As a kid, Meaghan Roche wanted to be an author. She, unlike many millennial students, was a big reader, and hoped that someday, she would “be able to say [she] wrote a whole book that people wanted to read and would enjoy as much as I would.” While her desires have taken a slight turn since, she still loves the idea of writing something that is meaningful. “That much hasn’t changed.”
The Roche’s ties to the Hudson Valley have always kept Meaghan, now a senior communication student on track for a Spring graduation, relatively aware of Marist. “I’ve been familiar with the area my whole life… it holds a special place in my heart. I know what you’re thinking,” she says. “Really? Poughkeepsie? Yeah, I love it here.” It has been clear for some time that Meaghan belonged at Marist, specifically in the school’s Center for Sports Communication. Her love for the school came long before her enrollment.
“It was the first college I ever toured, and I first saw the “old” Marist,” she remembered. “The Marist before the dining hall ‘looked like Hogwarts” and the rotunda wasn’t nearly as impressive – back when I tagged along on my older brother’s college tours when I was just a freshman in high school. From that day on, I silently and selfishly hoped he wouldn’t choose to go to Marist because I wanted to go there and I didn’t want to go to the same college as him.”
After holding out hope on what was not an uncommon sentiment for a younger sibling, she got her wish. Even before arriving, Meaghan knew that this was her school. This was, as a matter of fact, her home. The opportunities were endless, as the old cliché goes, and Meaghan witnessed that firsthand, even before arriving.
“During my senior year [of high school], I got an email from Keith Strudler [the department’s former director] inviting me to come to one of the Center for Sports Communication’s Speaker Series events, featuring sportswriter Jeremy Schaap,” she said. Even though the event fell amidst a holiday break, Meaghan made the trip, needing to experience the environment. “Marist was already my number one school; there wasn’t much left that the campus itself needed to prove to me. But what stood out to me the most was how well spoken and interested the students were that asked questions of Schaap. I wanted to be one of them.”
When Center Field first began publishing, Meaghan was immediately named Executive Editor. Whilst, at that time, not having a relationship aside from “fellow classmate” with co-founders Matt Rzodkiewicz and Marco Schaden, they quickly became some of her closest friends. As time went on, Meaghan continued to climb the ranks. She has since served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and will be the site’s EIC starting in January of 2019. It didn’t start out that way.
“I get an email from the department about Center Field, and I go to the first meeting and sign up for what I’m interested in, but I asked the kids who seemed to be in charge if they needed someone to be an editor. They didn’t really seem to have a solid answer for me,” she says, just citing a classic Marco moment. She wasn’t entirely sure, especially at the beginning, that this publication would go anywhere, nor that she’d be so heavily involved.
“A few weeks go by, and I hadn’t really heard anything, until one day I ran into Leander [Schaerlaeckens] on the way to class. He asked if I had gotten involved and I told him I had expressed interest in editing, I’m a proofreader for the writing center, I’m good at it, I like it,” she says. “He passes on my info; I get an email from Marco later that day asking me to come to their meeting. I walked in there thinking I would just help out with copyediting the stories. I walked out of there with the title “Executive Editor.” Two semesters later, the Center is my second home, and my Center Field co-editors are my second family.”
That second family has gotten Meaghan opportunities to work with Baseball Miracles and McMillan Publishing, just two of the high profile opportunities she hopes to garner experience from in her employment search. She’s a weird journalist, one that refuses to drink coffee (see her Twitter bio). But she’s a journalist nonetheless; one with the passion and authentic drive to find success wherever she may go.