Cuesta College’s Spring 2021 semester continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a majority of classes once again being taught online.
Despite this, The Cuestonian’s team of editors and reporters continued to tackle their stories, photos, features, and comics with their full effort.
Advisor Cyrus Saatsaz led The Cuestonian into its third semester going exclusively online with high spirits. As a former reporter for The Cuestonian, and an award winning journalist, Saatsaz has a unique perspective most advisors lack. His skillset and mentorship have helped our team develop into strong writers and editors, ready to tackle real-world reporting.
Editor-in-Chief Peyton Gadbury rallied The Cuestonian team this semester, guiding students’ work and constantly tracking and assisting with what content The Cuestonian covered. She was kept busy editing many articles and polishing a lot of what the team put out. This was her last semester at Cuesta College, and in the fall she plans to pursue a 4-year degree in journalism.
Editor-in-Chief and Illustration Editor Nathan Moran worked tirelessly not only editing articles, but writing some of his own. Moran brought to life an Animation Spotlight column this semester, breaking down popular animated films and showing readers the art through his own artistic perspective. As an animator himself, Moran has been creating funny, heartwarming, and relatable comics that all of us at The Cuestonian looked forward to during his time at Cuesta College. Now, Moran is embarking on a new adventure, attending the Vancouver Film School in Canada this coming fall to study animation.
Social Media Editor Ellie Amesse tackled the virtual world, manning the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for The Cuestonian and ultimately elevating the newspaper’s digital presence. Amesse showed off her graphic design skills and command over technology, promoting articles and creating a connection between the newsroom and our readers. And she wrote a story covering what our student government actually does for us.
Features Editor Aubrie Arndt brought relevant coverage of important SLO County events to our readers. From Governor Newsom’s visit to Cuesta College, to evolving information on the decades long Kristin Smart case, Arndt focused on some of SLO County’s most breaking news. We hope she returns next semester in a larger role with our publication.
Features Editor Mena Rafiee covered an array of topics this semester, from the science of astrology to human trafficking. Rafiee’s interview skills shone bright in her work as she investigated each piece thoroughly and crafted each article in expert objective style. We similarly hope she returns next semester in a larger role with our publication.
Opinion Editor Joseph Aquafresca had a lot to say this semester, tackling sports, returning to school and, most controversially, the Rolling Stones vs Led Zeppelin argument. Aquafresca’s unique takes and perspectives added an extra element to The Cuestonian that made our staff whole.
Surf Editor Damon Quintard brought our readers surfer profile stories and breaking news on shark attacks and fishing. Quintard’s style makes for an easy and enjoyable read, bringing to life the fun sport of surfing that’s celebrated here on the Central Coast, and hooking his readers in.
Photo Editor Jonathan Apelado used photography to powerfully capture SLO County across some great pieces. Showcasing everything from the inner workings of student businesses as well as how SLO county is holding for better and for worse, his photographs brought the subject matter to life.
Political Editor Jena McCulloch broke down the new stimulus for our campus and showed off her writing chops in an opinion editorial on masks. Choosing to explore a vulnerable part of journalism, McCulloch wrote about her own personal experience with COVID-19 and how politics have affected her life this year.
Sports Editor Carson Andrews explored stories about sports in the pandemic and an insider scoop on Cuesta’s Head Aquatics Program coach. Andrews used his own athletic background to convey the world of sports to our readers, as many teams return to a playing field we’ve never seen before post COVID-19.
Reporter Daniel Burg produced thought provoking content and resources to The Cuestonian, encouraging students to explore ideas abroad, what it means to pursue a profession that fits personal values, the conflicting cultures of the Western and Eastern world, and more. Burg’s writing style and commentary illuminates his columns and brings dimension to our publication, and we hope he continues producing great content for The Cuestonian next semester.
Next semester will once again be online for The Cuestonian, but regardless we look forward to bringing new content to SLO County and doing our best to keep readers informed and up to date with Cuesta College news and events.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and we’ll see you next semester Cuestonian readers!