Taylor Student Journalists Win National Awards

By Jim Garringer Published: Jan 13, 2012

Julia Berger

Work produced by two Taylor University students has been honored by a pair of national student press associations. Julia Berger received a second-place ranking by the Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Competition; and a photograph taken by Tim Riethmiller was recognized by the Associated Collegiate Press.

Riethmiller, a junior media major from Fort Wayne, Ind., received the Judges’ Choice Award by ACP for a photo taken at a costume show. Berger, a senior media communication major from St. Louis, Mo., was honored for a series of written pieces produced for Taylor’s student newspaper The Echo.

Each entrant in the Baptist Press competition submitted a 500-word essay about their journalism career goals and how faith plays a role in those goals, as well as up to six published works. Berger submitted six stories ranging from a feature on student athlete Germania Bedon and a review of a new album by pop singer Adele to technology at Taylor and the death of longtime Board of Trustees member and benefactor LaRita Boren.

“The application process has been a symbol of doing my best in times of trial. By winning it would bring honor and recognition to the professors who have supported me and challenged me and to my God who is my ultimate support,” Berger said. “You learn enough at Taylor to know that you have a lot left to learn. I think that is the foundation of education.

“I talked about how journalism has redefined my thinking and approach in life just through stories I’ve written and people I’ve gotten to know,” Berger added. “Each story is personal to me and I can identify what was going on the week I wrote it. These articles are not just words thrown on a page.”

Riethmiller’s entry, a photo titled Welcome to the Freak Show, My Dear, was a black and white image that depicted models appearing in a Halloween designer’s costume show.

“For me the national recognition has been utterly humbling,” Riethmiller said. “It is something that has brought me to my knees realizing the power that God gives through his gifts. With that realization I’ve been able to pursue it to his glory. The doors and opportunities have been opening left and right. It’s been a wonderful journey so far and I can’t wait for the future.”