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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Written in The Stars: Shaheen leaves intentional impact

Courtesy of Niles Davis
Nichaela Shaheen, managing editor at The University Star, poses in front of the Bobcat statue, Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

Growing up my father, Fady Shaheen, always said to me: “Remember you’re a Shaheen, you can fly high and soar low.”

This has become my mantra. A shaheen is a falcon, often described as majestic. While I’d love to say my time at The University Star has been majestic, it’s been more.

I didn’t come to Texas State University and then join The University Star. I joined The Star first, then became a student. My first byline at The Star came out before my admission letter landed in my mother’s mailbox.

My reason for becoming a Bobcat stemmed from the sole purpose of writing for The University Star. Two short years later and I’ve done more than just that. By the time I attended my first lecture as a Bobcat in fall 2022 as a transfer student, I was the news editor. My second and final year, I led the newsroom as managing editor alongside my best friend Carson Weaver. Together we grew, one of my favorite college memories will be chasing a story till 2 a.m. in the newsroom with him. Soaring low.

So, how does one measure this season of life? In the number of articles picked up by the Austin American-Statesman? Nine. In awards won? 11. In the number of tallies every time Dan shut his door because I was too loud? 13.

Journalism became a beckon in my life. It found me while a student at Del Mar College when I had no direction. Now, it’s my landing pad. Every story I write heals a part of me I don’t know was broken. That’s simply not measurable. The Star allowed me to fly high.

The greatest challenge I faced while reporting at The Star was covering Jayden de Laura. To this day I’m still learning and answering ethical questions about my reporting. In six days, de Laura went from the newly signed Bobcat quarterback to withdrawing from the university. My coverage attracted national attention to our organization and university.

Our words are as powerful as we let them be. Be intentional.

While serving as the managing editor I also interned as a legislative aide to Committee Chair for State Affairs Representative Todd Hunter at the Capitol of Texas, news reporter for KTSW 89.9, community outreach specialist for GlazeZine and the student editor for a School of Journalism and Mass Communications magazine on Uvalde. All while taking five classes. Yet, The Star stayed in the forefront.

I didn’t come here to make friends, but I’m content with the ones I’m leaving with. Thankfully they gifted me memories that will outlast my lifetime. To Krantz, thank you for being my North Star.

I’m my mother’s mother, my father’s father and my ancestor’s greatest hopes and dreams. I’m a sister. I’m an aunt. I’m a cousin. I’m a niece. I’m a vessel for the stories of others. I’m a proud daughter of a Palestinian man and first generation Mexican-American woman.

I’m a Shaheen, flying high and soaring low.

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