University of Southern Indiana

Journalism internships offer experience, opportunity

Journalism internships offer experience, opportunity

4/2/2013 | University Communications

Three University of Southern Indiana journalism students have been selected for highly-coveted reporting internships – the most in the program’s history. Internships will be completed at daily and non-daily Indiana newspapers this summer.

Shannon Hall, Jessie Hellmann, and James Vaughn, all journalism majors, are three of 10 students selected statewide for the Hoosier State Press Association’s Eugene S. Pulliam internships this year. The full time, 10-week paid internships are named in honor of the late publisher of The Indianapolis Star.

USI has never had more than one student selected for the internship in the same year in Erin Gibson’s time at the University. Gibson has been an instructor of journalism and faculty adviser to USI's student newspaper The Shield since 2007. “I’ve known each one of these students from early on,” she said. “I was on vacation when I found out about the internships. It was one of the most exciting pieces of news from home that week. I was thrilled.”

One of the points of pride for USI’s journalism program is the opportunity for students to have their work published as early as their freshman year, making them more competitive for later internships. “I think we’ve impressed upon our students that being published in The Shield and getting internships outside the university is important,” Gibson said. “That experience counts and will lead to even better opportunities.”

This will be a first internship for Vaughn, while Hall, who currently interns at the Evansville Courier & Press, will be adding a third internship to her resume. She previously interned at The Journal Review in Crawfordsville, Indiana. “I am beyond excited about this opportunity,” said Vaughn, who will be interning at The Shelbyville News. “I can't think of a better way to spend my summer – learning, resume-building and getting an idea of how the professional world of journalism works. I hope the Pulliam internship will lead to even better internships in the future.”

Hellmann, who will complete her internship at The Kokomo Tribune, has been widely recognized by faculty and peers for her academic and journalistic promise. She was USI’s Freshman Journalism Student of the Year for the 2010-2011 academic year and USI’s Distinguished Sophomore in 2011, and she has held the titles of Rookie of the Year, Reporter of the Year, and Editor of the Year at The Shield. Her work has been recognized by the Indiana Collegiate Press Association.

"I'm so honored to have been chosen as a Pulliam intern,” she said. “I’ll be able to work closely with professionals in the field. I hope to hone my journalism skills to prepare me for the world after graduation."

Hellmann, a junior, minors in political science and is the current editor of The Shield’s News section. She is the president of USI’s Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) student chapter and has interned at The Kokomo Perspective. She participated in Will Write for Food, a national SPJ initiative in which college journalists take over the newspaper of a homeless shelter in Hollywood, Florida, and in the three-day Investigative Reporters & Editors Campus Coverage Project workshop at the Walter Kronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.  A native of Kokomo, Indiana, she is the daughter of Jamie and Julie Hellmann and a graduate of Kokomo High School.

Hall, a junior, minors in creative writing and is the current editor of The Shield’s Life and Culture section. She is the treasurer and secretary of USI’s SPJ student chapter and will serve as editor in chief of The Shield next year. Her feature piece, “Vietnam veteran art displays in LA”, recently won an SPJ Mark of Excellence Award. She will complete the Pulliam internship at The Banner Graphic in Greencastle, Indiana. A native of Crawfordsville, Indiana, she is the daughter of Chris and Dawn Hall and a graduate of Southmont High School.

Vaughn, a sophomore, minors in political science and is a staff writer for The Shield. He is the vice president of USI’s SPJ student chapter and will serve as The Shield’s News editor next year. A native of Indianapolis, he is the son of Fred and Christina Vaughn and a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School.

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