About Us — Spring 2017

  Gavin Pugh | Editor-in-Chief*


Gavin Pugh is a senior journalism news-editorial major and studio art minor. He is a coffee fanatic (think Dichotomy — not Starbucks) a motorcycle enthusiast and all around dog lover.

A Texas native, Gavin grew up in a suburb outside of Dallas called Coppell. It was there that he met his lovely fiancee, Michelle, and where he will get married on May 28, 2017.

When not in the newsroom, you can find Gavin kickin’ it in his apartment at L.L. Sams, eating any and all types of Mexican food, or working on his motorcycle. He also loves visiting Finland, his fiancee’s home country, and writing for his blog.

For his career, he hopes to help small companies learn how to tell their stories through the use of aesthetics and minimalism.

                                                                    Didi Martinez | Digital Managing Editor*

Didi Martinez is a junior Political Science and Journalism-New Media double major from Katy, Texas.

As her major suggests, she has enjoys learning about politics. Always liking a good challenge, she likes researching and explaining difficult concepts through her writing.

Other interests include napping (most people say that she doesn’t get enough sleep), listening to Michael Bublé and finding coffee drinks that have the perfect bitter to sweet ratio.
Eyes always set on the future, she hopes to finally keep up with a diary and stop packing for trips at the last minute.


                                                                    Pablo Gonzales | Assistant Web Editor 





                                                                    McKenna Middleton | News Editor*

If you say copy editor really fast, it sounds like “coffee editor” and while McKenna Middleton loves her current position, she longs for the day when the latter denotes a real job description. McKenna calls the small, humble town of Los Angeles, California home and double majors in spanish and journalism news-editorial at Baylor University as a sophomore.

McKenna is a vegetarian, but loves the smell of bacon; can’t draw a decent stick figure, but loves to wander art galleries; lives to cook, but detests baking; can play a grand total of four chords on the guitar, but makes sure to take advantage of every opportunity to see concerts. On the record, her favorite thing about Baylor is the Lariat. Off the record, her favorite thing about Baylor is Joy and Lady, our resident bears.

Genesis Larin | Assistant News EditorGenesis_Larin_FTW

Genesis Larin is a junior english literature major and sociology minor from Houston, Texas. Her parents are originally from El Salvador, and they take trips there as a family during Christmas. During her spare time, Genesis enjoys to go out for runs and to read. Some of her favorite books include “All the Light we Cannot See,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “The Things They Carried.”

In addition to running and reading, Genesis indulges in dessert anytime she can. Her preferences are anything that contain chocolate.  She hopes to go to law school post-graduation, and wants travel to Greece and go cliff jumping before starting law school.


Karyn Simpson | Copy Desk Chief*

Karyn is a senior double-majoring in journalism (new media) and environmental studies with an obsession in english, as one of her friends puts it.

She is part of Baylor’s equestrian team and the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, and consequently, she can almost always be found either at the barn or walking to class with her nose buried in a book. She would like to apologize in advance if she walks into you while reading. It happens.

While not riding or reading, Karyn loves to write and edit. She’s hopelessly addicted to hot tea, learning obscure words in different languages and reading Hemingway’s short stories.


Kristina Valdez | Copy Editor 

A pink fanatic and lover of romance novels, Kristina is excited to work at The Baylor Lariat for her first job. Kristina Valdez is a freshman journalism news-editorial major from Irving, TX.
On the weekends when she is not at home eating her dad’s famous barbecue or sitting in front of the fireplace with her mom, she is flipping through a magazine, walking through the aisles of a bookstore, or standing in line for a midnight movie premiere.
An extrovert and an optimist, Kristina is in love with the buildings of big cities and Asian eateries. She plans to move to New York City to pursue a career as an editor and writer for a magazine in the Condé Nast or Hearst magazines.
Kristina hopes to share her view of the world that is inspired by her love for Christ and by the love that surrounds her.

Kaitlyn DeHaven | Arts & Life Editor 










Jordan_Smith_FTWJordan Smith | Copy Editor & Sports Writer 

Jordan Smith is a junior english major from Houston. Jordan is a humongous sports fan and Disney fanatic. When Jordan is not writing for the Lariat, you can find him hanging out with friends, sports blogging, watching sports, writing poetry and doing anything Disney related. He has been to Disney World six times, on four Disney Cruises and also went to the 2015 D23 Expo. His favorite book series is “Kingdom Keepers” and his favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice.” He also founded and still writes for an Award-Winning Houston and Baylor based sports blog, Houston Sports Beat. Jordan has also recently just self-published his first ever book, “Heartfelt Words.”


