Several familiar faces will be returning to steer West Virginia University’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum, during the upcoming 2004-2005 school year.

Courtney Balestier , a senior news editorial major from Morgantown, will head the staff as editor-in-chief. Balestier began her work at the DA three years ago as a staff writer covering the Board of Governors and administrative beats. She was promoted to associate news editor and then city editor.

Seeing how her writing affects others, she said, is one of the benefits of the job.

My favorite column was the first of the 2003-2004 school year about an all-gay high school in New York,she said.They sent me a letter in response. It was amazing to see that someone in New York was moved enough by my column to respond.

In her new role, she said,I hope to further improve what I hope is already great reporting and editorial writing, as well as strengthen campus coverage.

When she isn’t in the newsroom, Balestier is active in Golden Key and the Society of Professional Journalists. Her dream job would be to write for The New Yorker.

Senior Jessica Karmasek will take over as managing editor at the DA.

Throughout her college career, she has been involved in numerous activities including the Mountaineer Maniacs, Society of Professional Journalists and journalism mentors program. She also was inducted into the Gamma Beta Phi honors service fraternity.

The senior news editorial major from Railroad, Pa., has worn many hats at the DA

including general assignment reporter, Greek beat reporter, city council reporter and news editor.

As managing editor, I plan to improve communication between departments, reorganize news coverage and improve the overall layout and design of The Daily Athenaeum,she said.

After she graduates, Karmasek would like to work as a reporter in West Virginia and eventually go to graduate school either at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill or Northwestern University.

Clarksburg native Sam Madia , a senior economics major from Clarksburg, has been promoted to business manager.

Madia got his start at the DA his sophomore year as a senior sales executive. Since then, he has served as summer business manager and assistant business manager.

One of his goals for 2004-2005 is to build the DA’s readership.

We need to be used as a tool for the state to communicate with our bright students,he said.Ultimately, we need to be the first source for relating important information to the future of our great state.

Besides the DA, his activities on campus include the athletic council; Italian American Organization, which he co-founded and is the president-elect for next year; and the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.

Madia plans to attend law school.

Senior journalism major Sara Bott will transition from opinion editor to summer editor-in-chief.

From reporting to editing, the Morgantown native has held many roles at the DA. She wrote columns and editorials, oversaw staff columnists and handled letters to the editor this past year.

Her favoriteand often controversialcolumns have criticized President Bush.

The main reason behind this is because I think, as citizens, it is our duty and our goal to challenge our leader when we think he is not acting in favor of the people,she said.

Besides the student newspaper, Bott participates in the Young Democrats, Female Equality Movement, Sierra Club and Society of Professional Journalists.

Her career goals include writing for The Arizona Republic and becoming a syndicated columnist like Dave Barry or Molly Ivins.

Kara Friend , a junior English major and Charleston native, has taken the job of summer managing editor.

When news is breaking, Friend wants to be in the thick of it.

Like when the sports teams were cut last yearit was a terrible thing for athletes, but it was big news,she said.

Over the summer, she hopes to improve the layout and design of the newspaper and increase the number of human-interest stories.

As a former copy desk chief, head of the copy desk, supervisor of copy editors and copy editor, Friend has devoted most of her extracurricular time to designing the layout for the DA.

She is considering a career in page design or design management.