Sophomore Maddy Smith was cranking out published writing at an early age. Back in third grade, Smith had her picture and a story published in American Girl magazine.
“It was a story about winning a gold medal in swimming in second grade,” Smith said. “I don’t even know if I told my parents I was sending it in. I think they just found out when I got the letter saying my story was going to be in the magazine.”
Indeed, there is no better story with which to begin an account of Smith’s current persona, especially as it relates to The Lamron, the publication which she will preside over for the 2012-2013 school year.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Smith said she moved a lot during her childhood, living in Virginia and Massachusetts before coming to Clarence, N.Y., a town outside of Buffalo, where she attended middle and high school.
Smith recounted that music was central to her life throughout high school. She sang in chorale, performed in multiple musicals and played piano and guitar. She also recalled her strength as a writer and her work with her high school newspaper, The Clarence Red Devils’ Advocate.
Since age 5, one of Smith’s main focuses was soccer. But at the end of junior year, she decided to quit, saying that it was something that stopped being enjoyable for her. “I remember telling my parents and thinking it was going to be a very big deal, but they both just said ‘it’s your choice,’” she recalled. “That was when I realized there’s no set path.”
As such, Smith came to Geneseo as a strongly independent person with an interest in writing and found herself with a work-study job in the communication department under lecturer and Lamron advisor Ginni Jurkowski.
“[Jurkowski] called me and asked if I’d be interested in working for her in the communication department,” Smith said. “I told her journalism was something I was interested in and then she copied me in an email to [then Editor-in-Chief] Julie [McMahon ‘11].”
Smith began her Lamron career in the opinion section, but eventually found her place in Knights’ Life by early October of her freshman year.
“I remember right after getting used to the Knights’ Life section, I got an email from [then Knights’ Life Editor] Kelly [O’Donovan ‘11] that said she’d be stepping down and she recommended that I run,” Smith said. “I was underprepared for that election. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is more serious than I expected,’ simply because I had no idea what to expect.”
Smith said she began her second semester at Geneseo ready to begin working hard.
“Even if there was doubt about me, all I could do was walk in and learn and pay attention and do what needs to be done,” she said. “I stayed in the office until four in the morning that first week. My eyes hurt, my head hurt, but it was fun.”
“I learned a lot about myself, about management, about The Lamron as a whole, in that first month,” Smith recalled. “Then after that month I was revved-up on Lamron.”
After living with her sister in Buffalo over the summer, Smith said “everything fell into place this year.” She got a second job, declared an economics major after finding a discipline in which she could apply her interest in math to the real world, along with a French major, and set out for a year-long tenure as Knights’ Life editor. “This was a huge year of growth for me as a writer, editor and person.”
Smith said she is looking forward to working with an e-board of “creative, motivated new people” next year. “It won’t just be me directing them; they have tons of ideas and are super motivated,” she said.
Those of us who are departing can only smile and be jealous that we won’t get to work more with the ever-growing Smith.