Kennesaw State University, KSUSM oversees the student organizations that are Talon Student Feature Magazine, the student newspaper, The Sentinel, Share Art & Literary Magazine, and OWL Radio, KSU’s streaming station, as well as their online counterparts. KSUSM also manages the Student Handbook & Planner, The OC Street Team, and all other revenue raising functions such as advertising and underwriting. KSUSM is part of the Department of Student Life and our media organizations are part of KSU’s 200 student groups and clubs. Talon Magazine is on the second floor of the James V. Carmichael Student Center, Room 277, along with other KSUSM publications. Inside Student Media, Talon is in Room 279.

Talon, KSU’s Student Feature Magazine, publishes 3-4 times per year and includes student, staff, faculty profiles, reviews, in-depth features and student photos in a slick, full color magazine format. Between 1,500 and 2,000 copies are distributed. Talon Magazine is part of Kennesaw State Student Media (KSUSM).

KSU Student Media is dedicated to the support and encouragement of responsible, ethical media to connect, explore and enrich the lives of the university’s many constituencies. It provides an open forum to the campus community for the free expression and exchange of ideas, concerns, issues, trends, and information, and outlets for the KSU community. KSU Student Media provides opportunities for interested students to learn and practice skills in art, journalism, design, production, photography, editing, business, advertising, web authoring, broadcasting, new media and management in a “true to life” setting. It encourages the values of integrity, tenacity, creativity and honesty in the pursuit of excellence.


Talon Student Feature Magazine
Kennesaw State University
MD 0501, BLDG 5 RM 277
1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591

Editorial: ksutalon.com
Advertising: ksuads.com
Parent: ksusm.com
Main KSUSM Telephone: 770-423-6470
Talon on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ksutalon




Associate Director of Student Life for Student Media (Student Media Adviser):
Responsible for all Kennesaw State Student Media (KSUSM) organizations. This position manages or advises the business, editorial, legal, advertising, and production facets of KSUSM. Provide leadership training to the student employees and volunteers associated with Student Media by using educational techniques to promote responsible and ethical professionalism. Champion the role of Student Media services to the University and its diversified populations. Professional member in College Media Association (CMA) and adheres to CMA’s Code of Ethical Behavior. Reports directly to the Director of Student Life. Supervises one full-time professional (KSUSM Marketing Manager).

Student Media Marketing Manager:
Provides management of the marketing, advertising, underwriting and promotional activities of KSU’s student media organizations: The Sentinel newspaper, Talon Feature Magazine, Share Literary Magazine, and OWL Radio. Major responsibilities include advertising/underwriting, distribution, and market research, and developing, establishing, and maintaining marketing strategies to meet organizational objectives. Specific duties include: overseeing the distribution of all print publications; managing and coordinating all marketing, advertising and promotional staff and activities; conducting market research (readership, listenership, distribution and purchasing) to determine market and other strategies; managing advertising, sales, and underwriting budgets; and assist with the general oversight and management of KSU’s four media outlets. The Student Media Marketing Manager directly supervises the Marketing Team, a group of student assistants who work in the office management, advertising, web, design and distribution areas. Like the Associate Director, this position is a professional member of the College Media Association and is a KSUSM adviser. This position reports directly to the Associate Director of Student Life for Student Media.

Associated Collegiate Press, 
College Media Association
, Student Press Law Center


Video History with Talon Editor Noelle Davis

Talon: History

Talon timeline: a rough history of the Kennesaw State University student feature magazine from its beginnings as a yearbook to its present

Ellen Eldridge

Kennesaw State University | Fall 2013

This paper is part of a project created for the student media office and student media adviser Ed Bonza as an attempt to collect and organize a complete, accurate history of Talon Magazine.  Personal interviews add detail to the timeline of names and dates from the archival material.  This paper provides the groundwork for future student interns to collect, organize and report the history as it continues to unfold.   The current Talon Magazine is published twice per academic semester, with a student staff led by the editor in chief elected by the Student Media Board.  The collected video interviews done for this project are available online at: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRQaMk3WpImIFu7wzFWEyPg/videos

Keywords: Kennesaw State University, student media, Montage yearbook, Talisman, Talon

Additional video interviews and other information specific to Talon’s history as part of the KSU Student Media History Project, can be viewed on this site’s archives: http://www.ksutalon.com/the-ksusm-history-project-talon-magazine/

Talon timeline: a rough history of the Kennesaw State University student feature magazine from its beginnings as a yearbook to its present

Since the transition from Montage, a student yearbook, to a feature magazine, Talisman and now Talon, Ed Bonza has been at the helm, steering the ship of student media through the 1990s, 2000s and presently. Bonza’s dedication to student media is well documented from former editors in chief and readers should know that it was he who started the project to collect the history of student media publications. Without a doubt, the record should show that without Ed Bonza, there may well not be a history to document—at least as far as the feature magazine is concerned.

A brief timeline of major contributors and advisors of the Montage follows, though collecting this information in a more detailed manor will be the task of future interns. Through an interview with Dr. Fred Roach, a solid foundation for the origins of student media appears, as he was the individual faculty member who helped get the money for student media to get started.  “I will get the money for you from the administration, but I’m not going to write one word, and I’m not going to lay out one page. It worked well for both of us,” Roach said as he explained his interest at the time  (the late 1960s and early 1970s) was on his research and getting published.

Dr. Fred Roach describes the origins of student media including the trouble that involvement with student media caused to students’ academics. Roach describes students involved with student media having to “walk a fine line” to get everything done for student media and their academics.

As far as the technology, Roach describes working without computers and without computer software; the Montage yearbook was created by hand. Roach said Jerry Roberson advised before Roach did, but Roach advised the Montage after helping secure funding from the school for student media.

The rest of the interview with Dr. Roach focuses on the construction and how rapidly the campus of KSU grew.  According to Roach, the expansion and rapid growth, the additions of the dorms and the community pride in KSU led student media as well as other programs to success.  “We couldn’t fail,” he said.

The Montage Yearbook

The student yearbook, “Montage,” published its first issue in 1968, and a copy exists in Ed Bonza’s office.  What follows here is a timeline of names and dates to be followed up on more by future interns.

1970: Montage yearbook

This 1970 book includes inspirational quotes by Tolstoy, Goethe, and includes some student art and writing.  Note that the student art and literary magazine, Share, did not exist at this time so the inclusion of art and literary quotes as well as poems in the yearbook show that Kennesaw State University students as far back as Kennesaw Junior College cared about the arts and diversity.

An editorial called “What Price Friendship” is printed in the 1970 yearbook without attribution and no masthead exists.  The fact that student media has consistently been a student led part of academic life makes the typos feel more welcome.  No teacher or adviser stood over students forcing corrections or even perfect grammar.  The Sentinel staff picture has typo (Sentinal).  Dr. Roach said that student media was at this time a “very infantile operation.”

