Alumni editors reflect on favorite Loquitur memories

By Sierra Dotson
November 16, 2019

Cabrini was one of the first college newspapers in the Philadelphia area to go online and begin producing print digitally. Photo from Cabrini Alumni Flickr.
Cabrini was one of the first college newspapers in the Philadelphia area to go online and begin producing print digitally. Photo from Cabrini Alumni Flickr.

Meet the Alumni

Ronald Katkocin, class of 1980, is currently an adjunct business law professor at Cabrini University. During his sophomore year he became what was then referred to as the “page one editor.” In his junior year, 1978-79, he became the Loquitur’s editor-in-chief. In his senior year, although no longer on the editorial staff, he still remained involved in the writing staff.

Barbara Bruhin Kenney, class of 1985, was the editor-in-chief her junior year, 1983-84. She was an adjunct Writing professor at Cabrini and has also worked for several years in the journalism industry as a reporter at the Ithaca Journal.

Kimberly Beck, class of 1997, served as a copy editor from 1995-96 and as the editor-in-chief from 1996-97. Beck is currently the head of Marketing for Envestnet.

Mackenzie Harris, class of 2016, began guest writing as a freshman. She then went on to become the 2014-2015 editor-in-chief during her junior year. She currently works as a creative content manager for a non-profit organization in Washington D.C.

Cecelia Heckman, class of 2018, was the editor-in-chief for the 2016-2017 academic year. Heckman currently works in the video production industry, doing both freelance work and working as an editor/producer at Allied Pixel.

Coraline Pettine, class of 2018, was the managing editor for the 2017-2018. Pettine currently serves as a Media Creator at USA Kilts, a company that sells products made by authentic Celtic artisans.

Cabrini was one of the first college newspapers in the Philadelphia area to go online and begin producing print digitally. Photo from Cabrini Alumni Flickr. Taken 1987.

Celebrating 60 Years

In 1972, Jerry Zurek took over for Gerry Satlow who had been the paper’s previous adviser.  The Loquitur has since remained under the supervision of Zurek, also affectionately known in the department as “JZ.” Zurek has continuously pioneered the evolution of Loquitur as each new decade brings forth new technological advancements.

In 2008 came the introduction of LOQation News, a video program that ran from 2008-2017. The 2010s was when Loquitur began making its transition from simply being a newspaper to becoming the multi-faceted media entity it is today. It was during the 2016-17 academic year when Loquitur came to adopt “Loquitur Media” as its new official title.


LOQation Season 4, Episode 19. Originally Aired Feb. 16, 2012.

“I love the vision that Dr. Zurek always had for the Loquitur,” Kenney said. “He was always on the edge of technology, very encouraging and always asked great journalistic questions. So I think that’s part of the reason it’s been so successful is because of his work, his optimism, and his constant effort to keep things up to date with the current world of journalism.”

The Loquitur staff working in the newsroom in 1982. Photo by Jerry Zurek.

“It’s very humbling to be a part of something that’s been around so long and has achieved so many awards,” Pettine said. “You think of your contribution as so large because you’re doing it for a whole year and producing over a dozen newspapers but then you look at it through this larger scope and you’re just such a small part of this big puzzle.”

Memories

In 1996, the Loquitur editors had to save all files onto a disk that then had to be delivered to a printer in Ardmore.  Beck fondly remembers making many late-night runs in her 1984 yellow Ford Thunderbird with her fellow editors.

“We were tired and a bit delirious … and we’d find humor in everything,” Beck said. “I also remember we always thought we were going to run into the Cabrini ghost leaving the campus at that hour in the morning.”

Harris recalls collecting inspirational newsclippings and articles to decorate the walls of the newsroom. Even before their staff’s first issue, the team met several weeks in the summer to begin this motivational tradition:

“The newsroom didn’t look how it looks today,” Harris said. “Every patch of white space was being utilized by some inspiration and I was encouraging our team to put up articles and collect things… We were posting them to create the newsroom that we wanted to be inspired by.”

As editor-in-chief, Harris wanted her team to be surrounded by inspirational messages and articles. Photo from Harris’ wordpress.

