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10 Questions With Onward State Managing Editor-Elect Tim Gilbert

There have been plenty of great leaders in Onward State history. With our current Managing Editor of two years, Kevin Horne, graduating this May, we needed to pick his successor, and on Thursday, we did just that.

All of us at Onward State are proud to announce our newest Managing Editor Tim Gilbert, who will officially take over in May. Tim is relatively new to our staff, having joined at the beginning of the Spring 2014 semester, but his hard work, experience in the State College media market, and ability as a writer and an editor make him the perfect person to lead Onward State into the future.

After grabbing a beverage at Cafe 210 West, as any good Onward State editor would, I sat down with Tim for 10 questions about his vision for our operation here as Penn Sate’s independent student-media source.

Onward State: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Tim Gilbert: I’m a junior majoring in criminology and journalism (minoring in political science) from the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. I went to St. Joe’s Prep before coming to Penn State, which was (obviously) the best decision of my life. I’ve been told I’m an “idiot,” which I just can’t argue with. I still play Pokemon. Let’s see…I can’t swim, which is my go-to for “tell us something weird about yourself.” I also can’t blow bubbles. I certainly play sports well. I’m incredibly excited to get going and see what this staff of ours is capable of. We’ll do big things, promise.

Oh yeah, I have a dog named Archie and he is better than your dog.

OS: What experience do you have as a writer/editor?
TG: I worked at The Daily Collegian for two years as a reporter and editor in various positions (sports, news, copy desk) before making the switch to Onward State at the beginning of this semester. While I’m very thankful for the time I could spend at the Collegian, my skill set better serves Onward State. It was a tough switch to make, but I’m glad I made it. In non-student media, I covered the Penn State football team for the Philadelphia Daily News in 2012 during my sophomore year and have done some freelancing work here and there since.

OS: How big of an honor was it to be named Managing Editor of Onward State?
TG: Pretty incredible, especially considering the fact that I only joined staff this semester. Thankfully, the staff welcomed me with open arms and gave me the chance to do my thing the way I wanted to do it when I came aboard. I owe a big thanks to the people that were so amicable to the idea of my coming aboard and to those who have helped me along the way as a Penn State journalism student. Running the most-read student media in the country will be a lot of work, but I take the opportunity to do so very seriously.

OS: What did you do after being named Managing Editor?
TG: Attended/hosted a party with some of my friends, took a champagne shower (thanks, Bill/Ali), and was humbled by everyone giving me congratulations all night. ‘Twas a good time.

OS: What are some of the things you plan on doing as Managing Editor?
TG: Making Onward State the best it can be and giving fellow students a chance to have their voices heard, both as writers and subjects of stories. Onward State’s brand as the primary Penn State outlet that drives conversation will stay rock solid, but we will make some additions and changes to increase the breadth of our coverage.

OS: What are some improvements you plan on making so that Onward State can remain the most read college media outlet in the world?
TG: Onward State has been doing a great job producing content that serves legitimate interests throughout the Penn State community. But we still have room to improve, and I plan to capitalize on the strong infrastructure we’ve built to do so. I’m interested in expanding our multimedia reach, reporting on groups and people at Penn State that might not get the coverage they deserve, and creating some staples for people to look forward to every week. I’ve also got a few other things in the works that you’ll see throughout the year but will keep internal for now. It’ll be a fun year.

OS: Outside of Onward State, what are some of your interests?
TG: The Phillies, who surprisingly don’t really suck that much right now, and baseball in general (I’m one of those douchey sabermetrics types). Breaking Bad was better, but Game of Thrones is pretty incredible, too. I like making my time here at State memorable with my roommates and friends. Since I’m about to be the manager of a blog, I definitely like having a laptop that isn’t defective, which has not been the case for the last nine days. Also, did I mention my dog?

OS:  What will your top priority be as Managing Editor?
TG: Making Onward State the most honest, community-serving student media outlet that both drives conversation and generates traffic in the country.

OS: You’re a massive goofball on Twitter. Please explain your Twitter #brand.
TG: Some background is in order. My Twitter account used to be one of the douchiest things on the Internet under the @TimGilb handle, honest to god. When I covered the football team, I took myself way too seriously as a journalist and it showed on my account. For instance, this. A modified tweet without context? Twitter blasphemy! After I left the Collegian and journalism for a bit, I joined what Kevin calls “goofball Twitter,” and my #brand has really found a home there. Every once in a while, I’ll send out some serious tweets and live-tweet things, but most of the time, my Twitter account is pretty silly. Even though it’s a Vine, this is my favorite of my posts (it happened while Bill O’Brien was about to leave Penn State).

OS: Per Onward State tradition, if you could be a dinosaur, what kind of dinosaur would you be?
TG: Thrinaxodon. It was the only dinosaur that had fur. This means nothing special to me, I just Googled weird dinosaurs so I could pick a cool one and I liked this one’s name.

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