A Snapshot of My Time With The Fordham Ram


Courtesy of Nikoleta Papavasilakis for The Fordham Ram.

Pia Fischetti, Multimedia Director

If someone had told me freshman year that I would be on the executive board of Fordham’s official school newspaper, I never would have believed them. 


I got my start at The Fordham Ram as a graphic designer and photographer. Though experience was not required to join, I couldn’t help but feel slightly unqualified for the tasks at hand. Photography has always been a hobby of mine, but I had no notion of what it meant to be a photojournalist. I had even less experience with graphic design, but it was something that I was particularly interested in pursuing. If someone was willing to teach me even the most basic graphic design skills, then I was willing to learn. And so, with nothing more than an old camera, a one-week subscription to Adobe Illustrator and a strong determination, I joined the Ram. 


My first volume with the Ram consisted of a strange combination of fear and excitement. Almost every week I found myself taking photos at some campus or club event that a writer was going to be covering. The photos weren’t always great and I was never sure if they were going to end up in the paper, but I got to pursue my interest in photography while meeting several people and learning about some of the clubs on campus — a great experience for a college freshman to have. 


Even when my pictures did not make it to production, I would still be out the following week taking photos of another event. Soon enough, I found that the more comfortable I felt behind the camera, the more my photos improved. 


I still remember one of the first times I worked up the nerve to approach a group of students for a picture. I had signed up to take photos of a raffle event that week and after collecting an unnecessary number of shots of the room and individual raffles, I finally mustered enough courage to go up to a group of friends and ask if I could get a photo of them with their raffle tickets. Thankfully they were nice enough to pose for a strange, anxious student with a camera and I got the picture I was looking for. That photo would end up making the front cover of the next issue. Upon seeing the printed newspaper, I experienced an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. The people that read the paper probably don’t even think to look at the image credits, but just knowing that my name was there was enough gratification for me.


I also remember when I got my first logo in the newspaper, which felt like an even bigger achievement since I was completely new to graphic design. It took a few attempts to create exactly what the staff was looking for, but when I finally got it right, I was overcome by that same sense of fulfillment.


When Volume 102 staff applications rolled around, I decided to apply for graphics and illustrations editor. It didn’t sound like the most demanding position, but as someone who had just recently began exploring her skills in graphic design, it still felt like a daunting endeavor. Nevertheless, I applied anyway and ended up joining the staff of The Fordham Ram.


Three staff positions and countless photos and graphics later, I now find myself having to say goodbye to a club that played such a major role in my college experience. It has been a chaotic and challenging four years, but I am happy to say that the Ram remained one of the constants throughout those years. 


It’s hard to imagine what college would have been like if I had never gotten involved in the newspaper. This club not only allowed me to pursue my interests in photography and graphic design, but it also gave me the opportunity to work with amazing and talented people, and for that I will always be grateful.


My advice to anyone reading this is to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when exploring your interests. I know it’s not any kind of groundbreaking wisdom, but it is something that I feel is worth repeating every now and again. If you have a passion or interest you’re thinking about pursuing, this is your sign to stop doubting yourself and just go for it. You never know what kind of opportunities await in the unexpected.