“I was a commuter so I was driving 45 minutes each way,” Kenney said. “There were many late nights where we were working all night. We were waxing and pasting, having fun, getting cookies from the Cav and sometimes I was staying overnight in my friends’ rooms… My favorite memories are definitely those late nights.”

Favorite Print Issue?

Heckman’s favorite issue was the final print edition her editorial staff produced. She remembers she and the other editors being incredibly stressed due to the fact they had scheduled a layout during finals week, but they remained persistent and got out one final edition before the year was over.

“The cover we had worked on for so long,” Heckman said. “It was a picture of a boat and it talks about immigration. I remember my photo editor going out in almost the middle of the night to get a picture of this boat during finals week. She was finally able to get it and we were working all night to put this edition together but I think it really had some of the best stories from the whole year.”

Harris’ personal favorite issue that her editorial staff produced was this themed issue. The issue discussed different issues and analyses of the millennial generation. Cover art by Joey Rettino ’16. Available on Issuu.

On Feb. 13, 1997, Loquitur printed an issue celebrating Mother Ursula Infante’s 100th birthday. Katkocin had attended that birthday party with his wife and then 6-month-old son who is the young child pictured on the issue’s front cover.

“This little boy here is Michael Katkocin but nowhere in [the paper] does it have his name,” Katkocin said. “So since we’re doing this celebration of 60 years of Loquitur, now I can at least document somewhere for posterity that if anyone is ever wondering who that little boy is, it’s my son, Michael Katkocin.”

Ronald Katkocin holding the issue of Loquitur where his son, Michael Katkocin is pictured being held by Mother Ursula Infante, Cabrini’s founder. Photo by Sierra Dotson.

Favorite Article?

Pettine recalls a fellow student asking Zurek if they would potentially get in trouble for walking out to class to protest gun laws. She said that Zurek then went on a passionate rant about how in his youth, students didn’t care about “miniscule” things like detention. Witnessing this exchange was what inspired Pettine to travel to Washington, D.C. and attend the March for Our Lives, which she went on to cover in an article.

Kenney’s favorite article was an article she wrote about an incident of hazing that occurred in Grace Hall. Kenney described the hazing as being incredibly upsetting to both the students and the administration. However, she really enjoyed being able to take a stand on the matter and “say what needed to be said.” Kenney went beyond simply reporting on the incident, she took the article a step further by interviewing a psychologist and exploring the psychological effects of hazing.

The first volume of Loquitur was printed October 23rd, 1959. Photo from Loquitur Issuu.

Transferrable skills

“Loquitur gave me things that are intangible,” Kenney said, “like looking at myself as a leader, knowing my strengths and weaknesses. Also the idea of taking risks, being brave enough to ask the big questions.”

“Loquitur has become part of what defines me,” Beck said. “When I give talks or am asked about my background and how I got to where I am, I always acknowledge Loquitur and Dr. Zurek – it made me what I am. ”

Beck is very proud that the communication department continues to push for outstanding journalism, and are “always innovating Loquitur in line with the professional world.”

Many Loquitur alumni have gone on to be professors at Cabrini including Jill Smith ’09 (left) and Dawn Francis ’93 (second from left). Photo from Cabrini Communications Department Instagram.

Lifelong Friendships

Since it is required that all communications majors take the journalism course to graduate, many students view the class as a “rite of passage.” Many students also come to feel a sense of community among their fellow editors and staff due to the course being a year long. For many Loquitur alumni, the bonds formed over the course of the year often last far beyond graduation.

“I made some really good friends on the Loquitur,” Kenney said. “I am lucky enough that sometimes two of my fellow editors, we would meet with Dr. Zurek every couple of years just to catch up.”

Scanned photo of Cabrini’s 1969 yearbook. Photo from Cabrini Alumni Flickr.

“Social media allows me to keep in touch with so many former Loquitur alum, which is fabulous,” Beck said. ” I’ve ended up hiring or connecting other alum to firms I was at over the years as well.  However, I still keep in touch with Jamie and Joe Marturano, who met at Cabrini and got married soon after we graduated.  They are both lifelong friends.”

Sierra Dotson

Cabrini University 2021 // News Editor 2019-2020

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