Caitie Ihrig

El Defensor Chieftain welcomes Caitie Ihrig as its new editor.

She is a graduate of Ithaca College in upstate New York, majoring in Photography with minors in Journalism and Sports Studies.

During her college years, Ihrig won several awards from the New York Press Association for her photo-taking skills and for sports writing, including 1st Place for Best Sports Coverage.

She comes to the Chieftain from the Las Vegas Optic, where she also garnered awards from the New Mexico Press Association as a reporter and a photographer covering sports at the Optic from 2018-2020. During her time at the Optic, she covered four high schools and a university.

“While still in New York, I was offered the job in Las Vegas,” Ihrig said. “I’ve always enjoyed traveling and seeing new places. So I figured I would just give it a try and see what happens.”

Transitioning from her hometown of Rochester, New York – a city the size of Albuquerque – to a small New Mexico town took a bit of adjusting.

“When I first got here it was shell-shock,” she said. But it didn’t too long for her to adapt. Ihrig said she wasn’t actively looking to leave The Optic, but when the prospect of working in Socorro at The Chieftain came up, she grabbed it.

“I thought it would be a good challenge, and would be fun,” Ihrig said. “I like Socorro a lot. The people seem a lot nicer, and it seems a lot safer. I can walk to work every day without being nervous.”

Ihrig joined the Chieftain initially as a reporter in November and was promoted to Editor on Monday.

Ihrig said she looks forward to becoming involved in the community and making new friends.

“I want to get to know everyone and tell their stories and provide the most truthful and helpful news out there,” she said. “What makes Socorro … Socorro.”