Student spotlight: Courtney Carstens, Veritas editor-in-chief

Courtney Carstens, a senior in journalism and mass communication from Holstein, Iowa, is the current editor-in-chief of Veritas magazine, a student publication focused on in-depth coverage of politics and law. Although the campus magazine and additional activities keep Carstens busy, they are preparing her for her future career after graduation in December 2018.

How did you get involved with Veritas?

My adviser, Deb Gibson, was talking to me about my political science minor and asking what I wanted to get involved with and how she could help. I told her I didn’t really know the way, but I liked writing and talking about politics. She said, "Well, there’s Veritas." So, that’s kind of how that got started.

How did you become editor-in-chief?

I was in a meeting with the former editor-in-chief, and I could just tell she was super stressed. I asked if I could help her. The conversation just rolled into me eventually agreeing to be her assistant. She asked if I wanted to be editor-in-chief next year, and I couldn’t complain about that. I’ve always loved politics and journalism so it kind of just made sense.

What do you think helped prepare you the most for this position?

JL MC 302 was the most difficult course with time management I’ve ever had. But at the end of the day, that was probably the class that got me prepared to become editor.

What are your duties as editor?

I’m in charge of making sure we get ads out, sometimes I write my own article, I write the letter from the editor, I do content editing and I host monthly individual meeting with all of my writers. I also keep my writers and executive team up to date.

Why is Veritas important to you?

People need to be more politically active. Just because there’s a presidential election every four years doesn’t mean you just vote once every four years; you vote continuously. Veritas is really new, and if we can continue growing it, I think that will show people how important voting and being politically active really is.

What else are you involved in?

I’m president of Gamma Sigma Alpha, which is a co-ed academic fraternity. I’m also part of Alpha Gamma Delta, and I’m also doing my 499 internship with Cityview magazine as an editorial intern.

How do you manage all of this?

I love my planner. If I don’t have it, I’m freaking out. And I think a lot of it is that I work with people who are very flexible.

What do you want to do after graduation?

I would ideally like to work for a medium-size newspaper or kind of like a "boutiquey" media company in editorial. Eventually I’d like to be an editor, but I need to get up in the ranks first. I really like the Des Moines Register and the Kansas City Star. I’ve grown up in the Midwest, and it’s something I’ve always loved.

Interview by Tara Larson; edited for length and clarity.