Although his parents are from Mexico, Antonio Vargas ('09) is originally from New Orleans and attended Jesuit schools his entire life. One of the things Vargas cherishes from his time at SMC was his ability to work on the Maroon and Professors Michael Giusti and Les East. He also enjoyed classes like Professor Alexander's Law of Mass Communication. Vargas says these classes and the real world work experience of a student paper have distinguished him from other aspiring journalists, and are a key component to Loyola grads' success. Writing for The Maroon, he says, was his most valuable experience.
“The trick was to realize that you can’t only write one story a week, you need to write three or more in order to learn to work with your editor,” says Vargas.
Vargas also wrote his own sports column at The Maroon and credits Professor Les East for giving him exposure and connections to news outlets in New Orleans.
Even though New Orleans journalism is undergoing changes, he feels comfortable with the transition. Part of it is because of Professor Giusti’s encouragement that SMC majors embrace social media. Vargas quickly saw how Twitter was going to revolutionize the news industry. He made an effort to learn Twitter and other social media -- skills he thinks every journalist, and journalism student, should now possess. SMC's focus on social media, journalism ethics and integrity still influence the way in which Vargas conducts himself professionally, and he is thankful he attended Loyola.