The Chronicle staff elected sophomore Amrith Ramkumar to serve as editor-in-chief of its 111th volume.

In an election Friday night, Ramkumar, currently the editor of The Blue Zone—The Chronicle's sports blog—was appointed editor of The Chronicle and president of the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., which publishes the independent student-run daily newspaper.

Ramkumar—a political science and statistics double major and Norman, Okla., native—will succeed junior Carleigh Stiehm for a one-year term beginning in May.

“I do not think there is a candidate that could be better for this moment in The Chronicle’s history than Amrith Ramkumar,” Stiehm said.

His experience with running a successful and engaging sports blog for The Chronicle will be incredibly valuable when it comes to shaping future reporting for The Chronicle’s readership, Stiehm noted. She added that Ramkumar truly understands the important role of The Chronicle as the unbiased watchdog of news for the University.

Ramkumar emphasized the importance of making The Chronicle a representative for the diverse voices on campus, serving as a holistic cross section of university life.

“I know that’s a lofty goal and it’s going to be very challenging, but I’m a person that loves taking on big challenges,” Ramkumar said. “So I’m really excited to pursue that.”

Community building is essential for Ramkumar, who currently serves as a resident assistant on East Campus. He emphasized the importance of making sure everyone on staff enjoys their work and has each other’s backs.

“The goal is to recruit, to get as many fresh faces as we can,” Ramkumar said. “Through recruitment and delegation of important tasks, we will help bring together a real cohesive unit that is a family.”

Ramkumar also emphasized his goal of increasing staff development, noting that The Chronicle is looking to grow its staff next year.

“A big challenge is finding the right people to have my back and are on board with what I want to do here,” he said.

But his biggest challenge, he said, will be learning elements of journalism that he has not yet been exposed to during his work with sports coverage—things that might have been second nature to past editors-in-chief who rose through the ranks of the news department.

Ramkumar added that despite the learning curve, his sports background provides a fresh perspective that could ultimately aid the organization's growth.

There is no better candidate for the job, said junior Nick Martin, The Chronicle’s sports editor.

“Through his time in sports he has displayed resilience, hard work and a dedication to The Chronicle that does not come along that often,” he said. “I think he will flourish in the editor-in-chief position.”

Martin added that Ramkumar is both extremely understanding and intelligent.

“Because of that, he’s going to not just be a great editor but also a great leader and friend to anybody that is in 301 Flowers next year,” he said.

Taylor Doherty, Trinity ’12 and a former news editor who began his career in the sports department, said that Ramkumar’s background in sports coverage will be exciting for The Chronicle.

“For years, sports has really been the forefront in terms of adapting to online journalism quickly and efficiently,” Doherty said. “I expect that background to bring a lot of that to this organization.”

Doherty also, however, emphasized the challenge of covering a much wider range of storylines.

Martin added that some of Ramkumar’s challenges will be to continue the model of excellence The Chronicle has set forth throughout its 110 years of production—while also trying to be innovative during the Internet age.

“Being able to delegate the jobs to a trustworthy and hardworking staff will be key for his success and The Chronicle’s success next year,” Martin said.