Sunflower announcement: Daniel Caudill, Noah Merrell named to leadership positions

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Daniel Caudill (left) is The Sunflower's next editor in chief. Noah Merrell (right) is the next advertising manager.

The Board of Student Publications at Wichita State University, comprised of students, faculty and community professionals, met last week to hire The Sunflower’s next editor in chief and advertising manager. 

Daniel Caudill, a junior in political science and journalism, will serve as the 2020-21 editor in chief, and Noah Merrell, a junior in strategic communication, will serve as advertising manager. 

Caudill has worked for The Sunflower for three years, serving in roles from SGA reporter his freshman year to news editor last fall. He has also worked as a reporter for The Derby Informer and spent this semester in Topeka as a full-time intern with the Kansas News Service.

The Sunflower’s editor in chief runs the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, including hiring staff, assigning and editing content and managing the production of the newspaper, both in print and online. The editor has the final say in all content decisions.

“As editor, I want The Sunflower to continue to be a reliable, independent source of news for students at Wichita State, while growing its connection to the campus community,” Caudill said. “We can serve our readers best when people from all backgrounds feel like they have a seat at the table.”

Daniel Caudill, The Sunflower’s incoming editor in chief, interviews U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran.
Daniel Caudill, The Sunflower’s incoming editor in chief, interviews U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran.

The student leaders will take over during a time when The Sunflower has moved all coverage online. The university’s classes are online for the remainder of the semester and for the summer, and faculty and staff are, for the most part, working from home. The campus community will face unique human and economic challenges over the next year, Caudill acknowledged. 

“Despite the big challenges we all face in the coming semesters, I’m optimistic about serving in this role,” Caudill said. “I have a passion for storytelling, and over the years, I’ve seen its ability to inform, connect and empower people. I hope I can lead the newspaper in a way that inspires other student journalists and helps establish truth in truly uncertain times.”

Merrell has worked for The Sunflower for one semester, after transferring from Butler Community College. At BCC, he worked for the Grizzly magazine, serving as the editor in chief of the publication. 

Noah Merrell, The Sunflower’s incoming advertising manager, poses with his camera.
Noah Merrell, The Sunflower’s incoming advertising manager, poses with his camera.

The Sunflower’s advertising manager is responsible for selling ads, both in print and online, and for exploring other revenue streams to help support the student newspaper. The ad manager also helps market the newspaper, to gain readership and brand recognition. 

Merrell said he looks forward to establishing professional relationships with businesses and organizations, to create win-win situations for the newspaper and the advertisers. 

“I am looking forward to all the new people I will meet and how I will be in a position that allows me to work with so many different businesses and organizations, while also helping The Sunflower,” Merrell said.

He, too, said he recognizes the challenges ahead for students, the university and the newspaper. 

“We have no idea what every student is going through during this pandemic. It will take time before things feel normal again,” Merrell said.

Caudill and Merrell will begin training now, and will officially take on their positions May 15.