Countenance Memoir


Michelle Mazzei

Publication Design Countenance 2022
Throughout my four years as an undergraduate at East Carolina University, I majored in Communication with a concentration in Journalism. Prior to college, I was unaware of what specifically I wanted to do in life in terms of my career. What made me ultimately decide to major in Communication, and more specifically, Journalism, at ECU was the professors in the Communication department. From the very first time I met and engaged with the professors in this department, I knew I was going to be a part of something special at ECU. Little did I know the remarkable tasks that would be placed in front of me as well as the extraordinary experiences that I would gain while being an ECU student in the Communication field.
I was privileged enough to be a part of Barbara Bullington’s Desktop Publishing course in the Spring of 2022 where we, as students, went in-depth about the ins and outs of the Adobe Creative Cloud platforms; some of which included InDesign and Photoshop. We took what we learned and transformed ourselves into student designers for the Spring 2022 edition of Countenance magazine. At first, I was nervous about working on such a detailed and important project that would be sent to hundreds of individuals in the Greenville, North Carolina, community. I was unfamiliar with the platforms and software that we were going to be using to work on this Countenance magazine issue, but with the help and patience of Dr. Bullington as well as my classmates, I was able to figure out how to produce the best work I could. I poured my heart and soul into creating the Spring 2022 issue of the Countenance magazine, and I would not have been able to do it without the people and professors I had by my side.
No matter what question I had, it would be answered in such an effective way, that I was excited to come to class, learn new things as well as create and publish an extraordinary edition of Countenance magazine. No student was ever left behind. Dr. Bullington ensured every student not only knew exactly what to do with designing this issue, but also made certain that they would remember what was taught moving forward. Not only did Dr. Bullington take a considerate amount of time to see that all students were fully educated and successful in the Desktop Publishing course, but she always ensured we, as students, were doing okay physically, mentally, and emotionally. Professors being there for students inside and outside of the classroom, and vice versa, is vital, of utmost importance, and ultimately what leads to the success of any publication, especially the Spring 2022 issue of Countenance.
The hard work that I alongside Dr. Bullington and fellow students put into this project paid off as the issue I specifically worked on received a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2022.
Words cannot fully explain how grateful I am to be a student designer for one of the issues of Countenance magazine. I am thrilled to have worked on the Spring 2022 issue and to show off the hard work and dedication I put into this project. I will never forget what I have learned while working with the Adobe Creative Cloud platforms and designing this issue.
Once I graduated from ECU in May of 2023, I knew I wanted to remain in the Journalism world; however, journalistic employment opportunities at the moment are rather scarce. I have sent an endless number of resumes, which state that I did in-fact work on an award-winning magazine at ECU, to journalistic employers, but I am currently working as a Front Desk Representative at a Marriott hotel franchise. Although I am not specifically doing what I want right now in terms of my career, the communication skills I learned throughout the Desktop Publishing course, from Dr. Bullington, and from creating as well as designing for Countenance magazine do not go unused. I am communicating with all different sorts of people constantly. If I was not involved in the Desktop Publishing course at ECU or the Spring 2022 issue of Countenance magazine, I do not think I would be where I am today or not as successful working for the Marriott. Working for Countenance magazine has been very beneficial to me in so many ways. With that being said, I am always constantly looking for employment opportunities specifically centering around journalism. Within the next year, I know I will be writing for a local newspaper or a magazine.
I have ECU, the School of Communication, the Desktop Publishing course, Dr. Bullington alongside all other communication professors, as well as the Spring 2022 issue of Countenance magazine, to thank for where I am today, where I will be in the future, who I am now, and who I will be moving forward.
I will also always remember the professors in the School of Communication at ECU, specifically Dr. Bullington, who always showed she cared for each student and wanted them to succeed not only in the Desktop Publishing course and with the magazine, but also post-graduation. Dr. Bullington, who was always a leader and student-focused, taught us vital information that we used religiously for months that we, as now-graduates, can now take with us into our future careers. Dr. Bullington displayed kindness, patience, and determination throughout the entire Spring 2022 semester in order to create, design, and publish a Gold Medal-winning issue of Countenance magazine. I am eternally filled with gratitude and will be forever thankful I got to be involved with such an astounding magazine throughout my college years at ECU.

Noah Walker

Writer & Photographer
“Pain Freeze” Countenance 2023
It was an incredible experience being able to help with the magazine creation process from the writing of a story to putting the finishing touches on the design. When I was invited by Dr. Elmore to publish my story about a local cryotherapy clinic that I wrote in her class in the Countenance magazine, I was ecstatic. I had to provide some finishing touches to the story to make sure it was ready, and I was suggested by Dr. Elmore to take Professor Bullington’s class on magazine design. In this class, I became familiar with editing software that I always wanted to learn how to use, and I was able to create a finished, printed product to complete the course. My family was amazed when I showed them my name, picture and story in an award-winning publication!

Kayla Precht

Writer & Photographer
“Hitting the Floor Running: Profile of a ‘House Mom’” Countenance 2023
My experience with being featured in Countenance magazine was extremely rewarding and unforgettable. I’m overjoyed that my feature article was able to be acknowledged and shared with others. I had a fantastic experience going through the stages of interviewing and writing such a heartwarming narrative. Dr. Elmore did an excellent job providing us with the knowledge, skills, and direction we needed to create a feature story. My family was overjoyed to learn that I would be included in the magazine, and their faces brightened up when they finally read what I had written. I’ll be eternally thankful for this opportunity, and I hope everyone who read my work enjoyed it!!

Connect With ECU School of Communication On Social!