Faculty listed in 1970

President of KJC – Dr. Horace Sturgis

Dean of KJC – Derrell C. Roberts

Coordinator of student activities – Richard E. Hanners

Dean of student affairs – Carol Martin

Montage Staff listed on page 162

Leslie Gaddis, Editor

Howard Morrow, Business Manager

Cheryl Morgan, Asst. Editor

Ron Ebright and Rodney May, photographers

Frank Perriello

Richard Rochester

Nancy Pitts

Myra Collett

1971: Montage Yearbook

Faculty listed:

Dr. Sturgis – President of KC

New Dean listed as Dr. Robert H. Akerman

Dean of Student Affairs: Dr. Thomas R. Ahearn

Coordinator of Student Activities: Richard E. Hammers

The 1971 Montage Yearbook contains splashes of inspirational quotes including Shakespeare, who is quoted alongside art and poetry: “Love’s Disguise” by Robert Graves.  Pages 27 and 28 show the spirit zeitgeist with text “Stop. Turn and look where you have been…and where you are going.”

Theater students performed the play “A Streetcar Named Desire” and the 1970-71 Women’s Intramurals includes teams with names including Aardvarks and Cardinals, while Men’s Intramural team names for 1970-71 include Gorillas, Apes, Gamecocks, Cheetahs and Roadrunners.

The Sentinel staff photo was taken in the mirror at a convenience store!

Montage staff listed on page 110

Faculty Leader: Mr. Fred Roach (full interview conducted and added to Youtube in two parts)

Cheryl Morgan, Editor

Teresa Keith, Club Editor

Linda Spears, asst club editor

Cheryl Greenway, Class Editor

Charlene Hardy, Activity Editor

Sheila Marlow, Sports Editor

Jackie Weaver, Faculty Editor


Ron Ebright

Frank Locklear

Tom Williams (asst. photographer)

Rennie Austin

Carl Davis

1972: Montage Yearbook

One of the most interesting aspects of this yearbook is the all-lowercase letters, even in the college president’s title.  Poet e.e. Cummings, who is well known for using incorrect grammar and lowercase letters in his poetry, published the first edition hardcover book, The Collected Poems 1913-1962, in 1972.  A definite theme of a “means to an end” perspective of college exists in the introductory text to the yearbook.  More signs of the times include images of bands playing on campus and in front of library.  Senator Gambrell spoke at Kennesaw Junior College in 1972 and additional student organizations including KJC chorus is listed.

The inclusion of eight students in each picture for “First year Nurses” and “Second year nurses” gives away just how small the student body is in 1972.  On page 204, production notes list Ron Ebright as a photographer and 1400 copies of the yearbook were printed in 1972.

1972 Faculty as typed in Montage yearbook:

President of college: dr. Horace w. Sturgis

Dean: dr. Robert h. akerman

Dean of student affairs: dr. carol l. martin

1973: Montage Yearbook

President – Dr. Strurgis

Dean – Dr. Akerman

Dean of student affairs – Carol Martin

The opening statement of the 1973 Montage defines the word montage as “the art of blending separate, distinct pictures into a composite whole” and The Montage as “a composite whole pieced from the lives of students who, for a time, form the nature of Kennesaw Junior College.”

This 1973 book indicates a change in attitude about the purpose of college and seems to focus more on learning and the importance of education as an experience rather than merely a means to an end.  This should be attributed to the individuals running the yearbook more than to the student body as a whole, but the interest for historical purposes remains.  Page 84 quotes Kahlil Gibran, “Brief were my days among you…” and page 76 shows a toddler girl, which should seem unusual for a college yearbook, but betrays the nontraditional atmosphere of Kennesaw Junior College as well as the point in history.

Montage staff listed on page 142


Cynthia Rigsby, co-editor

Bill Wheeler, co-editor

Jeannie Trippe, associate editor


Bill Wheeler

Alfred Cabey

Chuck Nixon


Jeannie Trippe, editor

Chuck Nixon, photographer

Advisor (not spelled with an –e) Bobby Olive

***Share staff listed for the first time

Jim Tingle – editor

1974 Montage Yearbook

Dr. Sturgis, President

Dean – Dr. Eugene R. Huck

Asst. Dean David M. Jones

Dean of student affairs – Carol L. Martin

Montage staff listed page 152 (before Share and Writers Club)

Editor – Cindy Johnson

Asst Editor – Mark Cesario

Advisor (faculty I think) – Bobby Olive

Photographer – David Wolfe

Art Editor – Barbara Byrd

Faculty Editor – Melonie Wall

Montage 1975

Page 2 – full size pic perfect as example of 1970s

Pic of Dr. Roach page 85

STAFF listed page 188:

Judy Shurling, Editor

Wayne Hardman, Photo Editor

Rick Ellis

Joel Free

Randy Krise

Kathy Medved

Karen Medved

Scott McCune

Hank Wilson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. John C. Greider

FOUR-YEAR celebration with HISTORY page139

Montage 1976

Starts as summer 1975 – page 11

Staff listed page 35:

Cheryl McKeon

Doug King

Susan Todd

Fall 1975 – page 37

“The James V. Carmichael Student Center was dedicated Oct. 2, 1975, named for the late Cobb County native who served on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Carmichael was instrumental in gaining approval for the construction of the new student center at Kennesaw. The decision was made in 1971, which launched the planning and development of the J.V.C. building” (p. 45).

The 1976 yearbook includes a written history from 1966-1976 on page 180, with pretty much same info from 1975 but also acknowledges the bicentennial celebration of the United States (1776-1976).

Staff listed last page:

Susan Todd, editor

Cheryl McKeon, assistant editor

Doug King, photo editor

Montage specs:

Paper – Hunter Naturale; Type Style – Palatin0, 2-point lead; trim size 9”x12”; ink color brown/black; Headline style Helvetica Bold Outline; Hunter Publishing Company

Montage 1977

“Charles Kirbo quietly spoke to us about Jimmy Carter, and a Student Union was proposed and voted into existence, with Margie Fryman as the first Chairperson – and all of us as members” (p. 31).

Staff listed:

Susan Todd, editor

Mary Walsh, asst editor

Bill Clay, Photography editor

Chris Brothers, student editor

Kathleen Moak – faculty editor

Sherry Scyphers, clubs editor

Mary Alice Baron, editorial asst

Debbie Bond, editorial asst

C.W. Kettering, photographer

Buddy Newton, photographer

Morgan Stapleton, faculty advisor

Montage specs of note:

2000 copies printed

192 pages

1979 – Montage

In 1979 upper level courses are added and Juniors can finish a four-year degree at Kennesaw College.


Karen Moore – faculty advisor

Angie Brown, editor

Rodney Grant, asst. editor


Dan Treadwell, Brian Eubanks, Brent Keith, Billy Canada, Rusty Moore

*****Montage through the 1980s has yet to be added to this timeline.  This paper will now jump to the change from printing a yearbook to printing a student feature magazine.

Talisman Quarterly: The first student feature magazine

Student Media Adviser Ed Bonza came to Kennesaw State University in 1991 and just five years later he helped launch and name the student feature magazine called Talisman Quarterly, according to R. Todd Fleeman who acted as its first editor in chief.  Kennesaw State earned its University status in 1996, which was the year Fleeman and the Talisman staff published the first issues of Talisman.  The only campus copy of the first Talisman issue exists in Bonza’s office.

During an interview with Fleeman, he admitted that he wanted to major in photography, but as it wasn’t available as a major he chose graphic design instead.  Initially, Fleeman worked for The Sentinel developing prints for the newspaper.

