Viewpoints editor-in-chief says goodbye, off to Mizzou

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Erik Galicia, Viewpoints editor-in-chief, covers a protest calling for justice for Ernie Serrano in downtown Riverside on Dec. 27. (Erik Galicia | Viewpoints)
By Erik Galicia

Working for Viewpoints has been one of the highlights of my life.

I’ve always said my introduction to journalism happened by chance. I did not have much going on in life when I decided to register for the Introduction to Journalism course in the spring of 2019. Although I had never considered a career in journalism, it sounded kind of interesting.

Our now retired adviser Allan Lovelace would take students to our dusty little newsroom on the first day of class and encourage them to join our college’s nearly 100-year-old newspaper.

“I guess I’ll give it a shot,” I told myself.

I fell in love in a matter of weeks. Now I’m starting to believe it was fate.

I battled addiction since my teenage years and had only been clean for about one year when I joined Viewpoints. Although I practiced the principles of recovery and kept myself busy, I was looking for a purpose.

My work with Viewpoints brought me the realization that journalism is what I am meant to do.

As a news reporter, news editor and editor-in-chief, I have had the privilege of covering major stories ranging from the death of Ernie Serrano in Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies’ custody to the COVID-19 developments that have affected all of us. I have had the honor of representing Viewpoints on the front lines of local social and political movements and performing for Riverside City College in various college journalism conventions.

Although all of the awards and shoutouts are greatly appreciated, my work has not been for the recognition. It has been done in the name of public service, which Lovelace, and instructors Matthew Schoenmann and Angela Burrell have taught me journalism is all about.

What we do, we do out of love for our community. I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.

Viewpoints is not the average class. It is a team. And what I will miss most about it is my teammates.

I have never been prouder of any co-workers in my life than I have been of my Managing Editor Leo Cabral, Photo Editor Angel Peña, Multimedia Editor Daniel Hernandez and News Editor Cheetara Piry. They have been an extremely important part of my life during the last few years. Like my instructors, I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to this newspaper.

Cabral will be taking over the steering wheel in a few days. Having been managing editor for myself, and Peña during his tenure as captain of the ship, Cabral has proven themself ready to take Viewpoints to new heights. I am sure they will do awesome as editor-in-chief.

I will be heading to the University of Missouri this upcoming fall and, for the first time since my childhood, I feel like the sky’s the limit.

While I cannot say for sure where I will end up careerwise, I can say that I will always look back at Viewpoints and RCC with love, pride and gratitude.

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