As the semester winds down, the staff at The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia Universitys student newspaper, is making plans for the summer and 2007-08 academic year.

According to new editor-in-chief Leann Ray , the D.A.as its more commonly calledis getting a fresh look, and readers will see an increase in staff stories.

Those arent the only changes in store for the paper.

In addition to Ray, whos been working at the DA since 2004, there will be a number of other students taking on new leadership roles in the newsroom: Kathryn Gregory has been named managing editor ; Allison Butler, summer managing editor ; and Zack Stone, business manager .

Ray, who serves students their weekly dose of celebrity happenings in her columnCelebrity Beans,is a Poca native. She earned a bachelors degree in news-editorial from WVU last year and is currently working on her masters degree in journalism.

Originally hired as a staff writer for the DA, she has been an arts and entertainment writer and editor and contributed A&E stories to The Times West Virginian newspaper in Fairmont.

She says one of the best parts about the student newspaper is that everything is done by students, from selling and placing advertising to writing, editing and laying out pages.

Another great thing, she adds, is that itallows journalism students to gain experience with a job thats actually in their field. They learn that a deadline affects more than just a grade in the real world.

Besides redesigning the layout of the newspaper (the cover page is already completed) and expanding the number of staff stories, Rays other goals include hiring young reporters and increasing communication between co-workers.

The paper will run much smoother if everyone feels comfortable in the newsroom,she said.

Gregoryis a news-editorial major from Somers, N.Y. She has been a staff writer for more than a year, covering the Faculty Senate beat.

Shes also a member of WVU s Honors College and National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as a recipient of the 2006 Valerie Canady Scholarship.

Among her goals are to create a better fact-checking system, redesign the layout and hire a design team to add more visual appeal to the paper.

Butler is from Cameron and has been with the DA for three yearsfirst as a copy editor followed by a stint as the copy desk chief.

In her new position, she hopes to create a smooth transition between semesters.

Since weve introduced new features to the D.A. this spring, its important to have an editorial staff that can continue to smoothly implement changes during the summer and on into the fall semester,she said.

Butler is pursuing a masters degree in elementary education. She started out as a journalism student, but graduated last year with a degree in English from WVU . After switching majors, she continued to work at the D.A. because she loved the people and the atmosphere.

Stone, who hails from Nyack, N.Y., says his top priority as business manager is to maintain successful business and advertising departments.

I look forward to applying new ideas and providing a good consistency with the sales department and throughout all of The Daily Athenaeum,he said.

Stone is a communications major and member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He says he isproud to be associated with one of the top college newspapers in the country.

The DA plays such a big role in the lives of students, faculty and staff,he said.Not only do we get the campus and national news, but we get the local news that has a direct impact on WVU . Its WVU s connection to local bands, businesses and events.

Gregory agreed.

Whether its local or national, we work hard to give equal coverage on all events that affect the lives of WVU students, faculty and staff,she said.In the past, we havent been afraid to take a stand and write about controversial issues; I hope to continue that.

DA on the Net:http://www.da.wvu.edu/new/