Liesje Powers | Photo Editor 

Liesje Powers is a sophomore and is currently pursuing a major in journalism with a minor in museum studies.

Powers was born in Belgium but moved to Texas at a young age. This relocation spurred her fascination for all things cows and Texas (but never Longhorns, of course). The move also left Powers with an almost un-pronounceable name, but has opened her up to a world of mispronunciations to respond to.

Although an avid anti-morning person during school breaks, Powers spends her early mornings working out with the Baylor Crew during the school semester, and also serves as historian for the team.

When Powers isn’t taking on assignment or rowing, she enjoys napping or taking pictures of nature. Some of her favorite napping spots include Moody library, her car, and any benches she comes across on her way to class. As a photographer, Powers is often enamored far too much by flowers, and takes stopping to smell the roses to an entirely new level.

This is Powers’ third semester on staff, and she is excited to be the Photo Editor for the Lariat and for all the opportunities it gives her to grow as a photojournalist.

Molly Atchison | Opinion Editor*

Molly Atchison is a sophomore journalism and international studies double major from Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid traveler with a passion for learning, and she hopes to become a journalist or an editor for a news publication someday.

When she is not in the library or the newsroom, Molly can be found riding horses with the Baylor Riding Association or drinking coffee with friends.

She is a proud member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and believes that puppies are the solution to most of the world’s problems.

Molly has traveled extensively and loves to share her adventures with friends and family. If you ask what her favorite place is however, she’ll say snowboarding down a mountain in Durango, Colorado, where her family spends their winters.

She is a proud Baylor Bear who wants to share her love of life with the world.

Joshua_Kim_FTWJoshua Kim | Cartoonist*

Joshua Kim was born in South Korea in 1996. His family moved to northern California soon after his birth, where he was raised. After finishing his freshman year of high school in Elk Grove, California, his family relocated to Carrollton, Texas. He is the second person in his family to attend Baylor University after his older sister. Joshua is currently pursuing a degree in studio art as a junior. Other than drawing and creating things, he loves being active and doing sports that most people do not do. Among those are archery, judo, kickboxing, and parkour. But more than those, Josh loves sushi. Another interesting fact is that he once started a fire in his kitchen while cooking up a mixtape.

Rylee Seavers | Staff Writer 

Rylee Seavers is a freshman journalism major, political science minor from Phoenix, Arizona.

Seavers loves reading, politics, travel and jazz music. She is fascinated by languages and is studying Russian at Baylor. Her favorite place is New York City, where she hopes to live one day. She loves her dog, Jett, and misses him constantly.

When not studying, or working in the newsroom, Seavers can be found reading the New York Times or watching Netflix.



Kalyn Story | Staff Writer 

Kalyn is a sophomore studying Journalism, Political Science and Sign Language Interpretation. She’s from Chicago, IL (she’s from the city, not the suburbs and she’d love to talk to you about the difference).

She is passionate about Jesus, Chicago, social justice, hockey and sushi. Her other loves include but are not limited to traveling, The Office, singing really loud in the car and laughing at her own jokes. In addition to writing for the Lariat Kalyn is involved in several other activities on and off campus including Student Government, Mission Waco and Alpha Delta Pi. She’ll try just about anything once and is excited for her second semester writing for the Lariat.

Megan Rule | Staff Writer

Megan is a junior journalism – news editorial major with a double minor in business administration and Spanish. She is from Stamford, CT which is a suburb of New York City, but if you ask her where she’s from she’ll just say New York.
Outside the newsroom, she’s on the track practicing with the Baylor Cross Country and Track team. If you can’t find her there, then you can find her snuggled in her bed scrolling through photos of Doug the Pug or her beloved chocolate labrador, Coco.
Megan aspires to one day be a business reporter and go international with her reporting, hence the two minors. When not writing for The Lariat, Megan enjoys writing for fun, especially fiction pieces and columns for Thought Catalog. Megan would love to tell you about the various television series she binge watches on Netflix or about the new gluten-free recipe she just tried out.

Joy Moton | Staff Writer

Joy Moton is a junior journalism news-editorial major and religion minor from Killeen, TX.
She has a passion for writing impactful stories about the small things that don’t often get noticed in the Waco community. In the future, she hopes to use her gift of writing to promote ministry and inspire young women to be the best they can be.
Outside of writing, Joy is obsessed with anything written by C.S. Lewis, Tori Kelly music and Shonda Rhimes shows.

