Hoeger: Thank You for Allowing Me To Grow, Learn and Improve


Photo Courtesy Maria Charbonneaux

Outgoing Managing Editor, Sierra Hoeger, will be moving to NYC in early June to work as an editorial assistant for The TODAY Show. She is also currently accepting pizza shop recommendations! 

Sierra Hoeger

Three and a half years ago, an enthusiastic editorial adviser walked into journalism 101 and encouraged us to work for the Iowa State Daily. It’s a tale as old as time.

This adviser, who could be mistaken for Santa Claus but with a spoon tattoo on his forearm, visits entry-level journalism classes to recruit the next class of reporters each spring and fall.

Until he didn’t anymore.

I remember seeing the subject line “hanging up my press pass” in mid-August 2021, and I was shocked. I remember not being the only one who felt this way. Peers of mine who had grown close to Spoon, as we all called him, felt similarly.

We were entering this school year without an editorial adviser who had helped us all grow into the passionate student journalists we are today. 

This caused a real shift in our organization—one that has been very evident throughout this entire school year. I think you all have noticed it as well. However, the staff at the Iowa State Daily have proved their tenacity and willingness to succeed despite the cards we have been dealt. 

Over the past four years, I have held multiple positions at the Daily, including reporter, editor, copy chief and managing editor. It has been an absolute pleasure and honor to be able to work my way up through the hierarchy in a student-run publication.

I would be remiss to not thank the people who helped me get to where I am today. 

To Spoon: Without your persistent passion and pursuit for journalism, I would not have understood the importance of providing the Ames and Iowa State community with newsworthy, high-quality journalism every day. I have only just this year realized how lucky I was to have learned from an individual with as much experience and compassion as you. For that, thank you. 

To the ISD editors and staff: I am soon to be plunged into a world where I know very little people. As funny as it soundsI’m about to be fresh meat again. At least for a little while, I won’t be in a leadership position where I get to learn from and teach others in a capacity like I have this year.

It has been an absolute pleasure to send late night reminders about cutlines and inquiring about coverage. It has been a pleasure to put together trainings, assist with headlines, mentor wide-eyed and curious reporters and voice my opinion in our weekly lists. I am genuinely going to miss the camaraderie we have created in the newsroom this year. Thank you for letting me pour into you all this year and grow, learn and improve as both a journalist and a person. 

To Claire, Eleanor and Miss Molly: To write this without tearing up is a real challenge. Being an older sister to Hannah (my real little sister) is one of the proudest titles I wear. I like to think that you all are in the honorary little sister club.

It is so weird to think that we only met a mere nine months ago and since then, have grown to be as close as sisters. I’m able to be honest, vulnerable, silly and serious with you all, and that is something I will always be thankful for. I learn something new each and every day from you three.

Claire, you taught me how to be a little more patient and grounded when working through obstacles that may pop up.

Eleanor, you remind me a lot of myself as a sophomore. It has been such a learning experience watching you jump over the same hurdles that I once didand be able to come out in first place on the other side. You are bold and unapologeticboth qualities I hope to embody some day.

Molly, you have made me a better journalist. Your critical thinking skills always leave me in awe. Watching you go to town on a story and look at it with a sharp eye, poring over it until it is perfect, is something I will always admire about you. I hope you three always remember that you are deserving of everything that will come your way, and never doubt your capabilities for a split second. 

To Gary: Thank you for allowing me to be a “messy” and scatter-brained leader at times and for guiding the newsroom through all of its various ups and downs. Whether it be listening to us banter during and after class, and offering advice in terms of a lengthy email, your presence at the Iowa State Daily has made us all better. Thank you for also making sure I don’t receive Canvas notifications on a Friday night out on Welch. 

To Tracy: While you did not have a direct impact on my work at the Iowa State Daily, you did have a direct impact on my time here at Iowa State. I fell in love with the behind-the-scenes work that goes into an article after your copyediting class, and thoroughly enjoyed cold case class (although I think that comes as no surprise). Thank you for being one of my biggest fans, a role I know you will continue to hold after May 14. 

To Julia and Morgan: (If you’re reading this!) It is so hard to believe that we have been through almost every stage and phase of college together. From being lifestyle and student life reporters our first semester of freshman year to working at Meredith this year, I am so lucky to have done it all with you two by my side.

I’m sure going to miss “I’m working from Starbucks today, if anyone wants to join,” text messages and receiving outfit pictures before important events. There’s no one else I would rather rant to about boys, lean on during a publication folding or turn to for advice about anything and everything. I have no doubt that I will continue to text, call and Facetime while I try to navigate the real world, just as I did when I was trying to navigate college. And the best part is? I know you’ll both respond willingly. 

And finally, thank you to the Ames and Iowa State community for allowing me to practice journalism in an environment where I was able to make mistakes and learn from them. Ever since I was a freshman, I have only been reassured in my decision to be a Cyclone. Part of this comes from the fact that I have had a strong support system there through it all.

As for what’s next, in early June, I will be boarding a flight to New York City, where I will be an Editorial Assistant for the Today Show. I have been dreaming about a future in New York since I was nine years old, and could finally see it become a reality these past couple of months.