By Nathan Allen
Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 28, 2011) — The Missouri School of Journalism welcomed 57 of the top journalism students from around the nation at the start of the semester. This year’s class of Walter Williams Scholars come from 15 different states and brings an array of talents and accomplishments.
Some accomplishments from the group as a whole include:
This class includes 22 students who wrote for their high school newspapers and eight yearbook editors. Many students participated in an impressive number of extracurricular activities. Out of the 57 in the program, 27 competed in varsity sports and seven participated in their high school’s band, orchestra or choir.
Many of the scholars have already had significant experience in journalism. Hayley Buck of Lincolnshire, Ill., served as an anchor for her high school’s Stevenson Network News Broadcast. Steven Goldberg of Marlboro, N.J., was the sports journalism intern at CBS MaxPreps, a CBSsports.com-sponsored website dedicated to high school sports. Goldberg also interned at Millennium Radio and was the station manager at his student radio station. Batul Hasson of St. Louis was the anchor of his high school’s newscast. James Hunyor of Sylvania, Ohio, participated in the internship program at the Ball State Summer Journalism Workshop. Adam Aton of Alpharetta, Ga., participated in the internship program at Appen Newspapers, Inc.
This year’s class also has many members who have significant volunteer experience. Emily Donaldson of Houston was a participant in the Bill Archer public service internship program and served as the coordinator of Youth Serving Community. Amy Esker of Des Peres, Mo., served as the committee chair for Special Olympics, managed and operated a sandwich program for the homeless and organized seven blood drives at her high school. Samuel Gibson of Minneapolis served as a teen educator for Planned Parenthood, and Andrea Jankelow of Northbrook, Ill., coordinated a radiothon to raise funds for pediatric cancer.
Many students had outstanding accomplishments in athletics. Aton was a Georgia state champion in fencing. Caitlin Campbell of Bettendorf, Iowa, won the individual state champion in swimming. Katherine Medlar of Edina, Minn., was the state champion in tennis. Katherine Moeller of Chesterfield, Mo., was a two-time reserve world champion horseback rider.
Named after the School’s founding dean, Walter Williams, the highest-achieving incoming freshmen are selected by invitation into the program. Students must earn an ACT score of at least 33 (1440 for the SAT) to be considered for the program. Once on campus, students get placed into a special Freshman Interest Group, receive a personal faculty mentor and a $1,000 scholarship to study abroad or in New York City or Washington D.C., at any time before graduation.