The women behind the JTAC

Meet the editor team that make the paper possible


Creating an award-winning newspaper that keeps students informed and entertained is much harder than people believe. Between creating year-long production schedules, designing new, eye-catching layouts, creating and assigning story ideas and keeping up with the social media, being an editor at the JTAC newspaper can be a grueling task. Nonetheless, it is rewarding. Each editor has a different background and responsibility that keeps the paper diverse and ever growing.

Blake Smith serves as the current Editor-in-Chief. She is majoring in Communications with a concentration in journalism and broadcasting. Blake is a senior expected to graduate in May 2023. Despite being from a small town called Mexia, Texas, Smith has big city dreams. After graduation, Smith hopes to move to Atlanta, Georgia to become a social media marketing manager at a PR agency. 

“A lot of people do not understand what an Editor-in-Chief does. I have served as the Editor-in-Chief for almost a year now and I still sometimes struggle with understanding what my job entails. During the summer, my job was to create the layout for the Howdy Week paper. I was also tasked with creating the yearly handbook, interviewing potential writers and photographers and organizing major events that the JTAC participates in throughout the semester. The hardest part of my job is creating the production schedule for the year because you never know what will pop up and change the structure of the paper. Ultimately, my job is to make sure the JTAC continues to keep students informed and entertained. I am also in charge of making sure my staff feels loved and supported because without them, the JTAC would not be the blossoming paper that it is today,” JTAC Editor-in-Chief Blake Smith said.

Ashton Cox serves as the content editor of the paper. She is a sophomore English major whose love for animals keeps the JTAC informed about all things dogs! Cox is originally from Sadler, Texas. Cox recently changed her major from pre-vet to English after her love for the JTAC bloomed. As the content editor, her biggest responsibility is making sure that the articles that go into the paper are original and entertaining. In addition to her everyday tasks, Cox is currently learning how to be the Editor-in-Chief in preparation for Smith’s departure in 2023. Following her graduation in 2025, Cox hopes to become a technical writer. The editor team agrees that this job is fitting considering her office nickname is “Punctuation Princess.”. 

“Although the name content editor does not seem that jarring, there is a lot more that goes into the position than just editing the articles produced by our contributors. I am in control of designing story layout, assigning deadlines, passing out story ideas, writing articles, as well as editing. Blake and I have the decision of what stories go into the paper. Although we make that decision together, it is my job to make sure we have around 20 story ideas for each layout so the paper does not fall behind. The deadlines I create are a major part of our newspaper, making sure that articles are turned in, and edited on time, and ready to be put into the paper on time. Although there is a lot more to this job than expected, I would give my life for the staff and the JTAC. Watching the contributors grow and fight through organization, time management, and readiness is an amazing thing to witness. They, as well as the editor team, grow better and better everyday. Hopefully, the JTAC newspaper is portraying that,” Content Editor Ashton Cox said.

Ronique Caldwell is the creative editor of the paper. She is an education major with a focus on early childhood through sixth grade with a minor in business. Although she has been unsure in the past, Caldwell has recently decided she wants to teach fourth grade math. Caldwell is originally from The Colony, Texas and her bubbly personality is what keeps the editor team upbeat. Caldwell is expected to graduate in May 2024. Her short-term goal is to become a teacher, but Caldwell’s aspirations span far beyond working in the United States. Her long-term goals include moving to Japan and opening her own daycare center for underprivileged students. 

“My job is to create the layout each week. The biggest misconception people have regarding my position is that it is easy. I am also in charge of creating, passing out and sorting through any photos that are taken for the JTAC. With there being so many events happening on campus each week, it can be tough to capture every single moment. Although the job can be trying at times, it feels so good to watch the student body snatch up the paper each week. Since starting, I have been able to witness the racks in the student center be cleared within days of putting the paper out. Knowing that people enjoy picking up the paper and engaging with the content is so rewarding. I am still learning, but that makes the experience all the more fulfilling. I love being able to learn new skills that will later prepare me to thrive in the corporate world,” Creative Editor Ronique Caldwell said.

Lauren Carey is the newly appointed multimedia editor at the JTAC. Her organization skills coupled with her love for the JTAC is what has given our Instagram account a much needed facelift. Carey is a sophomore wildlife sustainability major from Dallas, Texas. Carey’s responsibilities include planning and creating Tik Toks, creating fun posts and stories for Instagram and posting the articles on the JTAC website. Carey has been with the JTAC as a writer for a year now and was quickly moved into an editor position as the semester settled. Despite the speedy turnaround, Carey has adjusted to becoming an editor with poise and eloquence. 

“My job as the multimedia editor is to create and post social media content that engages and interacts with the student body. The absolute best part of my job is being able to go to events and capture the moment from the outside looking in. There’s just something so special about being able to see the joy that Tarleton brings to all of its students. While there are exciting parts, there are equally as many tough ones. Sometimes, the turn around between the actual event, and posting the event is quick, and it often involves some running around. Overall, the JTAC is and has been a truly one of a kind experience. I feel very supported by the staff here, and it has been a great place to learn and grow. I realize that I am exceptionally privileged to have the opportunities that I do, all thanks to the JTAC,.” Multimedia Editor Lauren Carey said.

As your 2022-2023 editor team, we hope to each serve the student body to the best of our ability. Although we each have different backgrounds, goals, majors and responsibilities, we collectively love the JTAC beyond measure. The easiest part about each of our jobs is keeping the JTAC entertaining. We, as a team, hope that we have done just that.