Taylor Griffin: Editor-in-Chief*
Meet Taylor, the resident ginger of Baylor Student Publications (and no one lets her forget it).
At the Lariat, she’s busted Pinterest recipes and crafts as Arts & Entertainment Editor, became a front-page design wizard as News Editor and blogged from New York about idiot tourists as a Contributor. Last spring, she was co-editor of Focus Magazine’s “Deep in the Heart” issue. Prior to her transfer to Baylor, she served as Arts & Entertainment, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Apache Pow Wow newspaper at Tyler Junior College. In short, Taylor’s kind of a pushover and will do anything people tell her to do.
In her five internships, she interviewed Rick Perry for the Tyler Morning Telegraph, reviewed the Nation’s Capital theater scene for Where Washington Magazine, promoted couture on campus for Rent the Runway, ran errands for/to Jimmy Fallon and SNL cast members at NBC in New York and rubbed elbows with Dallas’ advertising elite at D Magazine. The most valuable skill gained? She also knows how to make a mean cup of coffee.
In her few, precious moments not in the Lariat office, Taylor enjoys cooking for friends, listening to the Love + Radio podcast, hours of Netflix bingeing and gratuitously speaking in movie quotes. Sometimes it’s annoying, but that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
Shehan Jeyarajah: City Editor*
Shehan Jeyarajah is a senior journalism major at Baylor. He works as city editor at the Baylor Lariat. He started out as a sports writer in Fall 2013 and fell in love. This year, Shehan made the decision to try and use his knowledge of sports journalism in the world of Baylor news. While working for the Lariat, he has gotten to cover the Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, both men’s and women’s March Madness and the Women’s College World Series. In addition to the Lariat, he currently works as the Baylor sports blogger for the Dallas Morning News and a contributor to Baylor’s Scout.com site. His work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football online and ESPN Radio, among others.
Sarah Scales: Web & Social Media Editor
Sarah Scales is from Texarkana, USA, which is located on a state border. She lived on the Arkansas side and went to school on the Texas side, so she’s still not sure which state to say she’s from. Sarah is a junior, journalism/public relations major, business administration minor and member of Zeta Tau Alpha. She’s part Hispanic, but you’d probably never know until you heard her mom speaking Spanish. Born with incredible incoordination, running is her sole form of physical activity. Sarah has an addiction to Grey’s Anatomy, caramel-flavored coffee and bright lipstick. She can quote “The Count of Monte Cristo” but forgets a person’s name two seconds after an introduction. It’s embarrassing how much she keeps up with the music industry. Simply stated, the Grammy Awards is like her Superbowl. One night Sarah hung out with Taylor Swift, and it will probably top her wedding day.
Rachel Leigh Toalson is a sophomore who is currently majoring in journalism new media and minoring in music. Throughout her lifetime she has moved multiple times which has instilled a love for travel, people and culture within her. Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but raised on the beaches of South Florida, Toalson is a laid-back, positive energy who craves life in a city where she can explore every corner.
Her passions include writing, photography, cheesy jokes that no one else finds funny, music and coffee. No matter the situation, Rachel regularly strives to maintain a sunny disposition and continually jams to music, whether it’s audibly playing or just the melodies in her mind. Many have said, including herself, that she was born in the wrong era and belongs in either the 1960s or the 80s. When she isn’t vicariously living in the past through music, impulsively buying things she doesn’t need or drinking coffee (which let’s face it–is all the time), she is working on her own music in hopes of, one day, sharing her words and inspirations with others. This is Toalson’s first year working with the Lariat and she is looking forward to the wonderful opportunities and people she may meet through it.
Rae Jefferson: Copy Desk Chief
Rae Jefferson is a senior journalism major and FDM minor from Houston. She has been around the Lariat track quite a few times, having previously been a staff writer and the A&E editor. This semester, Rae wields the great red correction pen as copy desk chief, and now has the authority to bop staffers over the head if they don’t know the difference between “there,” “their” and “they’re.”
When she isn’t crushing Lariateers’ grammatical dreams, Rae spends her time perusing Instagram, gawking over typography on Pinterest and taking photos of stuff. She is also a lover of travel, music and art, and desires to maybe one day write a book that will be read by a crowd slightly larger than just her dad, mom and Noah (the family dog).
Becca Flannery: Arts & Life Editor*
Her name is Rebecca Flannery, but most frequently she responds to the moniker “Bex.” Rebecca is on the cusp of adulthood, but thinks she’ll perpetually feel like a 15 year-old. Cotton balls are the bane of her existence and she’s convinced doughnuts are a cure-all. She will choose live music over any other contender and is more excited about the future of our generation than our generation seems to be.
Rebecca has been writing for the Lariat since her sophomore year at Baylor. Now, in her last semester as a journalism major, she can look back over about 90 articles she’s written and see how much there was to learn along the way. And she believes there’s still so much more.
Since living in Waco, she’s become a volunteer leader with YoungLife, she’s met some top-notch people and she’s learned more lessons outside of the classroom than she has in them.
