Marie Sykes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Layla M. Halterman has served as The Grizzly’s Editor-in-Chief for the past two years and was a staff writer for a year before that. She is a Media and Communi- cations major and part of the class of 2023. Outside of her role on The Grizzly, Layla also worked as a copy editor and reader for The Lantern, an academic coach, a member for Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow, and served on the Senior Class Gift Committee. Meet the 2021-2023 EIC before she graduates this May.
Halterman became involved with The Grizzly as a sophomore. She first began her studies with the intention of pursuing medical school, but her chemistry professor “suggested that [she] do a little ‘soul searching.’” Following that, she “[threw herself] into a couple of media classes [and] thrived in journalism.” A self-described “word nerd,” she became the editor-in-chief in spring 2021 after discovering that she was a “natural journalist.” She says the job has kept her on her toes, but that she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Halterman’s goals as editor-in-chief were to “create a bolder, braver newspaper.” She wanted students to have “a safe space to talk about who they are and what they stand for.” She also thought the paper needed a “facelift,” and so she set out to do that. The Grizzly now looks quite different than it did in prior years.
In her editorial role, Halterman says, she learned three main things. “First, no one can do anything remotely great alone,” she says. “Always be grateful, especially for your staff’s hard work and dedication, and make your appreciation known.” Her second point was that when something goes wrong, it’s best not to take it personally. Third, she says, it’s crucial to own up to mistakes.
Asked what student journalism means to her, Halterman replies: “to me, student journalism means telling the truth, amplifying the voices of the campus community, and highlighting others’ good qualities and accomplishments, especially those who do not always receive the opportunity to be heard.”
After graduation, Halterman says she’ll “definitely miss working on the paper” as well as the Ursinus campus. She enjoyed “interacting [and] building a strong rapport with the student body and extended Ursinus community.” She highlights how grateful she is to her support system and mentors, including Dr. Sheryl Goodman, Dr. Doron Taussig, Dr. Lynne Edwards. Amy Brink, and former Ursinus President Jill Marsteller ’78. She says, “they embraced me like one of their own and were in my corner from the very beginning. They tell me what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear … Their investment in my well-being ultimately has been my driving force to succeed.”
Post-Ursinus, Halterman plans to enter law enforcement. She is passionate about community policing, she says, and about strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and their communities. She also would like to write a book one day. But she does not have any plans set in stone. “I am learning to be content with uncertainty,” she observes.
“Who knows where life may lead me?” she asks. “I will likely look back on this article and laugh, thinking nothing went as planned. I’ve had to rely heavily on my faith for the majority of my young adulthood to carry me through some really painful whys, so I believe that God puts us in places we are meant to be. I live with great certainty that He will continue to bless me with opportunities, granting me the strength and confidence to seize them whether that be law enforcement or something else.”
Best of luck to our 2021-2023 Editor-in-Chief Layla M. Halterman as she pursues her future. We cannot wait to see what is in store for you, and hope that what you have learned here will take you far.