Ben Everett | Sports Writer 

Ben Everett is a sophomore Business Fellows major with a minor in journalism. He is a fan of all things sports but has a major inclination towards basketball.

Ben is a native of Kansas City, KS, but attended middle and high school in Monroe, LA, so he knows a thing or two about the south.

In his free time, he likes to play basketball, watch basketball, play video games with friends, and eat Panda Express.

In the future, Ben wants to work in basketball operations with an NBA team.


Nathan Keil | Sports Writer 
Nathan Keil, originally from Northwood, Ohio, but who now considers Los Angeles, California home, is in his second year at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, where he is working on his Masters of Divinity with a concentration in sports ministry. He is an avid sports fan, but his true loves are Ohio State football and Gonzaga University basketball. Sometimes he can be seen sneaking into an independent movie theatre (or paying) to catch the latest festival hit or advocating the greatness of indie rock music artists like Real Estate, Dr. Dog, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Beach Fossils. He irrationally believes that time travel is real and therefore, Back to the Future, his favorite film, is based off a true story. When Nathan is not writing about our beloved Baylor athletics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amber, and their dog,

Jessica Babb | Broadcast Managing Editor

Jessica is passionate about broadcast news, finding creative ways to tell stories, and connecting with people on campus and in the community.

She is a member of Delta Delta Delta and enjoys hanging out with friends, reading, and watching Grey’s Anatomy in her free time.

Jessica Babb is a senior Political Science and Journalism double major from Harker Heights, Texas.



Morgan Kilgo | Broadcast Reporter

Morgan Kilgo is a Sophomore Journalism News-Editorial major with a passion for broadcast.

As someone with a vibrant personality, she has always loved making people smile and laugh, something she hopes she can accomplish through her broadcasts.

When she’s not in the newsroom, she can be found attending her three younger brothers’ baseball games, hunting down the Pokey O’s truck, or curled up on the couch watching the Real Housewives with her mom.

She is a proud member of Tri Delta sorority and believes that showing off your letters and wearing over-sized t-shirts is a must!

Throughout the years, Morgan has learned that there’s nothing that chocolate, a good lipstick, and glitter can’t fix.

After graduation, Morgan hopes to land a job in the world of sports or entertainment broadcast.

Christina Soto | Broadcast ReporterChristina_Soto_FTW

Christina Soto is a journalism news editorial major with a leadership minor from Miami, Fl. She is a purebred Hispanic and enjoys embracing her Cuban and Colombian culture. Christina lived in Barranquilla, Colombia for three years where she learned to take pride in being a Latina woman.

Since Christina was a little girl, she’s carried a notepad and pencil to write down everything she sees and the answers to questions she asks people.Christina and her family knew she was born to be a journalist from her inquisitive nature and passion to write.

Christina not only loves to write, but enjoys taking pictures and traveling as well. If you are ever looking for Christina you will most likely find her walking or tanning on the beach.                                                        

Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter
Elisabeth is a sophomore Communication Specialist major with a main focus in broadcasting from San Antonio, TX.

Tharp was a gymnast for 10 years and transitioned over to cheerleading for 5 years. Some might say Elisabeth likes the color pink a little too much. Tharp loves to talk and listen to other people as well as sharing and hearing stories. She will always be a Star Wars fan and can probably quote all 8 Harry Potter movies.

Tharp loves taking pictures and making videos but there is just something about broadcasting that impacts her the most. Every time she gets in front of a camera or walk in a news station, she knows she is in the right place. One day Elisabeth hopes to be a part of Good Morning America and have the opportunity reach out to millions of people every day.


Jessica Hubble | Lariat Photographer/Videographer 

Jessica Hubble is a sophomore journalism major and entrepreneurship minor from Arlington, Texas. Being from the home of the Texas Rangers she is an avid Rangers baseball fan.

Photography is her first love. Her second love is her ten-year-old border collie, Sasha, whom she shows off like she’s her child. She is also an avid outdoors woman who loves to camp, fish, hunt, hike and anything else that involves being outside. Which is an attribute that most people don’t expect from her. Her family and her friends always come first and quality time with them is most precious to her.

She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and enjoys working with Habitat for Humanity. She has a passion for working with her hands, especially when it involves helping other people. She has been on several mission trips where she built wheel chair ramps, picnic tables, and even once re-roofed a house. She loves to be involved on campus and is soaking up as much Baylor spirit and traditions as she can.

Dayday Wynn| Lariat Photographer/Videographer 

Dayday is a 21 year old senior Accounting Major from Odessa, Texas who is looking to go to graduate school with a computer science track.









*Denotes a member of the editorial board