Committee selects Pulliam interns


The HSPA Foundation assigned the 2011 Eugene S. Pulliam Internship recipients with newspapers.

The 10 interns bring the student total to 110 since the program’s inception. About 55 students began the application process this year, and 33 completed it.

This class includes eight women and two men; five rising seniors, three juniors and two sophomores; and three students from Indiana University, two from Butler University, two from Franklin College, one from Hanover College and one each from Huntington and Northwestern universities.

Pulliam interns

The 2011 internship recipients are listed with their hometown, year in school, college and paper placement:
Robin Bortner: Bristol, senior, Hanover, Indianapolis Recorder
Shelly Bradbury: Houghton, N.Y., senior, Huntington, The Goshen News
Suzannah Couch: Morgantown, junior, Franklin, Brown Co. Democrat (Nashville)
Tara McElmurry: Dyer, junior, Butler, The Truth (Elkhart)
Sara Pruzin: Greenville, senior, Butler, The News and Tribune (Jeffersonville)
Colleen Sikorski: Valparaiso, junior, Indiana, Post-Tribune (Merrillville)
Mary Jane Slaby: New Carlisle, senior, Indiana, Journal & Courier (Lafayette)
Patrick Svitek: Fort Wayne, sophomore, Northwestern, The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne)
Jessica Wray: Franklin, sophomore, Franklin, The Mooresville/Decatur Times
Jake Wright: Robinson, Ill., senior, Indiana, South Bend Tribune.

Of the 10, eight reside in Indiana and one comes from New York and another from Illinois. Nine students attend an in-state college or university. Eligible applicants came from 15 different schools.

“We remain impressed with the quality and number of student applications we receive,” said Karen T. Braeckel, director of the HSPA Foundation. “If anything, we were somewhat surprised by the low number of newspaper applicants this year compared to the past.”

Braeckel said some editors told her they just didn’t have time to complete the application form. The Foundation tries to make it as easy as possible by offering an online version. Braeckel said the Foundation keeps track of the years each newspaper applies as well as those when it receives an intern. She encourages papers to apply each year.

The requirement that a student either resides in Indiana or attends a college or university in the state limits the number of applicants.

“That is by design,” Braeckel said. “We hope to keep Indiana’s talent at home through these experiences.”

In addition to the 10 students receiving paid internships, the committee selected seven other worthy candidates that would have been eligible if more funds were available. The Foundation offered these students unpaid, credit-only internships if they decide to participate.

Students have until March 31 to notify the Foundation if they will accept a position.

Eighteen HSPA-member newspapers expressed interest in the new unpaid-intern program if they did not receive a paid Pulliam intern.

Jim Brown, executive associate dean emeritus of the IU School of Journalism at Indianapolis, will serve as the multimedia coach for the 2011 class.

Each student will complete a soundslide project for their newspaper’s website under Brown’s guidance.

The HSPA Foundation board of directors wants all interns to have this experience, not just those showing an interest in multimedia.

Nelson Price, author, historian, radio personality and former writer for The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News, will coach students in writing.