Schoolcraft Connection. My job as the Layout Editor is to take the stories from the writers and editors and place them into the newspaper. I have to “play” with text editing and typography to create text that is pleasing and fits into its allocated space. I also place images, create assets and adjust the overall layout of the paper to look appealing and consistent.
Outside of work I enjoy lots of geek related hobbies. I play video games (Switch & PC), watch anime and read different comic books. I’m also a big movie buff; every week or two there will be something new I’ll go to see. Recently I saw the movie “Good Boys,” which was incredibly funny and I recommend it to anybody who likes cringy humor.
I’ve been at Schoolcraft for two years now and am just starting my third year.
Overall, I’m pretty optimistic and positive person who just likes to enjoy life. My biggest goal in life is to just enjoy everyday life to the best of my ability and as of right now, that is going pretty well.
Hello, my name is Matthew Armstrong and I’m a third-year student at Schoolcraft College going for my associate degree in 3D and Video Graphics, as well as an officer for the CGT Club. In addition, I am the new production assistant for the Schoolcraft Connection. As production assistant, I will assist other editors with additional help in their sections, as well as writing my own editorials occasionally.
For a long time, I’ve had a dream of being a part of an art studio, which has been my main focus in life for the last four years now. If there were two things in this world that I would never want to be taken from me, the first would be my family, because they have helped me through so much and I couldn’t be anymore grateful. The second would be my animals, specifically my bearded dragon named Hudson who has gotten me through a lot as well. My favorite bands are Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat.
My hobbies include but are not limited to fishing, working on pixel art, working on my car and listening to Joe Rogan podcasts while working on homework and artwork. Some of the achievements I am most proud of would be continuing with my education and improving my grades throughout the school years. Another achievement would be that I’m living on my own and working hard.
Being a part of a newspaper was never my No. 1 dream, but I had always found the newspaper industry very interesting so I thought joining the Connection would be a good opportunity for me. My goals going forward are to continue and further my graphic design and art career.
My name is Jihad Muhammad and I am currently the Photo Editor for the Schoolcraft Connection. I am studying Computer Science and would like to eventually transfer to the University of Michigan.
Describing myself posed to be a rather difficult challenge for me considering every time I talk about me it’s either negative or has to do with someone else. Sure, I could’ve easily said that I am an 18-year-old man that loves to express himself in many different ways. Basic. Like my outer shell entails, but sadly that is not the case.
Until about the age of nine when I moved to the suburbs, I was born and raised in Detroit. Since then I’ve been moving around a lot, never staying anywhere for more than two years. I have gone to around five elementary schools, two middle schools and three high schools. All with different ethnic backgrounds which exposed me to a lot of different cultures. Most people can’t say that nowadays.
Until I got to high school, school never posed a threat to me. I would’ve never expected an institution of people within the same age group to be so cruel to one another.
I am much more than my past obstacles because although they did make me, me. I am proud of that. I want to tell people that life gives you pressure not to erase you but to transform you into the diamond that shines your light to everyone around
My name is Alex Zuccarini. I’m currently the Webmaster and Marketing Assistant for the Schoolcraft Connection. I honestly really like this job and it has forever changed how I view joining a club and getting involved on campus and I strongly recommend doing both.
Outside of the Connection and school, I work at Joe’s Produce doing off-site catering as the “catering captain.” I think that’s my official title… “Web Guy” and “Catering captain” … Where you at Marvel? I got your next big hit.
I run on coffee and Jesus and I’m dating an awesome girl named “Benny”. With the little time I have outside of the work/school grind, I like to spend it at her house, with her and her dogs. She always says that I’m dating one of them; our relationship is going very well.
I love to play tennis, Ping-Pong, disc golf and I have a new found love for the sport of golf. I also really enjoy snowboarding in the winter (can’t wait!)
I love anything pumpkin spice and just scarfed down a pumpkin spice pop-tart. Toast those boys up and they are seriously delicious. Psychology interests me and I may be pursuing it in the future, but for now I am on the Web Specialist track and will most likely continue to pursue a degree in computer science, with a possible minor in psychology.
That’s pretty much it for me. If you are looking for a job or would like to meet any of the Connection staff, go to the Student Activities Office located in Lower Waterman of the VisTaTech Center. We’d love to meet you!
The word “family” most likely means something different to me than to the average American. I am Armando Saucedo-Villegas and I am a freshman here at Schoolcraft College. Along with that I am the videographer for the Connection; I shoot, edit and post the videos that will come up for this semester.
I was born in Saltillo, Mexico, where my father Armando was born, and his father, Armando was born as well; it was the same city where my two older sisters and I went to school before my father’s job relocated us to Michigan three years after. We flew over to Detroit Metropolitan Airport with a few suitcases only planning to be here for a year. First staying in a hotel and then an apartment in Rochester Hills. After a year I had finished preschool in a strip mall, my parents told my sisters and I that we would be staying here a little longer. We moved to our first temporary house and I started kindergarten. Halfway through the school year my family moved again to a condominium. Soon after my dad was offered another job. We moved to our final house in Canton, Michigan, where I finally settled in a school district.
Every chance we had during that time our family would never fail to take the car and go anywhere we wanted to explore. Some winters we would even drive back to Mexico and spend the holidays with family. During our summers, vacations were close to home, allowing them to be spontaneous. Rather than saving for elaborate and expensive trips like my friends at school, our family consumed local culture and grew closer together. While Disneyland sounds fun, the experiences with my familia are priceless in comparison.
“Armando” is not just a name assigned to me, it is a name that spans generations. It gives me a connection to my family that is still back in Mexico. “Family” is not just the people you live with, for me, family is tradition. As a Latino living in America, when everything moves from under my feet, I will still look up and see my family.