The sound of keys jingling in the keyhole of the door to the Roundup can be heard over the chaos and chatter of the newsroom. A tuft of dark brown hair and a pair of searching brown eyes survey the room to see if there’s a class in session. He sits at a computer and types for a few minutes and then rushes out.
Matt Thacker, the newest addition, is the instructional assistant for the Pierce College Media Arts Department.
Thacker was an English major at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Soon after he started working for the student paper, Thacker began interning at local newspapers. He wanted to change his major to journalism, however the University of Louisville did not have a journalism program.
“At the time I started college, I was not planning on becoming a journalist, but was just looking for something to do on campus. I started writing for it and I loved it,” Thacker said
Thacker said he decided to stay in journalism because he really liked helping people.
“I really enjoyed it and really enjoyed finding answers for people,” Thacker said. “Those are the types of things you can do to make a difference. You can get answers for people and get closure. And you can get justice for them.”
Since Thacker has been working at Pierce College, his colleagues have noted that he’s been a great benefit to the Media Arts Department.
His co-worker Sean McDonald, instructional assistant for photography, said, “Having another person who can work in the classroom while the students are putting together the newspaper content for the online edition of the newspaper and stuff like that, I think, is completely relevant. I think it is important for the current mindset of a digital newsroom.”
The students who make up the staff of the Roundup newspaper also appreciate Thacker helping them with grammatical and AP Style suggestions.
“Matt has been really helpful. He’s coming in with a lot of design experience. Our advisors are great, but they do not know design, so it is really nice to have a professional input on spacing, on headlines and decks, on how to format our pages, and how to design the ads, and how to make sure they are the right specs,” Editor-in-Chief of the Roundup Salvador Fariaz said. “Things that I really haven’t noticed before, he picks out when he looks at the web pages. He comes in on Tuesday, deadline day, and looks at the pages and gives his critique.”