KEMPA scholarship winners learn, practice journalism in college

All four 2014 KEMPA scholarship winners expressed their gratitude to KEMPA for the scholarship and reported that their first semester already help to prepare them for a future career in journalism.

Gabby Abesamis
Gabrielle Abesamis, Niles North High School, Illinois
Adviser: Evelyn Lauer
Gabby attends Mizzou, the University of Missouri at Columbia. Students there have unlimited access to publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  In the fall, she took an introductory seminar called Exploring Journalism where she said “we discussed ethics, careers, and biases in networks and publications.” She wrote an article for the student newspaper about a sexual climate survey that will be circulated in various campuses across the country. Gabby said students on campus are immersed in social media promotion and media interaction, which is a good fit for her own journalism goals.

Michala Meyerhofer
Michala Meyerhofer, Fort Atkinson High School, Wisconsin
Adviser:  Dana Linde
Michala attends the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  In her class called Introduction to Society’s Engineering Grand Challenges, she learned a lot about problem solving and technical reasoning skills. “But most of all,” she said, “it taught me that journalism exists in every job around the world.…I realized that journalism was important no matter what area of study you were in, and that having exceptional writing skills was extremely important for every degree.” She said she learned that writing, presentation and critical thinking were all essential for a journalist. She also took an online course in journalism which covered past and current media trends.  Students wrote about those trends on a discussion platform, allowing for feedback from both the professor and other students. Her English class called Scripted Lives showed her how “the delivery style of news influences the way in which we interpret it,” Michala said. Her work in the physics and astronomy libraries gave her exposure to scientific journals and monthly newspapers edited by librarians.

 Joe Salvato
Joseph Salvato, Rolling Meadows High School, Illinois
Adviser: Alison DeBerge
Joe attends the University of Southern California where he is now a Print and Digital Journalism major. His first class was Writing and Critical Approaches, an entry level writing class which, he said, “familiarizes students with both long-form essay writing and shorter, more concise journalistic writing.” Next semester he’ll take History of News in Modern America which will be in the new, state-of-the-art Annenberg building.  (He suggests googling it because it’s pretty impressive.)  Although technically a staff writer for the Daily Trojan (print) and Neon Tommy (online) publications, he admitted that freshmen do very little writing for them. Next summer he will be part of a five-week, four-country tour studying communication patterns in Europe.

Kimberly Wethal 2014 scholarship winner
Kimberly Wethal, Stoughton High School, Wisconsin
Adviser: Jon Netzler
Kimberly Wethal attends UW-Whitewater where, before school began, the editor-in-chief of the Royal Purple recruited her to be photo editor. She was also a news reporter and worked at the university’s TV station as a host for a brand new talk show, where she helped shape the new program and write 30-40 percent of the weekly broadcasts—another new skill.  As a practicum student she also filmed campus events and learned how to direct TV shows. “It was very beneficial to my decision to double major in Broadcast/Print/Web Journalism and Electronic Communications,” Kimberly said.  She also took the Intro to Mass Communication class first semester. It gave her perspective, she said, into the media industry as a whole.