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The Monitor welcomes its summer intern Gabriel Vasquez, 23, of El Paso.
The English, Journalism and Mass Communications major from New Mexico State University joined the staff in late May and plans to be with the Monitor until the end of July.
“I’m very content to be here,” Vasquez said. “This will be an incredibly valuable experience for me, I’ve already learned quite a bit.”
Vasquez previously worked as a reporter for NMSU’s student-run newspaper, The Round Up. During his three semesters there, he covered events like the recent attempted outsourcing of the University’s bookstore, which faced massive opposition from staff and students, and put ex-NMSU president Michael Martin in hot water with the community.
“Martin later responded to students' petitions by telling the Las Cruces Sun-News that he could gather enough petitions to turn Zuhl Library into a sports bar,” Vasquez said. “I felt I had to do everything in my power to get to the bottom of the situation.”
He also helped cover the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) basketball tournament held earlier this year in Las Cruces, which he said was hard to do without cheering for his hometown Aggies.
“I was sitting in press row so I had to be completely un-biased, my job was to report,” he said. “When the Aggies scored it was hard for me not to cheer. I was gritting my teeth as I watched most of the games.”
The Aggies, who won the WAC men’s basketball tournament in 2007 and received an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, were defeated in the tournament earlier this year in a devastating triple-overtime loss to Boise State University.
“It was a terrible loss, but the experience I got as a reporter on the front line was invaluable,” he said. “I got to collaborate with other reporters from all over the country, and even a couple from Mexico.”
Vasquez is bilingual, and was raised in Juarez, Mexico where his family still resides. He graduated from Montwood High School in El Paso’s east side, and has recently been named interim editor-in-chief of The Round Up. He plans to graduate in December.
“Everybody here has treated me great,” he said. “I’m enjoying this community and hope that I can return in the future.”