Lexi Williams: Executive Editor, 2014-2016
Assistant Editor, WineSpectator.com
I spent my 22nd birthday in the Distraction office, sitting on the floor, eating takeout and editing pages until the wee hours of the morning.
We were getting ready to put our latest issue to bed, and I needed to be there to make sure everything was perfect.
I could’ve been out partying with friends, or at the very least celebrating by taking a night off from working, but instead I was there, putting in the hours with my fellow editors. And I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.
I am incredibly grateful for the classes that I took at the University of Miami, and the internships that I held as a student, but Distraction is the experience that, above all others, showed me that I wanted to work in the editorial world, and that I was willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do so. Aside from the guidance from our fearless adviser, Randy Stano, we were all on our own in that Distraction office. From generating ideas for content that our student body would enjoy to stressing about raising enough money to stay afloat, I learned what it takes to run a publication, and how important it is to be surrounded by people who believe in a common mission.
I could go on and on about the truly invaluable lessons I learned in my two years as executive editor of Distraction (not to mention the inside jokes that have spiraled into fits of delirious laughter), but my message to you, reader, is much simpler: Whether you’re just starting out at UM or preparing to make the jump into post-grad life, find something that makes you excited, passionate and so over-the-top invested that you think you might be going a little crazy. And having a team who makes hours and hours of editing feel like a party doesn’t hurt either.
Heather Carney: Editor-in-Chief, 2010-2011
Managing Editor, Luxe Interiors + Design
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for having had the opportunity to serve as editor in chief of Distraction Magazine from 2010-2011. Despite great professors and classes, it was definitely the most beneficial aspect of my time at UM. I remember being so excited as a freshman when I heard students were starting a magazine, and I remember being even more thrilled when I was named editor in chief of Distraction my senior year. Taking on that role helped me land my first job as a reporter for the Naples Daily News, and ultimately opened the door to a successful career in magazines—I’m now the Managing Editor for Luxe Interiors + Design. I sincerely love my job, and I like to think it all started with those late nights and crazy brainstorm sessions that went along with each issue. We had a lot of delirious moments and made plenty of mistakes, but it was 100 percent worth it. I also have to give a big shout-out to Stano, who, to this day, still serves as a mentor and has been a huge supporter of my career. Thanks, Stano!
Karli Evans: Photo Editor, 20102-2014
Graduate from UM with MFA in photography & cinematography, May 2018
(thesis show up at UM gallery in Wynwood in June, opening that second Saturday)
Distraction Magazine was a huge part of my college experience at UM and I’m grateful I was given the opportunity to contribute, and eventually serve as an editor. I learned so much about being part of a collaborative team, creative problem-solving, and how to turn abstract ideas into cleverly executed photo & design concepts. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the experience and portfolio Distraction helped me build.
Valentina Escotet: Photo Editor, 2015-2016
Career & Graduate Assistant at NYU
Distraction taught me to always push the boundaries and come up with the most innovative way to approach a topic. I loved the fact that we had full creative freedom, and I always took advantage of that. Honestly, it was my love for my core team that really inspired me. Our time in the office was always filled with so much laughter and joy that you wouldn’t actually believe we were on a stressful deadline. I made some of my best friends in that office – we were like a family, and it’s that environment that I loved the most about it.