Our fearless leader


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By Eva Weber
Staff Writer

From the moment I hinted at wanting to write for the Voice, Taylor Rapalyea has not let me have a moment’s peace when it comes to the newspaper. When I volunteered to write the profiles for some of our senior staff, she was no different.

Time and time again she would remind me of the upcoming deadline and warn me not to leave it to the last second. Every time I assured her I would do no such thing, she would respond with something along the lines of “I’m only harassing you because I believe in you.”

It is this mentality that led to Rapalyea becoming the editor in chief of the Voice. She pushes her writers and editors to put out a respectable, nearly perfect newspaper each week.

She hounds us, not simply because she has the power to, but because she does believe in us; she wouldn’t ask for perfection if she didn’t have faith in our abilities to begin with.

“Taylor is result-oriented and driven to do better in everything she takes on, and she puts a lot of effort into helping others do the same,” said Simmons Voice staff advisor Professor Dan Connell.

But like all the staff on the Voice, Rapalyea comes from humble beginnings.

“I first got involved with the Voice when I wrote a single article my sophomore year. I violated nearly every rule of journalism. It was great,” said Rapalyea. “My junior year I asked to be Arts & Entertainment editor, and miraculously got the position. I gained more random responsibilities ever since, until it was officially announced that I would be the ruling editor.”

As editor-in-chief for the Voice this past year, Rapalyea has done much for the newspaper.

“She’s done a wonderful job this year with The Voice with little input or advice from me—just running with it herself,” said Connell.

“She built a strong team and produced a paper that has been better and more consistent than past years despite the fact that the team had to produce much of the copy themselves. Plus she is leaving a solid team in place for the fall, which says a lot for her leadership qualities.”

Though she’s done much for the Voice during her time at Simmons, Rapalyea feels that the newspaper, as well as the school ,has given back to her as well.

“I’ve met some of my favorite people through the Voice, and was given really weird and cool opportunities. The paper helped me realize that there is nothing I’d rather do than be a reporter,” said Rapalyea.

“Simmons has been a mixed experience for me,” said Rapalyea. “But at the end of the day, I got to where I wanted to be. I don’t think that would have been possible if I hadn’t come here.”

She’s moving on to bigger and better things, but Rapalyea will be leaving us with a few encouraging words:
“The only thing I can say is, follow your passion, and commit to excellence. You can’t go wrong that way.”

However, I don’t doubt those of us on the staff next year will be receiving texts from her now and again to get out of our seats and make something of ourselves.

Photo by Taylor Nealand.