After taking a course called “Computer Art,” which included graphic design software introductions for Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator CS3, Fleeman wanted to “work for a magazine,” he said.  “It was Ed’s [Bonza] idea to turn the yearbook into a magazine,” Fleeman said.   Fleeman further describes running for the editor in chief position on the Student Media Board against a student who didn’t like the liberal newspaper and wanted a more conservative feature magazine.  “I saw how diversity on campus was reflected in the county and the state,” Fleeman said.  He attributes his election as editor in chief to his commitment to diversity on campus and his first cover for Talisman shows a mix of diverse students.  “At the time (1996), the Million Man March was going on and funding was pulled from the arts at Cobb County because of the mention of ‘gay,’” Fleeman said.  The goal for Talisman in Fleeman’s mind was to tie the articles to the campus.   Taking that reflection of diversity and publishing articles relating to campus provided the framework for articles in Talisman.  Though Bonza resisted new technology according to Fleeman, “he always promoted us to think forward, even though he wasn’t.”  “I tend to be an idea guy; right now I write apps, and I was able to be on the cusp of graphic design, which led to web design then on to web development and now app and mobile device development,” Fleeman said. “I can keep up with technology because I am always looking for that next step; I love creating.”

The Talisman Quarterly magazine came out of necessity.  According to Fleeman, the idea of a yearbook for a commuter college was “kind of funny.”  Bonza recognized the need for change at the same time Fleeman discovered his passion for designing and creating so Talisman Quarterly was born despite Fleeman’s admission that he “didn’t know if I had a vision for the magazine going into the future.”  Fleeman passed the editor in chief position on Talisman Quarterly, pending Student Media Board vote, to his managing editor, Daniel Dreiske, a communication major at the time.

“Because KSU was a nontraditional school at the time, meaning no dorms and mostly commuting students, a yearbook didn’t make sense” Dreiske said.   “Students tend to come and go more back then. It was Todd’s [Fleeman] idea to make a quarterly magazine as a result.”

Dreiske, as Fleeman before him, wanted to work in publishing or on a magazine.  In addition to concentrating his communication degree on journalism, Dreiske worked on The Sentinel newspaper staff.   He confirms that Fleeman started as a photographer and continues to contribute to the newspaper industry doing web design for COX newspapers.  “He worked for me before I left Atlanta and moved to Utah,” Dreiske said.

Putting the Talisman Quarterly issues together and coming up with ideas for features came as a result of the staff.   “Todd, myself, Heather Fritz, Lynn Stevenson, Stephanie Thompson and Elizabeth Delaughter brainstormed over beers. Elizabeth was the features editor for the Sentinel at the time and we ran many ideas past her, and she contributed a great deal to editorial direction,” Dreiske said.   The biggest struggles for the staff included actually producing a quarterly magazine.  The students continued to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark Express according to Dreiske.  “We nicknamed it TQ, as a GQ reference,” he said.   “As we embarked into new territory with new technology, it slowed the production process. We learned a lot as we went.”

Though Dreiske only produced one issue of Talisman Quarterly as editor in chief and Fleeman produced two, Dreiske does boast that he got President Betty Siegel to “don an astronaut uniform” for an article.

Talisman Quarterly Volume 2, No. 2 spring 1998

Editor In Chief Bethany Schultz

Managing Editor Wallace Edson

Copy Editor Marcellus Lewis

(writers and photographers listed)

Talisman Quarterly Volume 3 No. 1 (March 1998)

Contributors listed:

Todd Fleeman, Daniel Dreiske, Heather Fritz, Sharon Schindler, Carolyn Lawrence, Stefani Thompson, Melissa Humphrey, Tara Bates, Elizabeth Delaughter, Ron Cloud, Nicole Bates, Lisha Wood, Amanda Ben-Harush

Talisman Volume 4 No. 1 Fall 1998

EIC Megan McKoy

Assistant Editor: “open”

Production asst., production manager also listed as open

Photography editor: Kathryn Hill

Layout and Design: Megan McKoy

Talisman Volume 4 number 3 Spring 1999

EIC Megan McKoy

Asst Editor: Adam Miller

Online Editor – OPEN

Photography Editor – Joe Ovbey

Senior Page designers: Megan McKoy, Jaime Dempsey

Prod assistants: Melissa Sandbothe, Adam Miller, Jonathan Walker, Jeremy Stainthorp, Eric Field, Ashley Daniell,

More writers and photographers listed

Faculty Advisors: Ed Bonza and Ray Burgos

Talisman Volume 5 No. 1 Fall 1999

EIC Martha Bargerton

Asst Editor: Alisa Bennett-Hart

Senior Page designers: Martha Bargeron, Christian Rivera

Page designers: Daniel VanHiel, Sarah Breede

Production assts: Jeremy Stainthorp, Beth Phillips

Photographers: Ryan Barrett, Chris Norman,

Writers: Beth Binford, Eric Field, Darrell Greene, Ginger Hutchins, Kristy Kennedy, Glenda Maier, Jennifer Mathis, Michelle Nocera, Beth Phillips, Tricia Sanders, Brian Stillings

Faculty Advisor: Ed Bonza

Talisman Volume 4 No. 2 Winter 1999

***Talisman online announced

EIC Megan McKoy

Asst Editor Kelly O’Connell

Online Editor Doug Goodwin

Photography Editor Joe Ovbey

Senior Page Designers: Doug Goodwin, Matt McMillan, Megan McKoy

Production assts: Heather Keith, Jonathan Waller

(more writers and photographers listed)

Faculty Advisor: Ray Burgos

Talisman Vol. 6 No. 1 Winter/Spring 2000-2001

EIC Alisa Bennett-Hart

Asst Editor: Deanna Fambro

Editorial Asst: Jessica Parlapiano

Photo Editor/Manager of photography: Ryan Barrett

Master Page Designer: Sean O’Hare

Web Master: Tobias Quosigk

Photographers/Production assts: Daved Brosche, Stephen deSouza, Gina Harmon,

Page Designers/Production assts: Lonnie Clackum, Eric Allan Colson, Carisa King

Writers: Eric Field, Nadia (Aidan) Goodvin, Vivian Obagaiye, Tami Summerville

Magazine Layout: Alisa Bennett-Hart

Faculty Advisor: Ed Bonza

According to Noelle Davis (who was Noelle Gregg at the time she attended KSU as a graduate student in the Master of Professional Writing program), “Someone came in, got SABAC to agree to name change to Sphere and printed t-shirts, but never produced a magazine.”  The student feature magazine disappeared for the period of time between 2000 and 2002, when Davis resurrected the magazine, naming it Talon.

The first published issue of Talon Magazine appears in summer 2002 with a disclaimer about the name change to Sphere.  At the time of summer publication only a petition had been submitted to call the magazine Talon.   The disclaimer states that SABAC approved name change to Sphere in Fall 2001, but no magazine was published and editors made name change during summer with a note to petition SABAC in fall. Cover image used with permission from Sentinel photographer Daniel Varnado, who won first place for best news photo from Georgia College Press Association of students praying at Legacy Gazebo on afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001.

