Kelsey Dianne Leavitt of Corban University (Class of 2015) was awarded EPA’s 2013 scholarship of $1,000. Kelsey is gaining experience in print, online, campus and community journalism and would like to work for a Christian publication or nonprofit. Her advisor’s recommendation included this vignette:
Last winter, Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley was experiencing flooding like most residents had never seen. Many called it our “100-year flood.” It was a journalistic opportunity to big to ignore, even though my Print Journalism 1 students had only been in class one week. Thus, their first assignment was to leave campus, find someone affected by the flood, conduct an interview, and write a report. Almost everyone succeeded in finding a source, but one student found the story.
EPA’s scholarship committee celebrates the legacy of journalism with Kelsey Leavitt who got the story.
What made Kelsey’s award even better was that she was in attendance at the convention to receive the award in person, accompanied by ten of her Corban University classmates who made the trek all the way from Portland, Ore., with their advisor, Christena Brooks. In a recent email to EPA’s executive director, Kelsey elaborated, “It meant a lot to me to win the scholarship, I really didn’t expect it. So much had gone wrong when I applied: I missed the original due date, almost missed the second, and everything just felt so rushed. Hearing my name announced at the EPA conference in May was just such a total surprise and the coolest thing. The award is so much more than just the money for me, I go to an expensive university so the money is a definite bonus but I think the best part is that my name is now out there in the journalism field and I have professionals who know my work. I’m currently the head online editor for my school’s student publication and I love it. I’m excited to see how I can help foster a closer knit community through the website.”
Though Kelsey’s course load this semester is challenging, she remains optimistic. “As for classes, I’m mainly taking some of my heavy communication and theology/philosophy classes and I’m excited for them because they’re really making me think about what I believe, and about what I’m going to do because of what I believe. That’s really exciting for me, but it’s also really challenging. I’m looking forward to being able to look back at the end of the semester and see how much I’ll have changed. And just for a fun side note, I’m also taking a ballroom/swing class for my gym credit and I’m super stoked about that!”
EPA encourages its members to support aspiring young journalists by making a tax-deductible gift to the Scholarship Fund. We are especially grateful for the generous gifts to the Scholarship Fund by Doug and Lis Trouten in memory of Doug’s step-mother, Margaret Trouten. Others donated in memory of Linda Wilson and we are equally grateful: Widaman Communications, Selah Media Group and Catherine Hartman.