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Student Officer: Allison Killinger

Allison Killinger, Richland Northeast High School senior, is the co-editor-in-chief of The Archive yearbook. After graduation, she hopes to attend Clemson University to study graphic communications.

Describe the position you hold within your publication. What are your responsibilities?

I’m currently co-editor-in-chief, so I’m working with my adviser and other co-editor to get the basis of the book set up (fonts, colors, graphic elements, etc.). As the year goes on, I’ll still design spreads, but I’ll also be reviewing other spreads, setting and enforcing deadlines, guiding the rest of the staff and training next year’s editors.

What’s your favorite part of the position? What do you find the most challenging?

I love being able to explore different stylistic options and seeing a page go from a blank canvas to a beautiful spread. It’s just so neat to see how ideas develop and how they manifest themselves within the final spread. The most challenging thing for me is staying organized—there’s a lot to keep up with, especially at the beginning of the year, and it can sometimes be difficult to make sure everything’s getting done for yearbook as well as for my other classes.

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on recently that you’re especially proud of. How did it come together? What did you learn from the experience?

At the end of this past school year, me and my co-editor were given the task of designing the cover for this year’s book. There were so many ideas that we had and so many designs we put together, but none of them felt right. Toward the end of the summer, I came up with an idea unlike anything we had previously thought of, and my co-editor and adviser ended up loving it, which made me proud. From this, I learned that it’s best to keep trying to come up with new ideas and to never settle for just “okay,” but to keep pushing yourself.

How has SIPA helped you improve and evolve as a journalist or editor?

Both years, SIPA has given me inspiration and motivation that I didn’t know I needed. I’ve learned valuable skills at each: how to advertise and sell the yearbook, how to put together a professional portfolio, how to take better pictures, how to make spreads pop—the list goes on. SIPA has taught me so many important things that I probably wouldn’t have gotten exposure to otherwise, which has helped me incredibly.

What are your goals as a SIPA student officer?

My goal, with the help of the other officers, is to make SIPA the best weekend possible with inspiring and motivating speakers, enjoyable social events, and good food (of course!). SIPA has given me very unique and memorable experiences, and I want to make sure that other attendees feel the same about this year’s convention.

What SIPA events have you attended? What are some of your favorite memories from those events?

I’ve attended SIPA the past two years (2015 and 2016), and I have fond memories of each. My first year, I just remember coming to the Saturday banquet and feeling so inspired from the sessions I’d attended and knowing that I wanted a career in the media field. For SIPA 2016, my favorite part was the TOP (Team On-Site Production) competition—I was working with people I was good friends with, so it felt like a normal day in class, which took a lot of pressure off and just made it enjoyable.

What advice would you give to other student journalists?

My advice would be to keep your eyes and mind open. I’ve learned amazing things from other students and teachers that I never would have thought of, and I’ve gotten inspired by the littlest of things. Exploring your options, whether in your publication or in the field of journalism, can never hurt!

Tell us something personal. What’s your favorite color, song or store? What’s your go-to fun fact?

Even though I don’t do it as frequently as I wish to, I love hiking and camping. A few years ago I went to Tennessee with some friends, and among whitewater rafting and ziplining, we also got to hike with llamas. It was an experience unlike any other, but definitely my favorite hike I’ve been on!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.