By Joan Niesen
Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 15, 2009) — The Missouri School of Journalism welcomed 58 Walter Williams Scholars during a special ceremony on Sept. 3 in the Fred W. Smith Forum at the Reynolds Journalism Institute.
Top row, from left: Krystin Arneson, Taylor Bartlett, Leah Beane, Zachary Boesch, Andrea Braxton, Sarah Broadbear, Shaina Cavazos, Ashley Crockett, Stephen Cobb, Kaitlyn Edmiston. Second row: Samantha Engel, Alon Gilboa, Ted Hart, Katherine Hauser, Jamie Hausman, Meredith Hayford, Laura Heck, Emma Heidorn, Margaux Henquinet, Emily Herron. Third row: Katherine Howe, Patrick Hunley, Kathryn Jankowski, Bridget Kapp, James Karabas, Zachary Kerns, Abbye Klamann, Alexander Koeller, Jake Kreinberg, Courtney Ledo. Fourth row: Gabrielle Lipton, Caitlin Lukin, Sebastian Martinez, Patricia McDonough, Lindsay Miller, Cooper Mittelhauser, Catherine Newhouse, Benjamin Owens, Elizabeth Pierson, Veronica Polivanaya. Fifth row: Michael Pottebaum, Audrey Raymond, Paige Read, Melissa Roadman, Jonathon Shipman, Cameron Slauter, Stephen Starr, Diana Staub, Rachel Stinebring, Corie Sullins. Sixth row: Samantha Sunne, Rebecca Taylor, Chelsea Tossing, Vincent Vitale, Robert Watson, Travis Zimpfer.
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).
“This is an exceptional group of students,” said Brian Brooks, associate dean for undergraduate studies. “They come from coast to coast, and collectively they are the best group of prospective journalists anywhere in the country. We are really proud of them.”
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.
Three Walter Williams Scholars shared their thoughts on choosing the University of Missouri, their first days on campus and their plans for the future. Melissa Roadman is from San Diego; Ben Owens, Fountain Hills, Ariz.; and Sammi Sunne, Seattle.
Why did you choose to come to the University of Missouri?
Roadman: The amazing journalism program ultimately led me to choose Mizzou. From researching about the school and talking to alumni, I felt that I would obtain an excellent foundation that would prepare me for the real world of journalism. The convergence program sounded very interesting and a way for the new generation of journalists to be prepared for the changing technology.
Owens: The journalism program at Mizzou was the biggest draw for me, but I also felt like the University of Missouri was a very welcoming campus. Almost every time I checked my mail there was something welcoming me to Mizzou, and most other colleges didn’t do that.
Sunne: I decided to come to MU because of its journalism school and the Walter Williams program. I chose it over other universities because I knew that it has the country’s best journalism school. The benefits I would get as a Walter Williams Scholar and a few scholarships the university awarded me also affected my decision.
What field of journalism are you planning to focus on?
Roadman:I would like to study convergence journalism. Because the journalism market is such an unstable place to be right now, I feel that convergence will allow me to learn and evolve with the current market. I am unsure as to what I really want to do, but I plan on using these four years to figure that out. My goal as a student is to figure out what area of journalism I would like to emphasize and pursue a career in.
Owens:With journalism as my major, I plan to focus on convergence or strategic communication. I enjoy writing, photography and design, and I hope to find something within the journalism program that employs all of these interests.
Sunne:I hope to write for either for a newspaper or online publication. For now, my goal is to get a job writing for a good news publication.
What’s your dream job?
Roadman: My dream job would be to work for CNN as an anchor or analyst.
Owens: Ideally, I would love to have the freedom to visit different places and take photographs of different events. I would write about the thoughts that occur to me, allowing me to inform and impress upon others my views, while allowing my audience make educated decisions on their opinions.
Sunne: My dream job would be to write for a large, respected and well-established newspaper.
What is the coolest thing you’ve experienced so far at Mizzou?
Roadman: I rushed a sorority, which has proved to be a very rewarding experience. Not only have I found a group of girls to share my college experience with in my house, but it also gave me the opportunity to meet a ton of people, even before school began.
Owens: The Tiger Walk was one of the coolest things that I have participated in so far. Late night study sessions and discussion with my floor and hanging out and going to various campus events such as Mizzou After Dark have also been fun.
Sunne: The coolest thing I’ve done at Mizzou so far is write an article that was published campus-wide, online and on paper, the day I finished writing it.
How have you gotten involved on campus so far?
Roadman: I have joined a sorority, signed up with the youth ministry in the Newman Center, and I plan on becoming active with the Maneater as well as the MU Democrats.
Owens: Since my arrival, I have tried to take in all of the events going on around me. I have gone to many campus-sponsored events and traditions, looked at a couple of fraternities and used the rec center. All in all, I have tried to enjoy and acclimate myself with the Mizzou campus.
Sunne: I’ve become involved in campus life by writing for The Maneater, the student-run newspaper, attending school-sponsored events for freshmen and getting to know my fellow students.
Updated: May 5, 2020