July 7, 2005
By Erin Roberts
The 60th annual Scripps High School Journalism Workshop, conducted at Ohio University June 22 through 25, provided myriad opportunities for more than 70 high school juniors and seniors from throughout Ohio, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
For Columbus native and Eastmoor High School senior Cynthia Hill, the workshop enabled her to meet fellow underrepresented students interested in journalism and to find out what financial aid she might expect as a freshman at Ohio University.
For Jackie Valley, a Springboro High School senior, it was the opportunity to get a taste of Ohio University, one of many Ohio schools she is considering attending.
"That's a big deal," he said. "I plan to go home and brag about it."
Reke connected with Solich after his print reporter team was assigned to write a story about the football program at Ohio University. Ohio University sophomore Matt Barnes, one of the workshop's student mentors, helped him to score the interview.
"We talked about what he's done so far, what he anticipates for the season and the fans," Reke said of the interview. "He was a really nice guy. The athletes say he works with them one-on-one and treats them like family."
Reke, whose career goal is to become a Lutheran pastor, cites education, politics, journalism and city planning among his many interests. Though he will eventually attend the seminary, he's looking for the place to earn his undergraduate degree. Ohio University is on his short list, and meeting the head football coach couldn't have hurt his decision.
"He's a head coach with a 75 percent win record in the Big Ten," Reke said. "I'm going to start watching his games!"
This kind of enthusiasm is exactly what workshop director Lisa Lopez Snyder likes to see.
"This workshop is a valuable experience for students to learn not only how to improve their skills, but to gain greater self-confidence in their role as journalists," she said. "They were also enthused about the chance to interact closely with professionals in the field - from outside the university to faculty and staff from the schools of journalism, visual communications and telecommunications, as well as the TCOM Center."
Among the professionals on hand during the workshop were communication faculty from Hampton University and Ohio University; College of Communication alumni Liz Foreman of WCPO.com; Phil Rudell, editorial writer for the Columbus Dispatch; Terry Smith, editor of The Athens News; and others (a complete list is available on the Web site).
Under their direction, students produced a video news segment and a newspaper. These projects taught them about collaboration, giving them real world experience and a sense of what it's like to operate under deadline.
Many of the support staff, including current E.W. Scripps School of Journalism student mentors, were participating in the workshop for the first time.
"The workshop is a great opportunity - when you're considering a school like Ohio University - to come in and get to experience what you might do the next few years," said Barnes, who didn't know about the workshop as a high school. "What you learn here, you take right back to high school."
Barnes, an African-American Templeton Scholar, was also instrumental in a pre-workshop session that allowed grant-funded underrepresented students to meet and mingle with E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Director Tom Hodson, College of Communication Multicultural Programs Coordinator Greta Oliver and others.
"The program gave the students an opportunity to learn about financial aid and special scholarships," Lopez Snyder said. "For many of these students this was the first time they could be in a small group to talk about specific issues or concerns about going to college. They were also excited to know that OU welcomes them as engaging young people who have an interest in journalism."
The Scripps High School Journalism Workshop is made possible by the Scripps Howard Foundation and the College of Communication at Ohio University. To find out more about the event, please visit www.scripps.ohiou.edu/workshop/hsjw.htm.
David Reke is a senior from Troy, Ohio, and an avid college football fan. He eagerly grasped the chance to meet and interview Frank Solich, Ohio's new football coach.
Erin Roberts is the external relations coordinator for the College of Communication.