Celebrating Ticker Alumni: Victoria Merlino

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Courtesy of Victoria Merlino

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Copy Editor

The Ticker, founded in 1932, is the student-run newspaper of City College’s Downtown Campus, with 2022 being the newspaper’s 90th anniversary. To honor and celebrate the legacy of The Ticker and the members who have kept it running, the News section will be publishing profiles of former Ticker members throughout the years.

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Since graduating, Baruch College and Ticker alumna Victoria Merlino has worked as both a local reporter for The Queens Daily Eagle and currently as an assistant press secretary for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

In her role with the department, Merlino writes remarks, answers questions, hosts events and shares initiatives.

“I work with the press to disseminate information about public health in New York City and right now a lot of that has to do with the COVID-19 response,” Merlino said.

Merlino explained that within the press office, there are different beats.

“I specifically work on mental health things and substance use things, and I’m very passionate about that, but you know, we do a little bit of everything,” she said.

Although Merlino originally pursued journalism through her work as a reporter, science editor, news editor and managing editor for The Ticker and as a local reporter, she found a different way to apply her passions in her work as a press secretary.

“I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to help people,” Merlino said. “I went into journalism, thinking oh, it had to be like, this one thing, I was gonna be a local reporter and I knew I was gonna be out doing local stories.”

Merlino said her experience with The Ticker developed her personal and professional communication skills.

“I’m very shy in non-interview context so. For me to do journalism was really hard at first and it’s still hard in a lot of ways,” she said. “The Ticker really shaped me in that sense of coming out of my shell and helping me kind of work through some of my social fears and just, you know, my troubles talking with people.”

Merlino also said being a part of The Ticker taught her about time management and teamwork.

“Making sure that deadlines are met, that all your articles are in on time, is also like a second component of working as a team because if I handed my article in late, the copy editors can’t copy edit it and the editor can’t close and then suddenly the editor in chief is editing at 2 a.m. on Friday night, so you basically let the whole team down if you … don’t do your part in the way that needs to be done, on the day that needs to be done,” Merlino said. “That was an important lesson for me and I think that I carry that with me.”

Before college, Merlino considered pursuing illustration and animation. She said she was drawn to The Ticker because it was an artistic community.

“I was like, I’m not gonna fit in [at Baruch],” she said. “Everyone’s like a business student, so The Ticker was kind of like the only thing that I saw that was kind of artsy.”

Through The Ticker, Merlino said she forged meaningful bonds with her fellow students.

“The Ticker is a very unique club on campus because unlike a lot of other clubs, it forces you to be in the same mind space as other people for five days a week putting together a product and so it keeps people together,” Merlino said. “It helps you make friends and make connections. On a commuter campus especially, it’s just so important to have that.”