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Student Updates

The first Star Tribune Scholars graduate...and more student news from the halls of Murphy Hall.

First Star Tribune Scholars graduate the SJMC

In the fall of 2001, three freshmen entered the SJMC as the first Star Tribune Scholars. Mary Stegmeir, Rachel Bruzzone, and Susie Vang were the first recipients of a generous scholarship and internship award established by the Star Tribune Foundation, and now they are SJMC alumnae, class of 2005.

Mary Stegmeir, Susie Vang, and Rachel Bruzzone Mary Stegmeir majored in journalism with minors in political science and American studies. After graduation, Stegmeir will be in Duluth, Minn., for an internship with the Duluth News Tribune.

"As a Star Tribune Scholar, I was able to talk to SJMC faculty members about ways to develop my reporting and writing skills as a first-year student," Stegmeir says. "The scholarship also allowed me to devote time to honing those skills outside of the academic environment." Stegmeir adds that because tuition was covered by the scholarship program, "I was able to take an unpaid internship at The International Falls Daily Journal (my hometown paper) after my first year. Not having to work during the school year to pay for tuition also allowed me to take time-intensive classes, such as the community journalism course."

Rachel Bruzzone triple-majored in journalism, Latin, and Greek. After graduation, Bruzzone is heading to the University of Virginia for graduate study in classics.

Bruzzone appreciated the personalized attention afforded by the Star Tribune Scholars program. "There was the financial advantage, but also it was wonderful to have professors who knew my name and were interested in me," she says. "We got a lot of guidance from the very beginning of our time at the University and that was just fantastic." Bruzzone also has fond memories of her summer 2003 internship at the Star Tribune, another benefit of the Scholars program. "It was definitely one of my best summers," she says. "The whole paper was very warm and welcoming, and I still keep in touch with some of the reporters."

Susie Vang and her family arrived in America in 1980 from Laos, along with thousands of other Hmong refugees. The family had no money and spoke no English, but Vang's parents knew that a college education was necessary for their children.

"The generous scholarship allowed me to focus, do well academically, and made life much easier for my family," says Vang, who graduated summa cum laude from the U with a journalism major. Vang will spend the summer after graduation in California at the Sacramento Bee for a 12-week internship, and has also been awarded a Gannet fellowship and a year-long Knight-Ridder rotation program.

"I am indebted to the faculty and staff at the SJMC," Vang says, noting in particular the guidance of SJMC Professors Sherrie Mazingo, Kathy Hansen, and Al Tims, as well as Student Services Coordinator Linda Lindholm. "I have worked closely with these people since my first day at the University, and they continue to advise and inspire me," Vang says.

Student Organization Updates

Society of Professional Journalists
by Sarah Klaphake, president, SPJ

This semester, SPJ brought in speakers from all different aspects of journalism. Marianne Makdisi from Tiger Oak Publications gave our members advice on how to break into magazine writing. Kerri Westenberg, travel editor for the Star Tribune, made many of us consider taking a trip and trying to make some cash by writing a story about it. Gary Gilson, executive director of the Minnesota News Council, inspired us to keep working hard at trying to be ethical, intelligent, and accountable journalists. Ann Alquist, news director for KFAI radio, talked to us about diversity in their programming and how they sustain a largely volunteer-driven community media outlet.

We also planned a campus crime reporting event for the end of April to serve as a forum for students, the University of Minnesota Police Department, and professional journalists to discuss their working relationships and communication.

Many members of our chapter attended the Midwest Journalism Conference in April, and we're proud to have won a number of Mark of Excellence awards at the conference. (Note: See opposite page for a full list of SJMC award winners.) We're also definitely looking forward to the SPJ National Convention in fall 2005 in Las Vegas!