Davis said she wanted a feature magazine, not a “hard-hitting” magazine. “No Pulitzers were coming out of this magazine,” she said.  “I wasn’t trying to kiss any ass, but I wasn’t really trying to upset anyone either,” she said.  The full interview in two parts exists on the YouTube channel.

Talon Fall 2002

EIC Noelle Gregg

Managing Editor Erin L. Ryan

Student Organizations Editor Kort Peterson

Assistant Editor Teresa Valentine

Writers listed

Faculty Advisor Ed Bonza

Talon Spring 2003

EIC Noelle Gregg

Managing Editor Erin L. Ryan

Assistant Editor Teresa Valentine

Student Organizations Editor Kort Peterson

Photo Editor John Legg

Writers (listed)

Advisor: Ed Bonza

Kiki M. Amanatidis became editor in chief of Talon Magazine, publishing her first issue in 2003, with Noelle Davis (formerly Gregg) listed as copy editor.  She was the only student who ran for the editor in chief position in front of the Student Media Board, and felt that helped her cause, but “I also think that I probably could have used a little bit more time to grow before running.  “I was only 17 when I started writing for both The Sentinel and Talon, and I was given this amazing opportunity at 19, and I think if I had been a little older, I could’ve done so, much more,” she said.

“Ed Bonza was my hero,” Amanatidis said.  “He was always there to help and support me and my staff.”  Bonza’s continued attention to leading and guiding students as they make their decisions for student media helped Amanatidis grow as well.  “He was extremely knowledgeable, and was the perfect person to guide me along the way,” Amanatidis said.  She admits that finding and creating a consistent staff was difficult, but Bonza reassured her that “things would be okay,” she said.  “He looked at the situation with me, and helped me come up with a game plan. I always felt like I had the ultimate support system.”

Amanatidis felt she was a KSU student at a pivotal time, and that the university was becoming increasingly popular.   “The student center, especially the student activities side, was ALWAYS busy” she said.

While she was editor in chief, Talon feature articles came from the community in part. “I think that the community did play a small role in determining content. There were always at least 1-2 pieces that involved our campus community. I loved finding students who h ad cool stories to tell, like our one student who jumped on a plane and flew to Tokyo for 24 hours, “ Amanatidis said.

The struggles for Amanatidis and Talon in the mid-2000s revolved around raising awareness and getting people to know about the magazine.   “I feel like with Talon, it was hard to get the word out,” she said.  “When a new issue would come out, we would advertise in The Sentinel.  This was before social media was huge, so looking back now, I wish I would’ve done more in this department.”

Talon Summer/Fall 2003

EIC Kiki M. Amanatidis

Copy Editor Noelle Gregg

Writers: Dana Bruner, Eric Croas, Leslie Thompson

Advisor: Ed Bonza

Talon Spring/Summer 2004

EIC Kiki M. Amanatidis

Asst Editor Betty Kate Bryant

Copy Editors: Noelle Gregg, Ashlie Adler and Meredith Pruden

RSO Editor Brent Ashworth

Staff: Eric Croas, Nick Kelland, Leslie Thompson, Melissa Spielholz, Alica Bumpus, Penelope Kim, Kathleen Steele-Larsen, Sara Coleman, Amy Demasse, Emily Daniels

Talon Fall/Spring 2005

EIC Kiki M. Amanatidis

Asst. Editor Heidi Paruta (interview with her below)

Senior Copy Editor Meredith Pruden

Copy Editor Ashlie Adler

Webmaster Alex Danaila


Candice Collins, Alexis Dawkins, Andrew Eugenes, Jennifer Garrett, Ryan Garner, Nathan McCreary, Matt Nicholson, Nicholas Kelland, Adam Stephens

Talon Fall 2005

EIC Heidi Paruta

Talon Spring 2006

EIC Heidi Paruta

Managing Editor Jessiaca Castillo

Public Relations Allison Mallory

Layout: Tiffanni Spann and Brianne Norris

Staff: Courtney Henderson, Sydney Vinson, Katrina Wood, Jessica Forkel, Alison Steinmetz, Jaime de Costa, Lauren Moon, Jamie Witter, Joe Pettis, Erica Hamilton, Jeremiah Byars

Talon Winter 2006 (happy 40th to The Sentinel)

***This is where Spaceship Earth comes to campus

EIC Heidi Paruta

Jessica Castillo

Jamie Witter

Jessica Forkel

Melissa Stiers

Jessica Edens

Katrina Wood

Amanda Tanner

Jaime da Costa

Lorna Redmond

Matt Logan

Terri Alvarez

Angie Jennings

Natalia Schust

Erica Turner

Shaye Weaver

Rick Winters

Talon Spring 2007

EIC Heidi Paruta

Asst Editor Jessica Castillo

Jamie Witter

Jessica Forkel

Melissa Stiers

Katrina Wood

Lorna Redmond

Matt Logan

Angie Jennings

Tina Wells

Shaye Weaver

Jeff Testa

Pam Inoti

Dan Cronin

Stephen Valdes

Interview with Heidi Paruta

         Heidi Paruta started with Talon as an assistant editor in 2005 when Kiki M. Amanatidis was the editor in chief.   It was about 2005-2007, I guess and it was before a ton of the construction on new buildings was done,” Paruta said.  “The new student center did not exist.”

Contributing to what Amanatidis said in her interview, Paruta adds that though the atmosphere felt busy it also felt hurried like students were spending less time on campus.   “The atmosphere felt busy but hurried, to me,” she said.

According to Paruta, feature content came from staff interests and current events, including a memorable article about two students displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Paruta became the editor in chief because she had a passion for the magazine, she said.   “I originally started as a Sentinel writer and photographer,” she said.  “I realized I did things more artsy and visual rather than newsy.”  When Paruta started working with Amanitidis, “it felt like a much more creative environment for me,” she said.   “Ed [Bonza] was a big contribution to my success, as well.”  Of adviser Ed Bonza, Paruta further said, “He always made time for us. We still keep in touch and he is the most encouraging, kind, creative person.”  According to Paruta, she couldn’t have asked for a better adviser.

Her time on student media as editor in chief for Talon taught her that taking the time to see people in person makes it easier to hold tem accountable for things like timely responses and adhering to deadlines.   “It’s awesome to be able to handle business through technology, but don’t take for granted the power of looking someone in the eye,” she said.

Taking over Talon was no small task for Paruta, but she said she had a lot of freedom and creativity handed to her from Amanatidis.  “I think at the time we worked together, I didn’t realize I would run for editor in chief,” Paruta said.  She didn’t realize Amanatidis was leaving. “I don’t think I realized at the time that she was leaving. Maybe she didn’t either – She ended up moving to Arizona, but I can’t remember if she graduated before her move,” Paruta said.

As editor in chief Paruta said she welcomed suggestions from the writers and wanted to encourage passion and creativity.   The workload and a lack of contributors made production difficult according to Paruta.  “Kiki, the previous editor in chief, didn’t have a lot of contributors to Talon,” Paruta said.  She often wrote the stories, took the photos, designed the magazine, etc.   So, when I became EIC, I essentially started from the beginning, in the same fashion.”  Paruta admitted that I took her a while to get off the mindset of having to do something herself if she wanted it done right.   “I was better at doing things myself than telling others how to do it, or how I wanted it, she said.”  “However, once I started building up the staff, I realized was very happy to get to the position of compiling other peoples’ work and creating the magazine, without having to provide the content.”

