Meet Mandy Stacy, a fourth-year studying English and the co-editor-in-chief of Agromeck. She works alongside Don Bui, a fourth-year studying technology, engineering and design education, to put out NC State’s official yearbook.
Coming in as a first-year student, Stacy knew she wanted to be involved in Student Media, but didn’t know exactly what that entailed. A close friend brought her to an Agromeck meeting during her first semester, and she knew right away that this was the place for her. Even without prior yearbook experience, she began learning and quickly became a key member of staff.
“I started writing for them immediately,” Stacy said. “My sophomore and junior year, I was copy editor, and then this year, I applied for editor-in-chief with my friend Don. We’re both kind of tackling the role, which has been really nice because we both have different strengths and weaknesses. We make a really good team.”
Stacy has known Bui since seventh grade. The two compliment each other perfectly, with Bui handling big design and idea layouts while Stacy plans coverage and writing themes. Together, both have settled comfortably into what it means to take on the leadership role of editor-in-chief.
Stacy’s role has changed significantly since being copy editor. Now, she spends her time thinking about recruitment, promoting the book and big picture ideas.
“It’s weird because I’m so used to writing and editing stories all day, but now, being editor-in-chief means I'm handing my past role onto our current copy editor and taking even more of a leadership stance,” said Stacy. “Now, it’s more so training and empowering our staff than anything.”
This year’s staff might be the largest yet for Agromeck with more than 20 people. The contrast to last year is undeniable.
“Last year was really hard because we basically had no staff,” Stacy said. “There were only about six or seven of us on the leadership staff doing all the work for the whole book, and then this year, it’s completely the opposite.”
Stacy delighted in talking about the staff and sense of community at Agromeck.
“We really are such a family,” said Stacy. “Because there aren’t too many of us, I’ve been able to get close with everyone.”
Considering this year’s Agromeck will be the 120th edition, it just might be the most historic yearbook to date.
“Vaccines are coming out, there’s a new presidential administration, more attention is being given to social justice issues,” Stacy said. “I feel like we’re at a turning point in society right now and we really want the book to reflect this shift that we’re in right now.”
That’s the theme for this year’s edition, in so many words: shifting forward, reflecting back. In honor of that, Stacy and Bui are planning a banquet for the 120th edition that will be held in the spring semester.
“That’s a pretty big milestone especially after the last year and a half with COVID-19,” said Stacy. “We just want to gather with everybody that’s been a part of Agromeck to celebrate our history and how far we’ve come.”
Looking back at the first Agromeck, published in 1903, and seeing how much has changed and developed since then, a banquet has been a long time coming. Stacy discussed the mindset she’s using to tackle this year’s edition.
“Every year we try to make the book better and better and incorporate different stories, different coverage, different pictures, different design layouts,” Stacy said.