Today we feature Kalie VanDewater, a leader at Rowan University. Kalie is Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Rowan’s newspaper, The Whit. She is a senior Journalism and Modern Languages and Linguistics double major with a minor in International Studies from Mount Holly, NJ (Burlington County). Kalie is also involved in the Rowan Environmental Action League and ASL Club.
This story is part of a series spotlighting campus leaders during Women’s History Month.
What is your role in your organization?
As EIC of the Whit, I have a managerial role. I do a lot of coordination with the printer we work with, advertisers, and I usually write the editorial every week, and make sure all the other editors and writers know what they’re doing and answer any questions they might have.
Kalie also adds that when she first started working for the Whit her sophomore year, the staff was mostly male. In her three years there, she’s seen a trend in more diversity with race, gender and majors.
Can you briefly describe what your organization does?
We’re basically the independent student newspaper on campus, so that means we are the source of news on campus. We cover events that are happening and general university happenings. We get to dictate what content we put out. We’re student-run, so we don’t have faculty influence aside from our advisor who is there to make sure things are running smoothly.
What have you learned in your role as a leader?
I’ve learned to trust the people that I’m leading with their capabilities. I tend to be very particular about what I want to do. I started last year as our features editor, I would have an image in my head about what I thought an article should turn out like, but I’m not writing the article, someone else is. I had to get used to trusting my staff. It’s been a lot of learning when to step in and when to take a step back and let everyone do their own thing. You can be a leader without having control all the time.
What’s the most significant barrier to women today?
It’s that we don’t say what we feel. I feel like it’s kind of been internalized to just accept what is happening. It’s that feeling of if I don’t do what everyone else wants, I won’t be accepted. I think because of that, ideas and feelings that are completely valid may not be brought to light.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?
Be confident in yourself and confident in your abilities. Specifically for leading, be confident in the people that you are leading. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team. It’s important to know.
Check out Kalie’s work at The Whit here.
Like what you see?
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations major and
Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major
Joe Gentempo, senior art major