NSAC Update
by Sarah Saline, co-leader, NSAC team

The NSAC team worked around the clock to prepare for the regional National Student Advertising Competition, which was held at the Holiday Inn Metrodome in Minneapolis on April 22. The team crafted an array of creative executions that followed one central campaign theme for our client, Yahoo! The group based this creative vision on a strategy developed after months of in-depth research and investigation. Our team finished second in the regionals, and was invited to the finals as the 2005 "wildcard" team to compete against the district winners at the AAF conference in Nashville in June. Thanks to all our dedicated team members and our adviser, Howard Liszt, for all their hard work!

PRSSA Update
by Jon Dean, president, PRSSA

PRSSA took a very successful agency tour trip to Chicago this semester, visiting four Chicago agencies: Porter Novelli, Public Communications Inc., Manning Salvage & Lee, and Golin Harris.

Our committees did a great job this year. SaraMari Orth's Activities Committee planned PRSSA's annual Skills Workshop, which we held on April 9th. The workshop was very successful, with over 80 attendees. Stephanie Snyder's Newsletter Committee pumped out the best newsletter in Murphy Hall, and Meghan Stafford and Raya Jewell's Promotions Committee worked on a brand image for PRSSA, which will be implemented for next year.

Also, a big congratulations to Meghan and Jeremy Baier, who are PRSSA president-elect and vice president-elect for the 2005-06 school year.

Ad Club Update
by Eric Hansen, president, Ad Club

Ad Club kicked off the spring semester welcoming 12 new faces who were excited to get their first real taste of the advertising industry. Our speaker series again features a mix of professionals from a wide array of positions in the ad world including two former U of M grads: Mike Caguin, art director at Colle + McVoy; and Jake Coldren, new business executive at Carmichael Lynch. The most exciting part of the semester was the abundance of tours we took, as members have been over to Martin/Williams, Campbell Mithun, and Periscope and Olson + Co. As advertising people would, Ad Club ended the year with a fun social event at a local establishment.

Students win multiple industry awards

Undergraduates in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication were recognized by the industry this spring for outstanding work in journalism, photography, and broadcast.

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards (National)
TV General News Reporting: First place, Kent Erdahl
TV Sports Photography: First place, Lou Raguse
TV Feature Photography: First place, Tyler Richter

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards (Regional)
Best Magazine Article: Drew Geraets
TV Feature Reporting: Third place, Lou Raguse
TV General News Reporting: First place, Kent Erdahl; Second place, Lou Raguse; Third place, Tyler Richter
TV Sports Reporting: Second place (tie), Kent Erdahl; Third place, Lou Raguse
Feature Photography: First place, Tyler Richter
TV Sports Photography: First place, Lou Raguse
TV Non-Daily Newscast (1-3 times per week): First place, Lou Raguse

Northwest Broadcast News Association Awards
Sports Reporting, Student Market Television: First Place, Kent Erdahl
Feature, Student Market Television: First place, Lou Raguse

Public Relations Society of America Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship Awards
First prize: Stephanie Snyder
Second prize: SaraMari Orth
Third prize: Jon Dean

William Randolph Hearst Awards
Best News Story, National Competition: First Place, Lou Raguse
Best Use of Television, National Competition: First Place, Lou Raguse
In-Depth Writing: Third Place, Emily Johns

National Student Advertising Competition, American Advertising Federation
Second place, Region 8: University of Minnesota NSAC team. The team will travel to the AAF conference in Nashville for the national competition as the 2005 "wildcard" winner.

embedz.gifRegional Emmy Awards
College News and Information Award: Tyler Richter
College Non-News and Entertainment Award: Audrey Harpel

American Advertising Federation
Most Promising Minority Student Finalist: Gloria Delgadillo

Students in adjunct instructor Ken Stone's Newscast Producing class got a taste of active duty this semester. The students were "embedded" with a Marine Reserve unit training for deployment in Iraq at St. Paul's Fort Snelling, focusing on the unit's training, employers, and families. The unit, which has already served two active duty stints in Iraq, is now training for a third deployment. At the end of the semester, the students in the course produced a half-hour news magazine on the unit.