Last Friday, I was honored to receive two awards from the Ohio State University School of Communication — the Robert F. Wolfe Journalism Honor Medal and the Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar Award. As a graduating senior, this experience was one of the last I will have as an undergraduate in the journalism program at Ohio State. I could not think of a better way to end an inspiring four years surrounded by outstanding faculty, coworkers and peers.
My involvement with The Lantern, Ohio State's student newspaper, started with a single article about the creation of a massive, hand-painted soccer banner, published in the fall of 2013. Seeing my byline on The Lantern's website was a dream come true and a feat I did not think I could pull off within my freshman year, let alone my first month on campus. The experience of seeing my story — the quotes I painstakingly transcribed, the words I specifically chose to describe the triumphant moment when the tifo was hoisted above the crowd — elicited a smile as I emailed the link to my family and friends.
Seven semesters and almost 100 stories later, I still get excited at the thought of picking up a copy of any publication that contains one of my articles. Since my first semester at Ohio State, I have had many experiences as a student journalist, all of which have taught me skills I might not have learned by just sitting in the classroom taking notes. From covering breaking news events well into the early hours of the morning to watching as thousands of my cap-and-gown-clad peers walk through the 'Shoe, I am proud to identify myself as a journalist, a title that inspires me to document the stories that are most important to those who read the words I write.
Writing and working for publications such as The Lantern, The Arizona Republic, CityScene Magazine and BroadwayWorld.com Columbus has shaped my undergraduate experience in ways that I could not have predicted, and for that I am forever grateful.