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Fechter is a senior multimedia journalism major and Japanese minor from Statesboro, Ga. Julia has been on the student media staff since freshman year, and has held positions such as The George-Anne features editor, G-A enterprise reporter, Reflector print editor, and Reflector culture editor.

Now that I am actually writing this, I want to thank the collegiate and community people who have influenced my life more so than I want to list my accomplishments. There are so many people I could thank, but I would like to take the time to thank several specific people and groups.

I am thankful that other students from The George-Anne Media Group coached me into the world of journalism when I was a freshman in Spring 2015. Colleagues at The George-Anne and The George-Anne Reflector, both past and present, showed me genuine community and how to balance enjoying content creation with being committed to accuracy and precision.

I have also gained valuable knowledge from my professors and teachers, particularly Jennifer Kowalewski, Ph.D. and Scott Bryant, the photojournalism class lecturer and The Statesboro Herald photographer. Scott, you opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of photojournalism and showed me the care that journalists should have for their communities while doing their work.

Dr. K., thank you for the brutal honesty. I may not have always relished your critiques on my articles, but I realize now that you said the things you did because you believed in me as a journalist. You encouraged me to keep trying, even when I was frustrated.

The Georgia Southern University and Statesboro communities have greatly shaped me as a person. I am so grateful to have grown up in such a unique community with both a diverse and small-town feel. I am also grateful that I could tell the stories of such a rich array of people.

As I graduate from this university, I do so with all of my experiences as a springboard to serve another community.

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