Senior Showcase: Monitor Editorial Staff

This May, six members of the Hilltop Monitor editorial staff will graduate. Each senior shared their experience on the Monitor, memories of Jewell and plans for after graduation.  

Kristen Agar, senior accounting major, has been on the Monitor for the past four years and served as Editor-in-Chief this year.

“The Monitor has taught me so much over the past four years,” Agar said. “I started out my freshman year wanting to be just a photographer. I thought my writing was awful. I owe so much to the staff members before me who encouraged me to push myself and helped cultivate my writing. They gave me the chance and helped me find my potential. I attribute all my success to them.”

For Agar, she will miss the people she has met at Jewell.  

“The thing I will miss the most about Jewell is absolutely the people,” Agar said. “The friends I’ve made are incredible. There truly is a special community of achievers at Jewell, and I will miss being challenged and inspired by these people.”

Agar will use her accounting major after graduation in a position at the KPMG office in Kansas City.

“I will be working as a tax associate in their [KPMG] Global Mobility Services department to provide tax services and consulting to companies who operate internationally,” Agar said.

Erin Melton, senior Oxbridge Literature and Theory major, served as the Monitor’s Chief Copy Editor for the past year.

Melton spoke about the inspiration the Monitor provided her over the years.

“The Monitor has always been a place for me that was really inspiring,” Melton said. “This has always been a place of a lot of really powerful, strong women in leadership positions. I’ve always felt a lot of camaraderie with the other ed staff members. It’s just always been a fun place to come together with people.”

Melton plans to work and then start a masters program in London.

“I will be moving to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to do a year with their Habitat for Humanity,” Melton said. “And then in September of 2019 I’ll start at a masters program at the London School of Economics and Political Science.”

Brianna Steiert, senior Oxbridge Molecular Biology major, spent the past year serving as the Monitor’s Features Editor and Managing Editor.


“If you had asked me in high school if I would join a newspaper staff in college, I would have said no,” Steiert said. “I joined Monitor with no newspaper experience, yet it became one of my favorite activities in college. I became more confident in my writing and learned to have a stronger appreciation for news both local and international.”

Steiert will miss the people at Jewell she gets to see every day when she graduates.

“It will be weird to not sit down at a table of ten people for dinner or to walk into a building and not see anyone I know,” Steiert said.

Steiert has no definite plans for after graduation, but has applied for jobs in her field and looks to pursue a masters or doctorate in either microbiology or immunology.   

Jesse Lundervold, senior chemistry and studio art major, served as Lifestyle (now Arts and Culture) Editor this year.

“I’ve been on the Monitor since first semester of freshman year,” Lundervold said. “It was a wild ride. It was the first year we had went digital and I just remember as a first year being incredibly intimidated by the ed [editorial] staff.”

Lundervold will miss the atmosphere of the Monitor, specifically, and Jewell, in general.

“Getting to know the ed staff more and having the Monitor being a very integral and incredibly positive part of my time on campus will be definitely something that I will miss,” Lundervold said. “I’ve met incredible peers and colleagues at Jewell and have such a great support system of current students, former students that I met and have since graduated, as well as outstanding and incredibly supportive faculty.”

Lundervold will attend a chemistry doctoral program at the University of California, Davis in the fall.  

Drew Novak, senior political science major, served as the Monitor’s Perspectives Editor this year.

“The Monitor has helped me refine my writing skills and has taught me the virtue of writing concisely. Beyond that academic influence it has had on me, I have also learned how to give Kristen a hard time,” Novak said.

Novak will miss the professors he has had at Jewell and the close friendships he has gained.

“I will miss the professors the most at Jewell,” said Novak. “I owe them a great deal of credit for molding me into the student and individual I am today. They have instilled within me a life-long passion for learning. Furthermore, I will also [miss] my dear friends Rylan, Trey and Conner and all the wonderful memories I have made and shared with them.”

Novak plans to travel after graduation and pursue graduate work next year.

“Following graduation, I will be traveling to Oxford, England, and the Amalfi Coast in Italy,” Novak said. “After returning to the United States, I intend to take a year off to substitute teach and then I intend pursue graduate work in security studies or international relations.”

Jake Marlay, senior biology major, served as Sports Editor this year.

Marlay said he learned that, “if you attack anything with a passion and a positive attitude you can motivate not only yourself but others to accomplish their goals.”

Similar to his fellow seniors, Marlay will miss the people he has met at Jewell the most.

“I’ve met so many great people in every nook and cranny of this little school on the hill that I will remember and forever cherish my time with them,” Marlay said. “I’ve met some of my best and lifelong friends, mentors, future leaders and innovators, and inspiring people right here on this campus.”

After graduation, Marly will begin coaching football at Fort Scott Community College.

“My plans after graduation are to begin coaching football at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas,” Marlay said. “I start in the summer and will be special teams assistant coach there. From there I hope to just climb the coaching ladder and follow my dream, be the next Bill Snyder.”

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