Journalism School Welcomes 44 Walter Williams Scholars

High-Achieving Students Earned at Least a 33 on the ACT

By Audrey Holaday

Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 20, 2006) — Forty-four freshmen were recognized as Walter Williams Scholars in a recent ceremony, making the 2006 class the largest group ever to become a part of this elite program. In all, 117 students are enjoying Walter Williams Scholar benefits.

Scholars’ mentors presented them with a certificate and a copy of the book “A Creed for My Profession: Walter Williams, Journalist to the World.” Williams, the School’s founding dean, was a Missouri newspaper publisher who went on to become president of the University of Missouri.

The Walter Williams Scholars program recognizes the highest-achieving incoming journalism students at Missouri. To be considered for the program, applicants must earn an ACT score of at least a 33 (1440 on the SAT).

Christina Andrade Sarah Andrews Joe Bodlovich Paul Byrne Elliot Cade Aaron Channon Cory Deal Brianna Dunn Dan Flynn
Jennifer Hacker Rachel Heaton Molly Hulse Danielle Karstens Rachael Keck Brett Knight Amelia Lamp Rebecca Legel Jessica Lin
Robert Mays Roseann Moring Elle Moxley Justin Myers Sarah Palmer Benjamin Paul Brian Pellot Bill Powell Emily Rau
Taylor Rausch Andrew Rea Lisa Rogers Scott Schmitt Austin Schowengerdt Jessica Showers Joshua Skurnik Tyson Sprick Juana Summers
Eric Thibault David Thiessen Matt Velker Linda Waterborg Steve Weinman Andrew Wesche Phoebe Wu Polina Yamshchikov

Top row, from left: Christina Andrade, Sarah Andrews, Joe Bodlovich, Paul Byrne, Elliot Cade, Aaron Channon, Cory Deal, Brianna Dunn, Dan Flynn. Row 2: Jennifer Hacker, Rachel Heaton, Molly Hulse, Danielle Karstens, Rachael Keck, Brett Knight, Amelia Lamp, Rebecca Legel, Jessica Lin. Row 3: Robert Mays, Roseann Moring, Elle Moxley, Justin Myers, Sarah Palmer, Benjamin Paul, Brian Pellot, Bill Powell, Emily Rau. Row 4: Taylor Rausch, Andrew Rea, Lisa Rogers, Scott Schmitt, Austin Schowengerdt, Jessica Showers, Joshua Skurnik, Tyson Sprick, Juana Summers. Row 5: Eric Thibault, David Thiessen, Matt Velker, Linda Waterborg, Steve Weinman, Andrew Wesche, Phoebe Wu, Polina Yamshchikov.

“Since implementing the program in 2004, we have quadrupled the number of the highest-ability students enrolled in the School of Journalism,” says Brian S. Brooks, associate dean for undergraduate studies. “Our overall student body is a bright, bright group, and faculty members love working with that kind of student.”

Walter Williams Scholars receive numerous benefits, including a $1,000 scholarship to help fund a study abroad program, a personal faculty mentor, enrollment in a special Freshman Interest Group (FIG) and automatic admission to the School’s master’s program if certain requirements are met.

Amelia Lamp, of Copley, Ohio, has big dreams for her scholarship. She says she would like to study abroad, and is already is working toward landing an internship at ESPN.

The FIG, a group of first-year students who share similar academic interests, eases the transition from high school to college. The students are enrolled in three classes together and often become each other’s best resource for studying and homework.

“It helps to be in each other’s classes, especially labs,” says Rachael Keck, of Quincy, Ill.

Keck is not the only Walter Williams Scholar who appreciates the fact that their FIG brings them together.

“The best aspect of the FIG is the people,” Danielle Karstens, of St. Peters, Mo., says. “I was concerned when coming to college that it would be difficult to make friends, but since I immediately met the other Walter Williams scholars in my FIG, and because we all live in the same dorm and have the same classes, I’ve found that I always have people to hang out with and have made fast friends. And, even though we all have 33 or above on the ACT, we are definitely not boring, dorky people!”

While the scholars themselves are a supportive group for each other, each scholar also can rely on his or her faculty mentor.”My favorite part about being a Walter Williams Scholar is the fact that I’ve had so many opportunities to get to know the journalism faculty,” Karstens says. “For example, Brian Brooks had the Walter Williams Scholars over for a Labor Day barbeque. I also have a Walter Williams mentor who specializes in the field of journalism I want to enter.”Mentors enjoy working closely with scholars, pointing out that it’s a rewarding experience for both sides.”The Walter Williams Scholar program gives students an opportunity to get to know faculty members on a more personal basis as well as make them feel as if they have someone to go to for questions and as a resource,” says Jennifer Moeller, associate professor of magazine journalism. “Perhaps the mentors can show the students that faculty members are human, we aren’t intimidating and are eager to help and assist.”One thing is for certain: This year’s talented group of 44 Walter Williams Scholars will take full advantage of the numerous benefits offered by Missouri’s top journalism program.

Audrey Holaday, a senior from Wildwood, Mo., will graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism in May 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism and a minor in sociology. She is also an active member of Delta Gamma. She served as an editorial intern at Best Body magazine in Manhattan while participating in the School’s New York Summer Program. She plans to write and edit for a sports magazine upon graduation.

Updated: April 10, 2020

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