Rebecca is thrilled to have the chance to manage the Arts and Life section of the paper – a section she believes has so much potential and possibility. She believes creativity runs deep in this community and intends to showcase that while we saunter through this semester as curious, cultured, exciting participants of the great Waco, Texas.
Jeffrey Swindoll: Sports Editor*
Jeffrey is a senior journalism/film & digital media double major.
After about two years of writing for the Lariat (one semester as an arts & entertainment reporter and three semesters as a sports writer), he somehow found a way to get on with the editors as sports editor. That’s not all there is to him, though…
Jeffrey loves family, video games, sports (especially soccer), music and writing. He partakes of each and every one of those things on a weekly basis. He spends time with my family across the country via Google Hangouts. He gets together with friends to play Smash Bros., Mario Kart and FIFA. He never turns down a chance to play some pickup soccer on campus (regardless of whether he’s wearing Levi’s or not). He is very often trying to find a new way to communicate his thoughts and revelations in the form of song or poem. Lucky for Jeffrey, at least two of those are things that he’ll be doing on a daily basis for the next two semesters – sports writing.
The Lariat part of his life is just a portion of who he is, just as he is sure that studies or an occupation is only a fraction of your being as well.
Covering Baylor athletics is an extraordinary opportunity, given the quality of facilities, teams and fan base. Baylor has hit the jackpot of college sports. We all get to see it, but Jeffrey gets the privilege of picking the school’s daily dose of sports news on campus.
Richard Hirst: Photo Editor
His name is Richard Hirst, but he answers to both Richard or Robby equally.
From Southern Oklahoma, Richard has worked for a photography studio based out of Fort Worth for the past four and a half years.
He came to Baylor two years ago following his sister, who is an alum. He is now a senior journalism new media major. While at Baylor, he has become a national award-winning photographer thanks to his work at the Lariat.
After graduation, Richard plans to move up to Fort Worth and work for the photography studio doing mostly commercial photography. On a personal level, he is a major nerd who can spend hours on end sitting at a computer editing or doing technical writing. Like most other college kids, he also loves hanging out with friends. It’s just the struggle of finding the time.
Dane Chronister: News Editor*
Dane is an aspiring journalist, photographer and musician. He is a member of Phi Kappa Chi and helps lead children’s worship for Highland Baptist Church. Dane is a superhero enthusiast and hopes to use his gifts and ability to write in order to help others. He wants to give a voice to the voiceless and inspire people to share their stories. Dane thinks that everyone has a testimony, we just have to listen in order to hear it.
Helena Hunt: Staff Writer
Helena Hunt is a senior University Scholar major from Sonoita, Arizona. No, she doesn’t want to explain University Scholars to you (she doesn’t understand it either) or show you where Sonoita is on a map (it won’t show up). Helena wants to be a writer so she can talk about everything without really knowing about anything. Everyone has told her that she’ll find her niche, but she’s realized that her niche may just be nichelessness, a fact she has reluctantly come to accept. At least when all her friends and rivals are successful academics, lawyers and doctors she can write the book that exposes their hypocrisies. It probably won’t be published, but she doesn’t mind. If you’re a somewhat bitter dilettante too, Helena would love to talk to you about Stevie Nicks or David Foster Wallace over tea—but not coffee or iced tea, and certainly not iced coffee. Oh, and she’s much nicer than she sounds in print, she swears.
Emma King: Staff Writer
Emma King is a new member of the Lariat staff this year. She is a sophomore, studying journalism/public relations. Emma’s parents live in Chandler, Texas, with the family’s two dogs, two cats and Emma’s brother, who is a senior in high school. Last school year, she was a clarinet player in the Golden Wave Band and performed with Sing Alliance in the spring. She is a member of First Baptist Church, Waco, and the Texans are Emma’s favorite NFL team. During her free time, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, blogging, learning to play her guitar or spending time with friends.
Stephanie Reyes: Staff Writer
Stepahanie Reyes is a senior journalism major from Port Isabel, Texas. Her interests include: Baylor University, writing, keeping up with the news and being on social media. Aside from that, she enjoys spending time with her family and capturing memorable moments on her phone. If she ever needs a good laugh, she can always count on Jimmy Fallon and his hilarious sketches on “The Tonight Show.” Stephanie’s TV favorites are “Friday Night Lights,” “Gilmore Girls” and “One Tree Hill.” If you like any of these shows, you and Stephanie will probably become good friends. Outside of class, you can catch her working out, listening to the Bobby Bones Show, and going to concerts. After graduation, Stephanie hopes to have a job that glorifies God and makes a difference. She also hopes to travel around the world. She is excited for this upcoming year and all the adventures it will bring!
As a sophomore, Jessica is currently majoring in journalism and political science with a film and digital media minor. After she graduates in 2018, she plans to attend law school and invest in the field of legal and political journalism. Growing up in a military family from the Central Texas area, Jessica has an affinity for traveling and experiencing different cultures. She is a fun-loving, Christ-centered girl who has a passion for writing and a love for laughter. Her best dance moves come out when she is jamming to her favorite songs in the car and in her spare time you can find her binge-watching “Scandal.” As a member of Delta Delta Delta, Jessica is a strong proponent of the extra-large T-shirt trend and without a doubt, she has learned that life is always better with a little bit of sass and chocolate!
