Who Needs Superman When We Have Clark Kent?

A Tribute to Outgoing Editor in Chief, Griffin Guinta

BY GARY BEEMER , Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Tampa

Stepping into a leadership role in any student-based organization or entity is certainly an extra set of responsibilities that many college students choose not to undertake. After all you have to attend class, get good grades, maybe work part-time and eventually graduate and get a job. Who has time to go above-and-beyond these days?

I had the pleasure of collaborating this past year with Griffin Guinta – the outgoing Editor in Chief of The UT Minaret Newspaper – and am better for having done so. You won’t find a finer individual who truly cares about people from all walks of life. He spent a day posing as a homeless person to expose their stories and challenges to UT students. He wrote about a humble man working in the CAF who raises up students when they are struggling and in need of some friendly encouragement. Griffin is a gentle but confident person who brings out the best in others.

I approached him last year about adding a marketing department to the Minaret to increase readership and engagement. Instead of brushing the idea off, he embraced and supported it. Even though some of the suggestions would change The Minaret to its very core, Griffin had a longer term view of leaving the student newspaper better off for future editors than he found it. His ego-less style is refreshing in journalism today and he was willing to cede control in an area where he was not an expert. By doing so, he allowed an opportunity for two PR/Advertising and Marketing Students – Berkley Whaley and Lauren O’Hanneson – to lead the way in making suggestions and changes having to do with marketing. In turn, they brought on Nicole Siracusa – a graphic design minor – who is making bold recommendations to make the newspaper format more modern while freeing up editors to create compelling and relevant UT content. Print may be dead where editors choose to ignore future trends in content and consumption patterns, but the Minaret – and the world – is better off because of Griffin Guinta.

A seed needs a bit of soil and some water to get started. Griffin provided the soil and water so that these new ideas could grow and blossom. I’d like to personally thank Griffin for allowing this to happen, and to also thank the incoming Editor and Chief – Tess Sheets – for allowing the process to continue. I’d also like to thank the former and continuing writers and staff of The Minaret – without you all there would be no Minaret.

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