Media Matters Blog

Posted on April 14th, 2021 in Blog by Emily Turnier
Picture of Sarah Wheeler for blog post

IUPUI Journalism student Sarah Wheeler

Senior Sarah Wheeler has been chosen as this year’s Academic Achievement Award recipient for the Department of Journalism and Public Relations. Wheeler will be recognized during an end-of-year virtual commencement celebration for journalism and public relations students.

“I was thrilled when I found out I received the department’s academic achievement award,” Wheeler said. “This award has helped motivate me to persevere and finish strong in my final semester of college.”

“The department has opened up countless opportunities for me,” she continued. “Thank you to Professor Rodger Johnson for helping me land an amazing internship, Dr. Chris Lamb for taking my writing to the next level, and Professor Denise Herd for setting the highest example of an ethical, compassionate PR professional.”

Wheeler maintains a 4.0 grade point average, and has gained experience in her chosen field of public relations through several internships.

“Sarah is the definition of an outstanding, high-achieving student,” said Emily Turnier, the department’s director of outreach and career services. “She also demonstrates an attitude of generosity. One of our faculty members noted that she helped a fellow student land an internship.”

Additionally, the department’s scholarship committee has awarded scholarships to four undergraduates for the next academic year:

Skye Aitken:
Patrick McKeand Scholarship

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The Patrick McKeand Scholarship supports undergraduate journalism students who serve as the editor-in-chief of IUPUI’s independent-run student media outlet, the Campus Citizen. Aitken is co-editor of the Citizen, and has also worked as a writer and culture editor. She is a content writing intern for the IUPUI Division of Undergraduate Education.

“Receiving the Patrick McKeand Scholarship means that my and all future editors’ work for the Campus Citizen is recognized,” Aitken said. “It also means that I can continue to support the Campus Citizen until I graduate and know that the editors that come after Nicole Reitz and I will be supported. I’m grateful to all who make this scholarship possible and to those who continue to support student media.”

Nicole Reitz:
James W. Brown Scholarship

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This scholarship honors retired Executive Associate Dean James W. Brown, and is awarded to a student who is actively involved in campus journalism activities and organizations. Reitz is co-editor of the Campus Citizen, IUPUI’s student-run publication, and was previously the campus section editor. She is also a writer for the Office of Student Affairs and has interned with IUPUI’s social media team.

“I was really honored when I found out I was being given the James W. Brown Scholarship,” Reitz said. “It made me realize that all of the hard work that I am putting in at the Campus Citizen and in my journalism classes is paying off. From my understanding, James W. Brown has had such a big impact on the [former] School of Journalism and the Department of Journalism and Public Relations and I hope that I can help carry on his legacy.”

Arabella Rollison:
M. William Lutholtz Scholarship

Influencer Arabella Rollison smiles at the camera

Rollison is making her mark on the professional world as a social media coordinator, blogger, and influencer. She is also active on IUPUI’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) executive board, serving as social media director.


Micah Yason:
Society of Professional Journalists/Bettie Cadou Scholarship

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Yason is already working in her chosen field of journalism as an assistant producer for ALL IN Indiana, a daily radio show based at WFYI. Previously, she was a news reporting intern at WFYI and worked on two stories that were broadcast nationally on NPR.