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Kelsey Bode: Defender’s Print Executive Editor

Our campus paper, the Defender, circultes campus four times a semester and conveys  what is going on on and off campus. Meet the leader of editorial team, senior Kelsey Bode. 

Class of 2017

Major: English & Media Studies, Journalism, & the Digital Arts

Hometown: Groveland, MA



HC: How did you become Executive Print Editor of Defender? 

KB: I was always interested in journalism. Since I was really little I’ve enjoyed writing in general, mostly creative writing until college. After my first semester at The Defender, I realized that I’d miss it a lot if I left, so I didn’t. Becoming executive print editor was something that just fell into place for me. I wanted to challenge myself by getting out of my comfort zone and taking on a leadership position.


HC: What is your favorite thing about being on the Defender? 

KB: I like the atmosphere of working so hard to create a newspaper with other student editors, writers, photographers, etc. Our editorial staff is definitely a team, and I like the camaraderie and friendship that that brings.

HC: Which professors have had the biggest impact on your SMC experience? 

KB: I’ve had several amazing professors here at St. Michael’s. Professor Cleary of the Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts department and Professor Clary of the English department both have had a huge impact on my education.

I’ve taken something like 7 classes with Professor Cleary. She’s encouraged me to challenge myself and helped me to become the writer/editor that I am today. I consider her to be my mentor and look up to her greatly. There have been some hard stories the newspaper has covered, and I couldn’t have navigated those situations without her guidance, nor without the guidance of Professor Swope either for that matter. Professor Cleary and Professor Swope are the advisors for The Defender. They go above and beyond the call of the duty all of the time to help us create the best final product that we can. I’ve learned so much about journalism and storytelling from both of them.

In addition, one of the first classes I took was an upper-level course on William Shakespeare’s plays. As someone who loves Shakespeare’s work, I was really excited to take the class, and it was even better than I could have hoped for. It was taught by Professor Clary, a brilliant English professor. He recently retired from the college, but his courses on William Shakespeare and John Milton are among some of my all-time favorites that I’ve taken. He brought such genuine passion and excitement to his courses that it truly brought the material to life.


HC: What is your favorite thing to do in Burlington?

KB: I like visiting the waterfront in Burlington. Vermont is really beautiful, so just taking in the mountains, the forests, and Lake Champlain is really nice on a day-to-day basis.


HC: Biggest piece of advice for freshmen?

KB: It’s important to challenge yourself because we’re all capable of more than we initially realize. Saint Michael’s is an amazing community full of supportive, brilliant professors and students who will help you grow academically and personally, so it’s a great environment to test the waters. 

CC for HC SMCVT. Massachusetts girl, who somehow ended up in Northern Vermont. Senior at Saint Michel's College studying Media, Journalism & Digital Arts. Interests include: running, Bridesmaids, bagels, the color navy and guacamole. Firm believer that you can never be overdressed or overeducated.
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