On the suggestion of adviser Bonza, Paruta and the Talon staff decided to redesign the magazine to make it look more uniform and add life to it.

“We held a contest among students in one of the design classes,” Paruta said.  “They presented their designs – there were three of them – and Ed and I chose the one we liked the best. From then on, we had templates for pages, and for a while, I did all the construction of the magazine. “

Another important lesson learned from her time on Talon was time-management.  As an off-campus student who worked a couple jobs and took many classes, Paruta said she couldn’t have as many meetings as she wanted.  “However, I often spent all my in-between time in the office so writers and contributors could stop by, work alongside me, ask questions, etc.,” she said.

“I think my purpose with Talon, looking back, was to give it a new foundation,” Paruta said.  “We perhaps didn’t do anything ground-breaking, but we had great articles, photos, themes, and, in my opinion, overall a good looking cover design (which was one of my favorite parts – setting front and back cover photos).  I’m proud to have helped give Talon a new identity and provide future staff a sort of diving board to take it further, faster.”

Talon Spring 2008

EIC Jennifer Kreitzer

Production Editor Maria Yanovsky

Managing Editor Jaime Da Costa

Campus Life editor Beth Sheppard

Entertainment Editor Matt Logan

Technology Editor Jaime Witter

Photography Editor Maria Yanovsky

Copy Editors Callie Aubrey and Elizabeth Powell

Advisor Ed Bonza

Elizabeth Johnson wrote her first article for Talon in January 2009, before she and Editor in Chief Maria Yanovsky (now Stephens) graduated together in July 2010.    While editor in chief of Talon, Yanoysky changed the magazine name to TM! Quarterly and made it a smaller size.  Rachel Goff then took over as editor in chief and she is still in the local Georgia area.

Johnson describes the dorm construction and how KSU was becoming less of a commuter school at the time she was a student as “a more university feel; I think that was the idea, to get people more involved,” she said during an interview at CNN Atlanta where she now works.  The complete interview with Elizabeth Johnson is posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ss34mWThy0.

Recent History of Talon

Meghan de St. Aubin became the editor in chief of Talon after Rachel Goff .  The size and name reverted to full size during the time Goff acted as editor in chief and this project should consult Goff for an in-depth interview.

The 2013 and current staff lineup of Talon Magazine includes Rachel Burel, who became editor in chief after de St. Aubin graduated, Steven Welch, creative director, Ashley Frew, managing editor, Ellen Eldridge, photography editor and Kayla Rowe, copy editor.


~ This paper is part of the KSUSM History Project and will be added to, edited, and expanded on over the years.

Video History with Talon Editor Noelle Davis

The KSUSM History Project: Talon Magazine

These videos accompany the written portion of the history of Talon, available here: http://www.ksutalon.com/history/

The KSUSM History Project
Talon Feature Magazine

Noelle Davis (formerly Gregg) talks about naming and reviving the Kennesaw State University feature magazine, naming it Talon. She was Editor in Chief of Talon in 2002 while she was a student in the Master of Professional Writing graduate program. Produced by Ellen Eldridge (Published on Nov 26, 2013)

Part I

Part II



Beyond Gimmicks: Why Andy Kindler Hates Dumb Comedy

By: Daniel Lumpkin
Photos By: Travis Clark


Standup, like most anything else, has good nights and bad nights. Maybe the comedian is a little jetlagged from his flight or had some bad sushi or any other common, everyday issue that would throw off a performer. These things happen. Everybody has bad nights in comedy. But then (ominous “dun-dun-dun”) there are the nights comedians have nightmares about, nights where an entire audience becomes a gang of indifference and ridicule.


What happens to comedians when they are onstage and realize that the audience has no interest in laughing at the jokes?


The late Friday evening show at the Laughing Skull Lounge, usually an amazing place for comedy, was headlined by veteran comic Andy Kindler (Everybody Loves Raymond, and regular guest on Late Show with David Letterman) and should have been great. Unfortunately for Kindler and the opening acts, the audience that night was led by a group of women celebrating (aka: throwing back shots like they didn’t know what a hangover was) a birthday. For some reason they thought that talking to each other during sets, taking pictures of each other on their cell phones, and even taking off their shoes and resting their feet on stage was appropriate.


One of the openers did his best to ignore it but he did not survive very long. The next comedian tried confronting the women but that methodfailed as well, and he did not even finish his set. How do you embarrass someone that lacks dignity or inhibition? The last opener, Atlanta comic Mike Kaiser, did his best to win the audience back but the packed club remained chatty and disinterested.


Finally Andy Kindler came onstage. It would have been easy for the former Last Comic Standing judge to use the failures of the first three comics as fodder for cheap laughs. Just throw the other guys under the bus, so to speak. This tactic is quite popular and sadly reliable in the comedy world. Instead, Kindler began the show criticizing the audience for being rude. Usually this is not a great way to start a comedy show, slamming the audience for being horrible at the simple task of sitting quietly and paying attention. Right away, the audience viciously turned on Kindler like they had done to the other comedians that night. Why would the successful, experienced comic choose to side himself against the crowd right at the beginning of a 45 minute set?


“If the audience is not listening or they are tuning out or they are not getting involved with what you are saying,” Kindler said. “It’s not a show.”


“I think a lot of people go to comedy shows because they don’t want to think. It’s not a matter of thinking. Audiences must be engaged in the show. Acts like Larry the Cableguy or Dane Cook are simpler to get and don’t require much effort on the audience. Their popularity is based more on a one-dimensional lowest-common-denominator.”


The lowest-common-denominator is a theme Kindler refers to when he is discussing comedy. For the past twenty years at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival (the biggest comedy festival in North America) Kindler delivers his famous “State of the Industry Address” where he mocks members of the industry that are ruining comedy.


“To take it further, the people that I make fun of, except Dane Cook, I go after people who I feel could be doing better work. Somebody who is not capable of being funny, it’s not fun to go after that person because they are really operating at the top of their game. Like Adam Sandler, I loved him when he was on Saturday Night Live so when he started making these wacky movies, I didn’t understand it. [Lazy comedy] is something that should be talked about more.”


It is easy to see that Kindler has a true passion and respect for his craft. He implores people to truly question why a comic or a joke is funny. Kindler wants people to find the deeper value in comedy, one that goes beyond generating laughter. “Standup comedy really is this relationship between you and the audience. I would hope people wouldn’t take me on a one-dimensional level and I think what I do doesn’t attract people who are going to want that. It’s what audiences like about Larry the Cableguy or Dane Cook. They are these predictable things.” Kindler went on to explain why popular comedians take this route after some type of arrival on a larger level.


“I think what happens when people reach a certain level of success doing something, it’s very hard to turn the bus around. It’s very hard to continue to be yourself. Being gimmicky or one-dimensional to [get laughs], it’s both boring and I don’t do it very well. I’ve never been good at that but some people are. They get popular for something and then it is very hard to grow from there. Even Eddie Murphy said that after he got famous, it was terrible for his standup because he didn’t know what was funny anymore. People were just coming out to just cheer him on. That’s not a good environment for standup. It’s something that people face all the time.


