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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Boese: ‘Expect nothing to be handed to you’: It’s what got me here


I’m finally here. It’s time for me to hang up my hat at The Sunflower and begin my professional career. I never thought I would be ending my time at The Sunflower a semester early during my senior year of college. 

If I’ve learned anything though, while being a college student, it’s to expect nothing, and give more than you think you are capable of. 

I never expected to begin my college journalism career at Butler Community College at the age of 18. It was a surprise to me when I got to interview the author of “The Glass Castle,” Jeannette Walls, in front of the school’s president for the Butler Lantern. 

There is no way I could predict that the very parts of my body that I needed — my hands and wrists to write — were going to become debilitated. I thought my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis at 19 would end my dream of becoming a professional reporter one day. However, that passion in me gave me the courage to keep going and write stories that others need to hear. 

My time at The Sunflower only ignited that passion. I transferred to Wichita State after the second semester of my sophomore year at Southwest Baptist University. 

I wanted to move home for personal reasons and be a part of a communication program that would give me hands-on experience. I placed all my bets on The Sunflower and a staff I’d never met before during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I wanted to cover sports. The sports editor at the time, Sean Marty, assigned me to cover softball, and I was honestly a little disappointed. I knew nothing about softball, but I was grateful Sean wanted to give me a chance. 

That “chance” led to opportunities to cover a nationally ranked program and follow them to an NCAA Regional to face Patty Gasso and her several time national champion Oklahoma Sooners. 

I pushed myself to the limit to make any part of my writing better because of those around me on staff. Whether it was learning how to write in an active voice, ask good questions or change my lede in a story, I was determined to be better. 

My opportunities at The Sunflower to cover Division I athletic tournaments, games, athletes and even design a 14 page basketball guide helped me gain skills for new advances, like becoming an intern at The Wichita Eagle and KMUW in Wichita. 

Those opportunities helped me learn how to land my current job that I’ll be starting soon. College hit an unexpected dent in the road for me though yet again. As if struggling with a chronic illness wasn’t hard enough, the love of my life passed away while I was out of town covering the American Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament last semester. 

Kyle was my biggest supporter and the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with so I honestly wanted to hang up the laptop and hide in my grief forever. However, the unexpected happened once again. I won first place in sports news and sports feature writing at the Kansas Collegiate Media Contest a month after Kyle passed away. 

Writing about his death, including an opportunity to publish a column about grief in the paper, was healing to me. Now, five months later, those opportunities have helped me keep Kyle’s memory alive while navigating my grief journey and begin to move into the future. 

With that being said, Emmie Boese, former Sunflower sports reporter, opinion editor, assistant sports editor and sports editor is now in the past. The past will not be forgotten though. It will only be looked at as a step in a beautiful and messy life long journey. 

There are so many people I want to thank for helping me become a great journalist but an even better person. Thank you to my family, mom, dad, Sammy, Chase and Brewer for always supporting my dreams. 

Thank you to my best friends from college; Kyran Crist and Rachel Rudisill for being there for me through the good and bad. Thank you to Kyle Nevil for being in my life when you were. My time with you, Kyle, helped me believe in myself and my ability to tell stories. 

Thank you to my new best friends that I’ve made and gotten close to within the last several months. You guys have been there for me through one of the hardest times of my life and have given it so much joy. 

Thank you to anyone and everyone who has mentored me in my career. Thank you to Laura Lombardi of The Wellington Daily News, Tom Shine of KMUW, Marcia Werts of the Wichita Eagle, Brad Hallier of Hutchinson Community College, Charles Chaney of the Butler County Times Gazette, Amy Devault of the The Sunflower and Wichita State University and Chris Strunk of the Ark Valley News.  

Take risks, write good stories, and expect nothing to be handed to you. The simple saying of nothing good ever comes easy is true. Nothing about my writing career has been easy so far but, man, has it been worth it.

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About the Contributor
Emmie Boese
Emmie Boese, Reporter
Emmie Boese is starting her fourth year on The Sunflower's staff. Boese previously served as sports editor and opinion editor. Boese is majoring in communications with an emphasis on journalism. After she graduates, she plans to work in sports journalism in a local community or as a communications and social media specialist for a sports team.

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    Kateri GrillotAug 24, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    It was an honor watching your career begin at Butler. Lucky I got to have you in my class. Best Wishes!!