Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2015 3:15 pm
Primarily student-led, the Talon serves as a voice for Northwest University by reporting on significant events and investigating issues of importance to the student body. However, the Talon would not be complete without the strong guidance of the faculty advisers. One of these advisers is a newly-inducted member of the NU team, Professor William Mari.
In addition to his professorial duties, Mari is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Washington, studying communication with a focus on journalism. Mari is a qualified instructor, having received his Master’s at the University of Cambridge, and enjoys getting to know his students. He is already well-loved by both students and colleagues for his quiet charm and soft-spoken demeanor.
Journalism is a passion of Mari’s, who formerly wrote for the Daily, UW’s own campus publication, and currently studies the history of newsrooms in his doctoral program. While a staff member on the Daily, Mari enjoyed chasing leads and writing articles but was most invested in learning people’s stories.
Mari said that working with the Talon, with the students and with his fellow staff members, has been very enjoyable. “I love how enthusiastic you guys are and everyone seems like they want to be here,” Mari said. “I enjoy working with all the first generation college students, those who have never been to college, or who are transfer students, or who are veterans, all the non-traditional students.”
Mari strives to balance his dissertation research with his classroom obligations, but does not feel like his personal research should outweigh his teaching. “A lot of teachers in my position feel like teaching helps facilitate their research,” Mari said, “But I feel like my research should help facilitate my teaching.”
Mari makes an effort to ensure that the Talon strives for accuracy and objectivity. “The trickiest thing is making sure we do good work, so we do have cover stories that have controversy or some difficult issues, and I feel like we have done a good job so that people can trust us,” Mari said.
He talked about a recent issue in which he felt like the Talon had been sensitive and alert. Even though there was a disagreement with administration about publication timelines, it was discussed and resolved with mutual respect. Mari continues to work with the Talon to expand its horizons outside of campus.
Mari advises the Talon alongside Professor Thor Tolo. Tolo is another member of the Communication department and works closely with Mari. “Always poised with a gracious word for everyone, Will sets a humble tone,” Tolo said. “I’ve known Will for five years now. Yet, even with that knowledge, I hadn’t fully realized what a joy he is to work with every day until I was blessed with the opportunity… Will’s willingness to roll up his sleeves and frame posters and photos, purchase furniture out of pocket, gift a lamp or wall hanging here and there, repurpose a dusty closet, and physically rearrange couches and chairs to free an area of clutter are all things I notice and admire.”
It is clear hearing from Mari’s students and co-workers that he is a caring teacher, thoughtful colleague and a wonderful addition to NU’s faculty. “Professor Mari is one of the most thoughtful colleagues with whom I’ve ever worked,” Tolo said. “His generosity is genuine; his future is hopefully here for a very long time.”
Mari extends an invitation to work with him on the Talon to any student that is interested. Whether or not you are on the Talon or in his class, we encourage everyone to get to know Professor Mari, the newest member of Northwest’s excellent faculty.