CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Daily Tar Heel, UNC-Chapel Hill’s independent student newspaper, and its marketing agency, 1893 Brand Studio, recently announced new student leadership for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year:
- Rising senior Praveena Somasundaram will be editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel.
- Rising junior Adam Lucek will be the advertising director.
- Rising senior Jake Mory will be the managing director of the 1893 Brand Studio.
Praveena Somasundaram has worked for the Daily Tar Heel for nearly two years now, most recently serving as the newspaper’s audience engagement editor. She’s also worked as the organization’s assistant online editor and University Desk writer. Her extensive experience producing copy, social media content and graphics were a key reason for Somasundaram’s selection.
As editor-in-chief, she’s set to assume a crucial role for The Day Tar Heel, overseeing all content publications and leadership hiring decisions. She’ll be responsible for managing the 30-plus editors and 150-plus students currently on staff including writers, copy editors, photographers and graphic designers.
As part of her platform for the upcoming year, Somasundaram plans on making the office more diverse. By building relationships and increasing recruitment efforts, she hopes the organization can better reach communities underrepresented in the office. As only the second Asian American to be appointed editor-in-chief for The Daily Tar Heel since 1993, this objective is personal.
“I’m looking forward to reaching out to different groups on campus – whether or not they have a journalism focus,” Somasundaram said. “I hope to just start building those relationships with groups who are willing.”
She also intends on improving The Daily Tar Heel through increased transparency in reporting, a restructured multimedia team and an emphasis on staff training and culture. Somasundaram envisions an office where students can grow alongside the local community.
“I just think The Daily Tar Heel has given me some really unforgettable experiences. And I hope to give that back to the newsroom next year and continue as a resource for our community,” she said.
Incoming advertising director Adam Lucek studies both Economics and Information Systems at Chapel Hill. Having worked as an account executive for The Daily Tar Heel for over eight months, he’s well equipped to lead the ad staff. His job will require overseeing all student sales representatives and all sales made by both the Daily Tar Heel and 1893 Brand Studio. Adam has expressed considerable enthusiasm about his new position.
“I’m excited and optimistic for the future, and am very honored to have been considered and ultimately chosen for the role,” Lucek said.
Lucek also noted that he hopes to get the office back to normal during the next academic year. By tackling the challenges of COVID and developing interoffice connections, he hopes to increase general productivity and keep the office engaging.
“I’m excited to get to work more closely with the advertising staff and other departments, and I hope to be able to safely and effectively transition into next year when COVID will hopefully not be a major issue,” said Lucek.
Jake Mory, 1893 Brand Studio’s newly selected managing director, is an Advertising and Public Relations and Psychology double major. Mory had previously served as an advertising assistant for The Daily Tar Heel for one year, followed by another year working as a campaigns strategist and later as a special project manager. His valuable experiences working with 1893 Brand Studio have even led him to work as an intern for current clients, such as digital marketing and publishing firm, the Helium Agency. Mory is looking forward to the responsibilities of his upcoming role.
“I am so honored to be given the opportunity to lead such a bright and creative group of students. It truly feels unreal,” he said. “ During my tenure, I would like to continue to foster an environment where our employees are excited to be a part of the studio. I believe that keeping our team happy is the key to producing great work.”
As managing director of 1893 Brand Studio, Mory will meet with potential and current clients, review all material that’s produced by the agency and will manage client projects. He anticipates 1893 expanding its reach next semester and developing marketing solutions tailored to the needs of local businesses reeling from COVID.
‘“As we move towards the end of the pandemic, many small businesses are feeling lost and confused. It is our mission to lend them a hand by producing creative marketing solutions that can make a real impact on our community,” said Mory.