Thomas Mott: Assistant Broadcast News Producer
Thomas Mott is a sophomore communication specialist major with a journalism minor. Born in Las Vegas, Nevada, to military parents, Mott has been working on and behind the camera since he was little. Beginning with his own YouTube channel, which has amassed over 350,000 views to date, Thomas quickly realized he had a love for on-camera speaking. While attending high school, Thomas joined his school newspaper and also landed a job at Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio. He became a tour guide and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the top guides at the cavern to date. Thomas was a high school state quarter-finalist for tennis and currently is on the Baylor club tennis team. Thomas has a passion for football and enjoys rooting for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles along with the Baylor Bears.
Stephen Nunnelee: Videographer
Stephen Nunnelee of Athens, Texas, makes photos, films and mixed media artworks. His photos and films are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. Nunnelee is currently a Professional Student and butler/father to a five-year-old Superhero in training named Cainen. When not at school or helping Cainen fight bad guys, Nunnelee can be found at the gym or on the couch. Upon graduating in May 16’ with a bachelor’s degree in new media, he hopes he will be able to contribute to society, get a job and finally pay his mother back. If not, then Nunnelee, as he has stated on many occasions, is perfectly content with his role as butler/father. Nunnelee currently lives, works, and is completely awesome in Waco, Texas.
Tyler Cagle: Sports Writer
Tyler Cagle is a senior sports writer for the Baylor Lariat. Tyler is an English major with a pre-law track. Tyler plans to attend law school, though he is undecided which institution at the moment. Aside from writing for the Lariat, Tyler, along with co-workers Jeffrey Swindoll and Josh Davis, hosts Don’t Feed the Bears, a Lariat podcast discussing topics in sports. Tyler and Josh also have a blog on sportsblog.com. Tyler is also a second-year intramural referee for the Baylor Recreation Services. He enjoys watching as well as participating in a wide variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball and soccer. More of Tyler’s hobbies include playing a ton of video games, reading, writing and listening to all genres of music.
Joshua Davis: Sports Writer
Joshua Davis is a senior at Baylor University, majoring as a Communication Specialist. He is from Denton, Texas and the firstborn of a family of seven (three brothers and one sister). He has a twin brother Caleb, who also attends Baylor. Joshua’s hobbies include fellowshipping with friends and family, watching and talking about sports, and playing an unhealthy amount of FIFA.
Joshua has worked at FOX Sports in New York (through the BCNY program), in addition to working at ESPN Dallas, and the local ESPN Central Texas station while attending Baylor.
He has a vast knowledge of sports thanks to the experience and connections gained during his time spent at internships, as well as his time watching SportsCenter. He has a tremendous passion for sports and hopes to one day pay bills as a sports broadcaster.
Joshua also enjoys playing basketball during his free time and can be frequently found at the SLC. He also hosts a weekly podcast that highlights the top headlines in sports with his co-hosts: Caleb Davis and Tyler Cagle. Joshua says he finds encouragement through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and feels blessed to be at a university where these topics are discussed freely.
Trey Honeycutt: Photographer
Trey Honeycutt is a sophomore and a business major. He is an Eagle Scout and with that, loves being in the outdoors; whether that be hiking, Enoing, fishing or throwing the Frisbee with friends. He also is very lighthearted and enjoys making jokes and making people laugh. He loves it when he can make someone’s day with something as small as a joke. He additionally enjoys meeting new people. People say that Trey has never really met a stranger because he loves taking the time to listen to people’s stories. He thinks it is amazing what you find out when you take the time to listen to what people have to say. Finally, Trey enjoys the art of photography and the power that it holds. He strongly believes in the saying by Aaron Siskind that says, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Sarah Pyo is a Korean-American from Chicago, IL and is pursuing a degree in journalism. Although photography isn’t the focus of her career path, photography has always been her passion and interest. In her free time she enjoys watching movies. Some of her favorite movies are “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “House Bunny” and “Interstellar.” She also enjoys looking for great hole-in-the-walls in various cities. Some of her other hobbies include knitting, cooking and calligraphy. She is fluent in two languages, Korean and English. Despite the fact that she is Korean, she has yet to visit the country. One of her top goals is to travel the world and experience the various cultures.
Asher Freeman Murphy: Cartoonist
Asher Freeman Murphy is the cartoonist for the editorials (and occasionally other stuff). He has been with the Lariat since he was but a wee baby freshman. As a senior, this is his fourth year in a row to be doing illustrations for the Lariat, and he couldn’t be happier with that fact. Asher has aspired toward being a cartoonist since he was seven years old, so as far as student employment goes, this is the dream! Outside his work for the paper, Asher is a graphic design major and a mildly-talented drummer.
*Denotes a member of the editorial board