“I’m lucky because when I was just starting out I did one show angry. The guy I was working with said that I should be more angry (as a comedian) so I tried being angry the next few shows and it failed miserably. “The hard part of standup is that it takes so long. For a couple of years I was conscious of the fact that I was holding a microphone and I would think Now I am looking to the left… Now I am looking to the right… The mind plays crazy tricks. I’m past all those things, hopefully. “[Comedy] gets misconstrued as hard work. I’m not a hard worker, you know.


I write comedy when it comes to me but I don’t sit down for eight hours a day writing comedy. It’s not as much as how hard you work as much as it is being open to wanting to grow through rough patches by constantly trying to be as honest with yourself as possible.”


Throughout the set, Kindler would say “I’m going to pretend to need a drink of water just so I can see how much more time I have to spend with you people.” As the audience migrated in between their seats and the bar, Kindler soldiered on, spitting out material to a disengaged crowd. Then, at the forty-fifth minute, the time Andy Kindler had to reach in order to get paid that evening, he should have just dropped the microphone and walked away.


Honestly, two middle fingers as a departing salute would have been an appropriate way to end the show. But Kindler did not leave the stage cursing the abysmal crowd. He did not even leave the stage. Andy Kindler finished his entire set, going on nearly a half hour longer than he was contractually obligated. Why? The same reason he wasn’t going to use the failures of the opening acts for laughs. Comedy is much more than just getting laughs. Using cheap tricks or only going to venues where the audience will love you isn’t true stand-up. It’s just a gimmick. Andy Kindler is a performer who takes his talents too seriously to ever stoop low enough for gimmicks, which is such a rare and refreshing take in comedy today.


Check out Andy on Twitter (@AndyKindler) and his Comedy Special “I Wish I Was Bitter” on DVD.




Georgia: A State of Immigrants?

By: Richie Essenburg


The idea that the United States is “a nation of immigrants” is a big problem for some people. While the phrase came into being sometime during the 1960s, its implication and meaning extends as far back to the foundations of this country and certainly resonates today. The immigration issue seems to make its way into nearly every other. Some argue about rights, others take an economic angle. Even more argue about what they often call “culture,” which usually includes all of the above—race, religion, ethnicity, political philosophy.


Many go so far as to characterize immigration to the U.S. as an “invasion,” particularly from the so-called “Third World.” Some immigration restrictionism is based on maintaining the equation America = white. Some are more outspoken about this equation, others less so. This characteristically nativist sentiment is on the rise in the U.S. Other concerns about “the welfare state” and even national security are included in the national discourse about immigration. Georgia’s recently passed law, the bill known as HB87, made national headlines, and the state is not alone in legislating anti-immigrant bills on the state level. Since the passing of the bill, Georgia’s agricultural business has plummeted. It is so bad that Governor Nathan Deal pitched the idea of replacing the now absent workforce with prison labor. The passing of the bill seems to have had its intended consequences of running out many immigrants, but greatly affected Georgia’s economy at a time when the state is already struggling.


There is no question that immigration policy in the U.S. needs reform, but we must separate reform from meaning building two or three walls surrounding the entirety of the United States’ borders. “Controlling” immigration shouldn’t mean militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border, mass deportation, and mass imprisonment in socalled “detention centers.”


President Obama, contrary to popular belief, has maintained and even strengthened all of these “control” measures. More people have been deported, as one example, under Obama in the past three years than the entirety of Bush’s eight years. Still, these actions are not enough for many.


Which should make you wonder, what is? Some say they are concerned only about “illegal” immigration, and some others, like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, want to end all immigration. When we talk about “illegals” we dehumanize a great population of people. Groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) insist on using the term when referring to more recent immigrants. If the problem is only legality, then why is the term reserved especially for Mexican and other Latino populations?


Georgia’s state senate is now considering a bill, known as SB 458, that would exclude those who cannot prove legal status from attending all of Georgia’s public universities. Currently, this population pays out-of- state tuition to attend, effectively subsidizing other’s education.


We have to ask why the state of Georgia would want to deny access to education to someone willing to pay for it. Why? Why would you bar someone who would eventually contribute more to the economy than someone who hasn’t gone to college? In economic terms, it simply makes no sense. Apparently the state thinks they did such a great service to Georgia with HB87 that they figure they’ll take us all the way back to 1950. Have your papers ready…all 23,000 plus KSU students.




Obama “I was ready for change”

By: Meghan de St. Aubin


Rachel Goff graduated college in 2010 with hope. The kind of hope that was promised by a bright young presidential candidate that won over America. Goff was one of the many college students across America who became an advocate for hope and change; two things Barrack Obama stood behind. Goff felt confident in her choice on that crisp November afternoon. As she made her way to the polling booth, she had never been more confident in her liberal viewpoints.


Now almost four years later, she feels that she could not have been more wrong. At her kitchen table in downtown Decatur where she works as a newspaper editor, Goff reaches back into her memory of what was going through her mind in 2008. She says she was not very interested in politics, but as a journalism student she felt like it was important to be aware.


“All my friends were liberal, so I thought that was the right choice. My parents are Republicans and obviously I wanted to go against them,” She smiles, shaking her head. “Now I’m not quite as naïve as I used to be.”


Goff isn’t the only student who has found a new light on the current Obama administration. Ryan Schill, a graduate student at KSU, recalls Obama not being liberal enough for his taste, however, he felt that Obama was much better than the other choice, Sen. John McCain.


“Obama made a lot of promises…” Schill trails off. “I realize now he was more of a centrist than anything.” Schill argues that Obama has been very pragmatic about how he deals with both Republicans and Democrats. The end result, he says, ends up being compromises no one is happy with. For example, Obamacare, the health care bill, has caused a stir among both parties. Democrats, Schill says, feel as if he has not done enough, while Republicans are going against anything that has been done.


It seems as though the enthusiasm among not just voters, but young voters is dipping. According to a Harvard University poll taken at the end of 2011, voters age 18-29 predict that Obama will not be re-elected in 2012. Considering Obama’s immense popularity when he was elected, Goff now feels that Obama had good intentions but he was not able to fulfill them.


When asked point blank who she voted for, Goff smiles and looks away, appearing almost embarrassed of her answer, “Obama…” says Goff shaking her head, “I was ready for a change.”“Goff is not unlike many college students and a recent graduate,” says Kerwin Swint, a Political Science professor at Kennesaw State University. “It’s not that voters have decided to become Republicans or anything, its just that the economy and the financial picture has just weighted everyone down a little bit. The enthusiasm is not asvgreat right now.”


Swint taught at KSU during the last election and he could see the appeal Obama had to his students. “His young age and minority status certainly helped,” Swint says, “especially of young individuals who have come of age in a post racial climate.” It seems as though those students, like Schill, who saw the appeal of the young candidate, are now categorizing his faults with those of former President George W. Bush. Schill says that in some ways Obama went completely against his anti-war approach.


