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Graduate and outgoing Editor-in-Chief Maddie Pukite poses for a photo in the Daily Lobo newsroom on April 13.

Outgoing editor-in-chief graduates, beloved by all

The Daily Lobo’s outgoing editor-in-chief, Maddie Pukite, has spent their time at the University of New Mexico and in student publications making change.

Pukite graduates this spring with two bachelor’s degrees – one in political science and one in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies – and two minors – one in Honors Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and one in Journalism & Mass Communication.

Pukite served as a reporter, managing editor and editor-in-chief throughout their four years on Lobo staff. While doing so, they maintained a steady college schedule, taking 18-21 credits per semester.

Through all their commitments, they created and maintained meaningful friendships inside and outside the Lobo, like with Gabriel Biadora, a former Lobo news editor.

“The thing that makes (Pukite) so incredible as a reporter and as an editor is their unrelenting empathy. I think that's the thing that really drives their work. Everything that they do (has) this overwhelming sense of real, genuine kindness and so much empathy for what they're covering,” Biadora said.

Pukite reported on wide-ranging topics, including City Council meetings, accessibility, protests and environmental issues. The first story they wrote for the Lobo was about the cost of grass upkeep on campus.

“I was very proud of it. It won second place for Environmental Reporting at the New Mexico Press Association,” Pukite said.

As their time reporting evolved, they said they realized that journalism isn’t something that is learned within a classroom, it's something learned on the job.

“(Journalism) is something you learn by doing, and you learn it from good editors and you learn it from having great coworkers and trusted mentors. I feel like the newsroom and working with people is how I've learned how to do the journalism,” Pukite said.

Yet in the classroom, Pukite said the critical theories they learned for their degrees have been integral to constructing their stories and the way they report.

“It gives me a way to think about the world from my personal experience. It’s helped me ask better questions and approach an interview from an intersectional lens, and ensure that I’m asking about every part of you,” Pukite said.

Alex Tierney, a close friend of Pukite, said Pukite grew throughout their entire time at the Lobo, but especially as editor-in-chief.

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“They say what they mean and they mean what they say, and it's hard to find people like that. They care wholly and deeply because they can't even help it,” Tierney wrote.

Biadora admires Pukite’s community-oriented, authentic approach to reporting, he said.

“Their sense of empathy and just looking after your neighbor – I think that's what makes them such an incredible reporter and better editor. I love the way that they have taken (the Lobo) and the direction that it's gone. I think they're doing amazing stuff; I'm just amazed with what they’ve accomplished,” Biadora said.

Upon graduation, Maddie said the past four years were a whirlwind, and they have decided to spend some time “working in a restaurant or something.”

“I've had like the absolute thrill of a lifetime these past four years. Well, not a lifetime. There are more exciting things to come,” Pukite said.

Karina Bolaños is the Culture Editor at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at

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