Indiana University

National Sports Journalism Center

Our Student Experiences

Grad students at BCS

Students Wheat Hotchkiss and Matt Velazquez covered the BCS National Championship in Miami Gardens.

One of the main goals of the IU National Sports Journalism Center is to offer experiences and opportunities that help students learn, both in the classroom and in the field.

Students have attended sessions at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., to learn from pros. The have also covered major sporting events across the country – including the Super Bowl, BCS National Championship, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, World Baseball Classic and Indianapolis 500 – as part of NSJC Student News Bureaus.




Josh Weinfuss, Brian Burnsed and Zak Keefer covering the 2012 Final Four

Josh Weinfuss, Brian Burnsed and Zak Keefer covered the 2012 Final Four.

“There are benefits to these types of experiences a classroom can’t offer. You see, you watch, you learn, you write, you rewrite… Nothing better prepares you for sportswriting than doing it live, on-site — not to mention doing it on as big of a stage as the Final Four.” – Zak Keefer, 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Student News Bureau


“The most I learned during my time at Indiana wasn’t from a textbook, a PowerPoint presentation or a guest speaker. I learned the most from the experiences afforded to me by the National Sports Journalism Center. How to network? Check. How to write during a game because deadline is looming? Check. How to professionally cover a major event that millions of people are watching? Check to that too.” Stephanie Kuzydym, 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four as a sophomore at IU


“While covering the BCS game, I also got the chance to interact with some of the top sportswriters from across the country. It was educational and humbling to read their stories and observe them going about their jobs. Any doubts I had about my career path were permanently erased in the hours following the title game. Honestly, I’d been a little disappointed in my writing earlier in the week. But it all came together that night.” – Wheat Hotchkiss, 2013 BCS National Championship Game


Grad students Erica Rath, Lauren Ely and Brittany Johnson reporting from the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Erica Rath, Lauren Ely and Brittany Johnson reported from the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

“Not only did it provide me with a writing sample that was published by the National Sports Journalism Center, but it gave me the incredible opportunity to cover a huge, annual event on a deadline. It also helped prepare me for future stories by giving me more experience conducting interviews, doing research (before, during, and after the race), and formulating story ideas in a hurry.” – Brittany Johnson, covered the 2013 Indianapolis 500


“It was a 100 percent real-world working experience, and all the stresses of finding a good story or working on deadline that you will find in any normal journalism job were tested. But above all else, it allowed me to see just how much fun and rewarding working in the sports journalism field can be.” Lauren Ely, 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Elite Eight


Learn more:

  • Contact National Sports Journalism Center by phone or mail:

    Indiana University
    The Media School
    940 E. Seventh St.
    Bloomington, IN 47405
    Phone: 812-855-3367


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