“I remember hearing a story about an American citizen who was also a practicing Muslim. He was claimed to have been working with terrorists. Obama ordered a kill strike on him,” Schill explains, also saying that Obama failed to complete due process. “Part of the reason I voted for Obama was because he said he was against certain forms of torture and he also promised to close Guantanamo Bay.”


Presently, Guantanamo Bay is still holding detainees.


Goff is beginning to wonder whether Obama was more of a novelty because he was considerably different than other candidates. She says now that the excitement has worn down 2008, this November will be less than amusing. Swint says that over the last couple of years he has mostly heard negative comments from his students. He says that most of these comments deal directly with some of the healthcare changes.


“While Obama made his efforts student loan debt,” Goff says, “I don’t really see his healthcare system being that big of an accomplishment. It doesn’t seem like its what he promised.”


When asked how Americans’ morale currently stood, Goff contemplated the question and carefully answered, “I think it’s better than it was in 2008, considering that was closer to when the recession started.” She feels that the upcoming election is not about enthusiasm over Obama, but more about making a careful choice about which candidate will not ignore the people going through financial hardship.


Goff says she currently does not plan to vote for Obama this November. She says that as far as she can tell, what he has done these past four years is not enough for her family, or herself. Schill, however, says he has flirted with the idea of voting for a Republican in 2012. Even still, he says he will most likely vote for Obama. Not because henecessarily believes in him, but because he is simply the lesser of two evils.




I Love You, Now Pass The Remote

By: Brenna Crowder


Ah, love, that most elusive and frustrating emotion. Musicians sing about it, artists try to paint it, countless books, movies and magazines find their true purpose in decoding and celebrating that holy grail of sentiments. You’d think with all that material at our fingertips, most of us would be a pint-sized better at it.


Love, that is. Generally, relationships start out okay. You’re “in like”, a fuzzy, rose-tinted soppiness not to be confused with “in love”, and suddenly every day is magic.


The two of you finish each other’s sentences, stare deeply into one another’s eyes and have riveting two-hour conversations about old sports injuries and your cat named Binky. Both of you consume far too much coffee. And he doesn’ even like coffee.


So a couple of months go by and you’ve marked his birthday on your calendar, he’s memorized your Starbuck’s order and you’ve both gotten used to the subtly irritating habits that might drive weaker couples apart. Not even his affinity for Star Trek is scaring you away. But here’s the catch. You’re bored. You’re bored out of your ever-loving mind.


Make no mistake. You’re not bored with each other. Oh, no. You’ve finally reached that level of relationship comfort that allows you to floss your teeth in the car while he scratches that special itch and sings along to Barbie Girl by Aqua.


But gone are the days when your heart fluttered with just the thought of your other half, wheneven chocolate tasted sweeter and crying babies reminded you of heavenly cherubs. By this time in the relationship he’s probably broken wind in front of you, and the magic has most assuredly lost some of its glitter.


So here you both are, sitting in glitterless, stinky boredom. And I bet the T.V. is on. And I bet you haven’t spoken a truly meaningful word to one another in approximately two and half hours, and that’s if he hasn’t already fallen into a potato chip-flavored, Netflix documentary-induced coma. And I bet this is almost a nightly ritual for you two.


Pick a rerun, any rerun, and you’ve just rung the death knell of relationship suicide. Sound familiar? For the love of Cupid, put down the remote, and get up off your lazy booties. Try to think back on those days when you spent hours huddled in coffee shops actually talking to one another. Recall times of old when you walked circles around the mall, over and over again, without any intention of buying a single measly thing, and you were actually talking to one another.


Recall those happy occasions when the two of you attended (insert any social event here) and, wait for it, actually talked to one another. “Don’t forget to do the little things, and don’t forget to appreciate the little things too,” said steamy romance writer, Annie Rayburn, author of the novel Bittersweet Obsessions. “Always remember to say ‘I love you’, make it a habit.


Be aware that small touches can mean a lot, a hug here, a kiss there, a gesture of appreciation can keep you in your partner’s mind and even trigger thoughts of more later on.” Advice people oddly tend to forget the more comfortable they get with their partner. The problem with comfort, with predictability in relationships, is that it ultimately can lead to the break down of communication. And for those of you who missed that integral lesson in Relationships 101, communication is the magic pixie dust that keeps lovebirds flying high above the ground.


Panic not. The solution is far simpler than that statistics final you’re still having nightmares about. The first step is to turn off the television set. See just how long the two of you can go without it. Just how awkward the silence is following the termination of the boob tube is inversely proportionate to the lack of adventure the two of you are about to remedy.


Find a hobby or an activity that the pair of you can do together, one that requires teamwork or mutual motivation. Start going to the gym and working out together. Not only will your new and improved bods make other people deliciously jealous, you’ll have a new and elusive confidence that you thought only existed in Calvin Cline ads.


Not big on breaking a sweat? Start going to painting classes together. Join a bowling league. Take ballroom dance lessons or karate. Buy a dog so you can take it for long walks on the beach, strolling hand in hand beneath the sunset.


“Be your own person and have your own things you enjoy, but always have those things that you both enjoy together,” said Susan Carlisle, Harlequin Mills and Boone author of Heart Surgeon, Hero: Husband? and The Nurse He shouldn’t Notice. “Even the long term stuff comes down to each of you having to like yourselves, which makes you interesting and attractive to the other person.”


Whatever you do, talk, listen, communicate and grow as a team. And keep in mind communication isn’t all about the words coming out of your mouth. Communication is about a meeting of the minds, the peaceful understanding and concern that comes from two people consistently staying on the same page with one another.


Put down the remote and go have an adventure.


You’ll be so glad you did.




UNSTABLE: A Memoir Of A Bipolar Student


By: Chris Pope 
Photo By: Steven Welch


I sat in the waiting room of the psychiatric facility, feet tapping rapidly. The lights were fluorescent, walls painted a dull color. Something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. That’s why I was there. Things were bad even when things were good. That guy’s tie looks ridiculous.

I have to tap my feet in tempo with his, or else I feel an overwhelming anxiety. I’ve been bipolar, as I found out that day, for as long as I can remember. I was first diagnosed as depressed, but there was more to it. Finally came the bipolar diagnosis. Today, the condition is over-diagnosed.

According to Reuters, in a study conducted at Brown University, 57 percent of patients diagnosed as bipolar turned out not to have the condition. But after reading the sheet of symptoms the doctor had printed for me, I felt like I was reading about myself.

Here is the problem with most people who are bipolar: they don’t realize they’re bipolar. What are referred to as manic phases, or the highs, don’t appear to be problematic to those afflicted. When we’re manic, we think everything is perfectly normal. In fact, we think everything is spectacular! I used to think I was a star, destined for greatness in some form or another. But here is the problem with stars: there are trillions of them.

When I’m manic, I get these absurd feelings of grandiosity. Sure, I may be genuinely talented in some areas, but to what extent? At one point, I truly believed I was going to  become the secretary of state and perhaps even president one day. Not in the ambitious, cute little kid “I wanna be president” kind of way, but in a “developing my platform and planning life events that would look good when I am eventually on the campaign trail” kind of way.

“When we’re manic, we think everything is perfectly normal. In fact, we think everything is spectacular!”

