By Katie Sittig-Boyd
Right at the time when the rest of the Voice staff members are finishing their pages for the night, tightening up tense changes, tweaking headlines, and re-arranging picture placement in anticipation of heading home after a long evening in the newsroom, is when Mary Commisso, our fearless Web Editor, first arrives.
Every Tuesday, Commisso arrives in the Voice newsroom after the Colleges of the Fenway Theater Project rehearsals end. Commisso has been involved with the COF Theater Project for the entirety of her college experience, and “I think it’s because the focus is very collaborative, and we always have fun, even though putting on a play is a lot of work,” Commisso said.
Once she has settled in, she gets to work on an important part of the Voice: making sure the paper’s stories have reach not only in print and on campus but also online.
Commisso will be graduating this spring with a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Integrated Media as well as Web Design and Development, and has been Web Editor for the last two years.
“When I first came on as Web Editor, it really wasn’t something the Voice had emphasized before,” said Commisso. “Over the past couple of years, I think we’ve really gotten up to date in terms of our online presence.”
The Simmons Voice has only started reaching out online via blog platform within the last decade, and Commisso has been a significant part of that effort. “I just really like being able to help bring the newspaper into the 21st century,” said Commisso.
Commisso has been involved with the paper since her first year at Simmons, when she started out writing pieces for the features page.
“I came to the first meeting of the year at the start of my junior year and they mentioned they needed a web editor, and I had just started my second major in web design, so I jumped on it, because why not?” she said.
“I was trying to find a niche I could settle into on the paper, even though I wasn’t really sure where my specialty would be, but it turned out to be pretty much the perfect role for me! So I’m glad it worked out.”
Since the Web Editor can’t start publishing pieces online until the articles are all finished, Commisso has some extra time between when she arrives and when the bulk of her work has to be done. “I love the flexibility it provides. I can write if I want to, I can copy edit if I want to… I can still hang around.”
Even though Commisso’s involvement in the COF Theater Project means that she has to come late, she still feels connected to the Voice staff. “If I was just web editor, that would be great, but getting to know the people who are writing the articles that I’m putting online allows me to connect with them on another level, which is fun. I’m glad I get to look through everyone’s work and see what they’re writing about.”
As part of her Communications degree, Commisso has worked as the design liaison and part of the editorial team for the Simmons CommTracks magazine. Additionally, she’s looking forward to CommWorks, which is hosted at the end of the semester and showcases senior students’ projects from all four years of their education.
After college, Commisso is looking forward to getting a job. “I’m excited to put my skills to good use!” she said, laughing. “Homework is great, but it’s only so fulfilling after a while, and I really want to get out there.”
Although she said she’s not very picky about what her first few jobs are, Commisso does have a few career options in mind. “I think it would be cool to be a web content creator for a cool company like Life Is Good. I would definitely be happy anywhere I could use my skills, write, design, edit… just do my own thing,” Commisso said.
“Mary’s the best,” said editor-in-chief Eva Weber. “Although she’s not there for the entire production night, I always look forward to when she comes in as we’re wrapping up. Whoever is taking over her role next year has some big shoes to fill.”