Mother bears are fiercely protective of their cubs. They are devoted to their young and attentive to their every need, preparing them for life on their own. Mothers are usually very affectionate and lovable unless they fear for the safety of their children.

In my second year as Editor-in-Chief of this newspaper, one that is quickly approaching its end, I have felt more and more like a Momma Bear to my staff of cubs. I've been nurturing many of them since they were inexperienced freshmen, and there is very little that I will let get in the way of the well-being of my "babies." (Sadly, most of them are not babies anymore!)

I have truly loved spending my four years of college with The Ramapo News, but I have most enjoyed my time at the head of the pack-and not just because I have control issues and like to be the boss. As Editor-in-Chief, I have really honed my leadership skills and have found great satisfaction in helping others come together as a team to learn and mature.

I've been particularly lucky to see a lot of my work as the newspaper's Momma Bear start to pay off recently. On Friday, I caught up with all of my "cubs" who had recently left the nest, our graduates, in our first-ever Alumni Night dinner banquet. It was a night of reconnecting, reminiscing and rekindling old networks of staff who moved on to bigger and better things. As the mother of the group, I hope this event becomes an annual tradition that continues to expand and thrive as our alumni pool grows.   

I am also watching as my younger staff is starting to step up in their editorial roles to take on more responsibility, from running their sections more confidently to taking the lead in helping to recruit and train other students. Over the weekend, I let six members of my team fly free in their live coverage of the spring concert, and boy am I proud of their work.

(P.S. – Did you see? We launched our Instagram account in time for the concert! We got an overwhelming response from all of you asking us to create an Instagram as our next social media venture, so we did! Follow us @RamapoNews for exclusive pictures that you won't find in print or on our site.)

Also appropriate in the Momma Bear metaphor: bear cubs usually stay with their mother for one and a half years. I signed on as Editor-in-Chief in Fall 2012, and now, it's about time for my children to leave home. I will be sad to go, but I know I have taught them how to manage without me.

That's all the news for now-Nicole