I was going through a manic phase during registration for the Fall 2011 semester, and scheduled four upper-division anthropology courses, an upper-division history course, and an introductory Russian course. Keep in mind, I’m doing this is all while working part time and writing a novel on the side. When I finally came down about a month into the semester, I hated myself.

Luckily, I ascended into mania again at the end of the semester, and researched and wrote 50 pages worth of papers in one week. For example, I researched and wrote an eight page paper on osteological evidence of paleopathology in the pre-Columbian American Southwest in one sitting. This is why manic people don’t think they have a problem, but rather a gift. And it can be. But it is a gift that comes with strings attached.


When the manic phase is over, after you have made countless impulsive purchases, made risky sexual decisions, and thought and acted like you were God incarnate for several weeks (or more, depending on the individual), your brain has a way of fizzling out. The mania, the overworking of your neurotransmitters for weeks on end, eventually leads to a deep, dark depression. This is what most people seek help for before finding out he or she is bipolar.

When I am manic, I do my schoolwork for several weeks in advance, because I know that when I will eventually become depressed. I won’t lift a pen, touch a keyboard, or even glance at a book. When I’m depressed, my only friends are those on TV. I spend an hour or two with Angel or Mal Reynolds and can only exchange laughs with Chandler Bing and Ted Mosby. I hate myself and think everyone else does too. The isolation is unhealthy, but it is the result of the shame and guilt of some of my manic words and actions. Not to mention, when depressed, I realize I’m no star. I realize I’m just a guy who doesn’t really know anything, and that anything I think I know is subjective.

Unfortunately, for the bipolar, there is no objectivereality. Something true one month is false the next, simply because of the change in emotion. The sheer and utter hopelessness, lack of will and motivation of depression is crushing, but is also a means of protecting oneself. It is during the mixed episodes that one should worry.

“I hate myself and think everyone else does too. the isolation is unhealthy, but it is the result of the shame and guilt of some of my manic words and actions.” 

During a mixed episode, my mind is a thunderstorm. I have the perpetual racing thoughts of the mania combined with the heavy despair of the depression, and my body is a mosaic of painful memories of mixed episodes. Self-harm is common during these phases, because not only is one hopeless, but one also has the motivation to do something about it. I would be willing to bet that most bipolar suicide victims are in a mixed state when they make an attempt on their life. In the several instances I have attempted suicide, this is the emotional state I was in each time.

“Self-harm is common during these phases, because not only is one hopeless, but one also has the motivation to  do something about it.”

Any organization, be it Alcoholics Anonymous or a bipolar support group will tell you to take your road to recovery one day at a time. Right now, after a trip to the hospital and a week in an inpatient facility, my synapses are being bombarded with anxiolytics, beta blockers, atypical antipsychotics, and other mood stabilizers. And I have hope.

All I can do is offer you hope as well, and this piece of advice: if something feels wrong, it quite possibly is. Seek help. There’s nothing wrong with having a problem, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with being who you are. Being bipolar is part of who I am, and I am just now coming to terms with that. If nothing else, I hope someone reading this who needs help builds the courage to seek it and that everyone out there can find themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin.

“If something feels wrong, it quite possibly is. Seek help. There’s nothing wrong with having a problem, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with being who you are.”



By: Ben Poplin


Zach King is a 21-year-old student at Kennesaw State University who is double majoring in Jazz Performance Studies and International Business. He sits in his bedroom, each wall adorned with a different band poster. A shrine containing concert  tickets hangs adjacent to his closet. To his right sits a studio that he built himself over the past two years. All of his equipment is supported by a table, and a flat screen television reflecting sound waves rests on the wall above. Adam Orfale works to capture the perfect camera angle before he begins videotaping the interview, as Chase Nixon holds the boom microphone above.


King is classically trained in guitar and frequently takes part in KSU Jazz concerts. With that being said, King explained why someone who is classically trained likes Electronic Dance Music (EDM). “I like good music, textural. I like to put my headphones on and it creates an atmosphere.” He has formed his own production company known as Moyo Productions, where he and other artists put out their own material. King uses Ableton software, which is a Digital Audio Work Station (DAW System).


King and the younger generation are now producing their own music within the genre of EDM. This style of music is widely growing in popularity in major cities, especially Atlanta. It is primarily played in clubs and underground venues not well known to the public. King says, “It is like a fish. They go unnoticed under water.” The music is made using different software systems to create an assortment of electronic beats with machines.


Charlie Spriggs, a 24-year-old Club DJ, sits in a McDonald’s booth. His jacket sleeves are rolled up with the neon collar of his shirt poking out. The matching green gauge earrings peek through the lobes of his ears. Spriggs has been DJing for about three years. The reason he does it is, “I want people to have a good time and for everyone to enjoy themselves. People want something other than what is going on right now.” He takes out his iPhone and plays a sample of his mixes, while a mother and her son occasionally stare at him because of the volume. Spriggs does not seem to care, because he is lost in the music. “It is the anticipation. You wait for it and it builds up emotion. When you get there, you can just let everything go.”


Founder and owner of KRE8SHUNS Mobile Dee Jay Service Tim Raley, has been playing venues since 1988. He thinks that history in a sense is repeating itself when it comes to the popularity of EDM. “Early 70s Disco was just driving beats. Everything you listened to had the same pattern.” Raley went on to say that, “I noticed in about the late 80s and early 90s, it came back again and then it went away.” He believes that just like with clothing it is coming back in style.


Raley has developed a love for EDM, especially in the last year. “It is a different style of music. In most of it there is no particular verse or chorus. It is just all mixed up.” This distinguishes EDM from any other genre. There are hardly any vocals, and the songs are not composed of verses, choruses, or bridges. As for why it is suddenly becoming popular again Raley thinks that, “Computers coming into the DJ world is making things so much easier. A person can record their own stuff now without having studio time.”


A prime example of this that inspired the paper was a performance by an artist called Deadmau5. At the Grammys, the Canadian EDM musician played to a huge crowd of people dancing below, their hands swaying to the beat of the music. In front of him sat only his Apple computer. The main demographic Raley has observed that have really caught on to this music is, “The teenagers from 15 and 16 years old up to their early 20s. I see all races listening to dub step, but normally it is the younger crowd.” In response to why he thinks we are hearing more Auto-Tune and Club/House type beats on the radio today, King spoke of the past and related it to the present.


“I think it comes from the 80s really. Back then they were trying to make it sound like a machine made it, especially in the club scene. Almost now with guys like Flying Lotus we are growing away from that. In a sense we have been able to achieve that and make it perfect. Now let’s see how we can make it like a human.” If anyone has listened to the radio in the past year, it is clear that EDM is here to stay. As for the direction music is taking Spriggs says, “Music is definitely headed towards a more electronic style.” To sum up his thoughts, King further elaborated on Spriggs’. “Music is heading towards collaboration. Not only has it become integrated into rap, but hardcore music and heavy metal have now incorporated dub step. I think we’ll really get a treat in the future. We are not quite sure yet, but it’s definitely evolving.” Orfale shuts the camera off and Nixon folds up the boom microphone. The door closes to King’s room and the sounds of him strumming a guitar can be heard, as he begins working on his next project.