Matt Tullis was an assistant professor of English, director of the Digital Journalism program, and the associate director of the Integrated Media Labs at Fairfield University. He pioneered the new Sports Media program alongside Associate Professor of Communication Adam Rugg. Tullis had a passion for sports journalism, news writing, podcast writing and media production. In the sports section of The Mirror, his expertise and enthusiasm for the growth of the section was always felt.

The sports section that you see today would be completely different if Professor Tullis was not our advisor. In my freshman year, I became the assistant sports editor and was mentored through the process of writing professional sports journalism as well as designing page layout by Tullis himself. 

He showed me the ropes of sports writing, and walked me through the exact process of how to stylize the articles I wrote. He also gave me incredible advice about Adobe InDesign and how to balance page layout without making pictures look cluttered. Eliminating the white space on each page was one of his largest pieces of advice, and I believe that it shows in every single rendition of the sports section.

The calendar on page 13, the Arena 100 updates we’ve put out every single month for a whole year and even the dynamic layout of the back page have all come from the mind of Matt Tullis.

I have three issues of The Mirror hanging above my bed, laid out so that one can see the entire front page layout of each. The first includes my very first time writing for The Mirror, which was also the very first issue of my freshman year. In this issue, I wrote a little piece in paragraph form about my Stanley Cup Final predictions. I wasn’t on staff at the time, but the front page of that alone is a reminder of how Matt was able to show me the ropes of writing sports journalism that sounded professional and not like an eighth grade essay.

My second issue on the wall is my first issue as the sports editor. My first chance to go at it alone was exciting to me, but I remember not being satisfied with the final design. In that critique meeting the following day, Matt reassured me that even though I might not have been the most experienced in InDesign, it was only up from there. I’d like to think he was right.

The third and final issue is my first issue as the managing editor of The Mirror. This issue was incredibly important to the Fairfield community; although he was not our advisor at the time, Matt’s reassurance and confidence in us during that time meant the world. He had a massive impact on three of the issues I hold closest to my heart and the many more I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of.

Professor Tullis has had an undeniable effect on the sports section of The Mirror and he will be dearly missed.

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