When rising junior Angel Antosz came to Penn State in the fall of 2018, she made the decision to join The Underground, a multicultural student media site that takes a diverse and artistic approach to reporting news and other events on campus. As a French and francophone studies and political science double major, the thought of writing for a website like The Underground seemed like a good opportunity to get involved with politics at University Park, which made Antosz want to be a politics and identity writer.
“I love being able to keep up with a lot of the political organizations on campus and being able to cover their events. I feel politically involved even just by covering the events,” said the Pittsburgh native.
The same semester that Antosz joined The Underground, the publication’s politics editor at the time resigned. This, in turn, set her on her path towards transitioning into that position, which would eventually lead her to her current role as managing editor.
“I saw how passionate he was about his position, and I knew that I wanted to lead our very small politics team,” she explained. “I became the assistant politics editor in February 2019 and served in that role until I became politics editor in April 2019.”
Through her role as politics editor, Antosz learned a lot about what it meant to be a leader, which for her meant figuring out how to get her team to understand her expectations of writers -- keep their reporting unbiased, and serve as the main point of communication between The Underground and political organizations around campus. Through her time in this position, she was also able to develop close relationships with student leaders from organizations like the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) and the College Democrats. This has only served to further her interest in politics and government, which is something that has stemmed from high school.
“I have been very active in politics since high school,” she said. “I was in Youth and Government, and it really allowed me to understand the legislative process more. My dream goal after graduation is to be a diplomat.”
However, her dreams don’t stop there.
“Recognizing that that will be a while, I would like to start out as a lobbyist,” Antosz continued. “I was a lobbyist my last year in Youth and Government and absolutely loved it. I have also thought about going to law school after my undergraduate career at Penn State.”
Now in her third year of her undergraduate career, she is using her time as managing editor to increase communication between the editors and the staffers and to strengthen the relationships in the organization as a whole. With that, she believes that different sections in The Underground will be able to work together more cohesively, which also includes utilizing their social media more efficiently.
“I want to see our social media used for more than just publishing our articles,” she said. “I want to see our sections taking pictures at events so we can put those pictures on our Instagram. I would also like to see more engagement on social media, maybe focusing on social media projects where the section works with our social team.”
Although being the managing editor of a media site is a big responsibility, Antosz is more than up to the challenge, citing the mentorship she received early on in her time with The Underground as the driving force behind her decision to apply for the position. She enjoys being able to train and work closely with new contributing writers, as well as collaborating with other section editors.
Beyond her involvement with The Underground, Antosz enjoys her time as a student in the College of the Liberal Arts. While she came to find enjoyment in politics due to her experience with Youth and Government, her passion for the French language and its culture comes from a French teacher she had in high school. This appreciation for her teachers has followed her to Penn State, where she says that her experiences with her professors have become her favorite aspect of the liberal arts.
“Being a double major, I often have deadlines that overlap,” she said. “My [literature of fantasy] professor this past semester was very understanding when I asked him for an extension on my paper because I had three exams in the next two days. It was also this past year that I started coming out as genderqueer/nonbinary. That same professor also did a thing on the first day of class with a notecard where we could tell them anything, and I told them my preferred pronouns.”
Antonszes' time in the College of the Liberal Arts has also helped her in other areas of her life, such as making her a better writer, giving her the ability to see both sides of every issue, and making her more accepting of other people. She believes that this will help her after she graduates, where she knows she will have many different options to apply her degrees.