School & class: Barnard College, Class of 2017
Major: Computer Science & Psychology
Hometown: Madrid, Spain
1. Tell me a little about yourself. What are you favorite hobbies and interests?
Writing, reading, and photography have always been a big part of my life, and they have given me the chance to express myself creatively for as long as I can remember. These interests have expanded to include all different kinds of art forms; I really enjoy going to museums, and I am fascinated by theater and cinema. Aside from that, something that I wish I could spend all my time and money on is travel.
4. Tell me a little more about Echoes and your position as Editor and Chief.
Echoes is Barnard’s only Literary & Visual Arts Magazine, so we try to represent the writers and artists on campus, and provide a physical platform for them to share their work. We publish an issue every semester composed solely of student submissions. As Editor of the magazine, I oversee and work with my team throughout the publication process.
5. How and why did you get involved in Echoes?
I heard of Echoes before I came to Barnard, because I spent the summer here at the Pre-College Program. The editors of the magazine decided to make a special summer issue, and invited students in the program (we were in high school at the time) to submit work. I wasn’t taking a writing class and so I didn’t hear about the opportunity until it was too late, but I remember taking a copy back home with me and being completely in awe of the pieces my friends had created. When I came to Barnard as a freshman, I saw the magazine advertised and I submitted some of my work. Last year, when the senior EICs graduated, my co-editor and I were selected for the role.
8. What were some of the challenges you have faced as Echoes’ EIC?
The beginning was difficult because although I had worked at other student magazines, I had never been in charge of overseeing the publication of a physical issue. There are a lot of different steps and logistics that go into making that happen, the first of which is recruiting a strong team. This was essential, and we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the incredible Echoes Editorial Board. However, all of us came into it with no experience whatsoever, so there was a big learning curve.
9. What are some of the things you emphasize in the leadership of your team?
It is really important to me that everyone on my team feels valued and fulfilled. A student publication is complicated because we each have our own, independent lives and different priorities, yet we are all united by this passion for sharing good work and celebrating Barnard’s Literary community. I really try to get to know each individual well enough to understand their motivations and what they are really excited about outside of Echoes, so that they can bring this to the table. I want to align their own goals with the magazine’s goals, so that we can leverage everyone’s strengths and overall become a stronger group. Therefore, we have structure and guidance, but we also allow the freedom for our team to pursue their own projects and ideas.
7. What do you feel were some of the challenges of starting with a brand new team?
The biggest challenge was just that – we were all completely new to the process and had no prior experience in magazine publishing, for the most part. At the same time, however, this was very liberating as we were able to create our own rules and we were allowed to make the magazine completely our own. For example, our designer, Aurian, had no prior commitments or guidelines to follow, and she was allowed to decide what the physical issue would look like and make it with her own hands. I think this made us much closer as a team, since we grew together and everyone made a very visible contribution to the process.
6. In your opinion, how is Echoes different from other publications on campus?
Barnard College has an incredible tradition of female writers – some notable alumna include Anna Quindlen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mary Gordon, Zora Neale Hurston. This is evidence of the strength of the literary community on campus, and Echoes’ goal is to celebrate and represent that. We try to include a diverse range of voices, and focus on creating a physical meld of visual and written that can be held, looked at, and shared.
9. What is your goal for Echoes this semester?
Our goal for Echoes every semester is to publish an issue that is better and stronger than the last one. However, we are also working on getting our name out there, so that every student at Barnard knows what Echoes is and what we do. Aside from that, we are looking into different ways to make an impact on the community outside of Barnard.
10. If you could make one lasting impact as Echoes’ EIC, what would it be?
I think my team has done an amazing job of revitalizing the magazine, but if by the time I graduated everyone knew what Echoes was I would be very happy.