Columbia, Mo. (June 22, 2022) — The Missouri School of Journalism’s Summer Workshop Program returns as an in-person event starting June 25 after two years as a virtual program. For six days, nearly 80 high school students from 16 states — and Puerto Rico — will come to campus for workshops designed to give them an idea of what it’s like to work and learn at the School’s professional news outlets or ad agencies.
“We’re so excited to welcome students from all over the country and show them what the School of Journalism is all about,” said Ron Kelley, who oversees the workshops as the School’s executive director of student development, diversity, and inclusion. “This is a remarkable opportunity for high schoolers to see if journalism or strategic communication is something they want to pursue and to have a memorable experience at the world’s finest journalism school.”
The program features three workshops focused on different aspects of the industry: the Missouri University Journalism Workshop (MUJW), the Missouri Investigative Journalism Workshop, and the Missouri Advertising & Public Relations Workshop. Each immerses students in the Missouri Method approach of hands-on learning through relevant activities and coaching aimed at developing professional skills while stressing the importance of coverage of diverse communities.
Indeed, nearly half of the students participating in the program this year are people of color, reflecting an emphasis on diversity in all elements of the program.
This year, the program will feature a partnership with NBC Universal Academy (NBCU Academy), NBC’s training and development program typically geared toward college-level students. Through this partnership, speakers from NBC stations across the country will talk to students about their work, and NBCU Academy director Sandy Sharp will serve as an MUJW coach.
For many School of Journalism alums, the summer workshops were their first exposure to what the School had to offer, setting them on a path to successful careers in the industry. Kassidy Arena, a 2020 graduate of the School and a new staff member at KBIA-FM, remembers that the MUJW workshop came at a pivotal time for her as a junior in high school.
“It was kind of my thermometer for, ‘do I really want to do journalism, or do I just like what Rory Gilmore does?’” she said, referencing the “Gilmore Girls” character who works as a journalist. “It was really cool because, as someone of Cuban descent, I got to see people who looked like me. I was like, they really succeeded, and this is something I can do as well.”
Arena also met two people who became important figures throughout her education: mentor Alicia Haywood, a visiting assistant professor at the School with whom she remains in contact, and Jordan Meier, her roommate during MUJW and for most of their time at the School.
The connections continue to branch out from there; Meier went on to serve as an advisor for MUJW in 2017, and one of the mentors she met at the workshop — Amos Bridges, editor-in-chief at the Springfield News-Leader — helped her land a job at the News-Leader after graduation. For Meier, the experience was the perfect lead-in to her college career.
“We went through this very intensive but rewarding camp where we were treated like journalists and got to see how things were done,” Meier said. “It definitely prepared me for the J-School and made me even more excited to go.”
For more information about the workshops, which run June 25-30, contact Ron Kelley at email@example.com.
Updated: June 22, 2022