Julie Freeman is the assistant adviser
for the Baylor Lariat
By: Krista Pirtle, News Ed Major
With a plant behind her on the bookshelf, it appears that Julie Freeman has a green thumb.
It's more like a blue pen.
Freeman is the assistant adviser for the university newspaper, The Baylor Lariat, and is famous for making pages bleed blue before sending them to print.
That skill was honed during her five years on the copy desk after she graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
When she is not editing copy for the Lariat, she is seated at her desk with her door always open for students.
"Julie Freeman," junior photo editor and Austin native Matt Hellman said. "A name like that sticks with Lariateers. Jules understands the ups and downs of each and every one of her staff members. She pushes us to strive for the very best and not to settle for mediocrity. If Student Publications was a person, she is truly the heart and soul."
I, personally, plop down on her couch as the afternoon wears on for "counseling sessions." It is refreshing to be able to talk to her about life, my faith and different workouts we have done.
Her title as adviser has changed in many minds of the staff at the Lariat to mentor.
"Julie has been a very positive influence on me personally at the Lariat," senior staff writer and Fort Worth native Daniel Houston said. "She's gone above and beyond her job responsibilities and has been a personal mentor for me as a staff writer at the Lariat. She's gone out of her way to help me find post graduation jobs and internships to apply for and has always been very supportive of both my work at the Lariat and me as a person."
Coming into the journalism department, the professors were excited to have us but were weary about the decline in print and television jobs.
Freeman, however, pushes her students to achieve greatness beyond the newsroom.
"When she pushes the staff, it's because she truly wants to see everybody be great," senior editor-in-chief and Katy, Texas native Chris Derrett said. "Yes, she wants to see us do well for the Lariat but even more so because she wants each of us individually to be as great as we possibly can."
Greatness is not something that comes easily; it is achieved by hard work.
As Robert Griffin III said, "No pressure, no diamonds."
Getting a paper out daily full of great stories is easier said than done as the work hours extend late into the evening.
"Julie is a faculty adviser who actually goes into the trenches with her students," senior sports editor and Humble, Texas native Tyler Alley said. "She's there to help with the night desk and stays with us until we're done. She always has helpful advice."
Her words of wisdom are sought daily, especially during the week of midterms and the weeks approaching the end of the semester.
When the university promotes its family atmosphere and small student to professor ratio, it is genuine.
As a student, I can count on Freeman always being in my corner, but she will provide criticism in order to see you grow as a journalist and a person.
"When I was a young journalism student here, about a semester ago, I thought of myself as a rocket ship," sophomore sports writer and Houston native Greg DeVries said. "My rocket ship took off and went into orbit and got a job here. But Julie was the Boeing 747 that I latched onto that helped me land smoothly. Without her, I would have crashed into the ground and been a pile of messy, expensive parts."
By spending so much time helping out her students, it's no surprise that the plant behind her with vines that barely exceed the circumference of the pot, is 10 years old.