By Karen T. Braeckel
HSPA Foundation

It happens every spring.

And although the calendar says April, only the announcing of a new class of interns makes anyone around here believe it. At least we know 10 student journalists will blossom soon.

2014 pulliam interns

The 2014 Eugene S. Pulliam interns include one rising sophomore, three juniors and six seniors; nine Indiana residents and one from Ohio; four from IU, two from Franklin College, and one each from Ball State, the University of Southern Indiana, IUPUI and the University of Indianapolis.

The students will work at newspapers from Elkhart to Corydon and at both dailies and nondailies. Of the 62 students who began the application process, 36 completed it. (The required personal statement weeds out disinterested applicants.)

The numbers remain consistent year after year, and so does the talent. Remember, every student must have an Indiana connection through residency or college attendance. This criterion also narrows the field.

But we want you to know more about them.

This group averages a 3.26 GPA with nine journalism majors and one communication major. Two listed second majors – Italian and sociology. Minors include law and public policy, fine arts, sociology (2), comparative literature, religious studies and theater.

Collegiate experience

All of them work on their collegiate papers in various capacities – most notably Ben Mikesell as photo editor during his sophomore year, Hannah Alani as a member of a five-person investigative team as a freshman, Victoria Fater as managing editor, and Anna Wieseman serving as managing editor for a second year.

Seven of them worked on their high school newspaper, while two of the remaining three noted their schools did not have one. Three in the group served as editor-in-chief of those papers.

Mikesell held the post of photo editor for two years in high school and won best of show and other awards at Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association conventions.

Alani and Lindsey Stevens won HSPA Foundation scholarships as high school seniors for students planning to major in print journalism.

Accomplished bunch

An individual review of the students shows Alani in the Hutton Honors College at IU, an Ernie Pyle Scholar and a Lilly Scholar. During high school she worked as a monthly columnist and freelance reporter at her hometown paper, The Herald-Times (Bloomington).

Dennis Barbosa covers the police beat at the Indiana Daily Student and meets daily with the department’s public information officer. He rides his bike around Bloomington, as he has no car. That will change this summer when he spends his savings for a used vehicle so he can intern at the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Sophomore Jeremy Ervin accompanied Ball State’s program at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in February, where students worked as a freelance collective. He formerly served as assistant features editor of the Ball State Daily News.

Currently working as a managing editor of IU’s Indiana Daily Student, Victoria Fater will intern at her hometown newspaper this summer – The Elkhart Truth. She served as editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper.

During an internship at the El Gazette in London, she investigated child protection laws in the United Kingdom and European Union.

Photography intern Ben Mikesell began shooting for his high school newspaper his freshman year and continues at IU. But he says his love for photojournalism began in eighth grade when a teacher handed him a camera and asked him to shoot a football game.

After shooting from the sidelines, he bought his first camera and carried it into high school.

Highly recommended

John Krull, director of the Pulliam School of Journalism at Franklin College, describes Jacob Rund in a recommendation: “Among a spirited class of students, Jacob established himself as a calm, thoughtful presence – a dogged reporter and graceful writer who wasn’t satisfied to stay on the surface of a story.”

Krull also called him one of the mainstays of the Franklin College Statehouse Bureau. (Enough said except that Jacob puts himself through college with various jobs, including night security.)

Bobby Shipman also works several jobs to support himself at the University of Southern Indiana. This also means he takes fewer classes a semester.

His adviser Erin Gibson says, “I admire his tenacity in pursuing his degree and making the time to work for a student publication.” He serves as features editor of The Shield.

High school beginnings

IUPUI’s Stevens declared fiction writing her first career goal years ago. She says after joining her high school newspaper she became dedicated to the craft. By her senior year she called herself a triple-threat: fashion columnist, features writer and photo editor.

Another high school editor-in-chief moved on the study journalism. Hannah Troyer attends Franklin College and wrote stories for Thestatehousefile.com.

She says she knew journalism was the field she wanted to pursue after her first journalism class in high school.

Anna Wieseman from the University of Indianapolis now serves her second year as managing editor of The Reflector after her freshman year as news editor. In 2013 she won a National Recognition SPJ Mark of Excellence award for Online News Reporting. She majors in communication with a concentration in journalism and minor in theater.

We wish all 10 students a great experience this summer – and one that will convince them to stay in newspapers. We enjoy watching budding journalists grow (but a few spring flowers might be nice too)!

Karen T. Braeckel is director of the HSPA Foundation.