New honors program in media, game design to launch fall 2018

Audrey Deiser • Aug. 24, 2017
Summer in London 2015
Summer in London 2015 students gathered for a picnic on their last day of the eight-week experience. The Summer in London program is a highlight of the Ernie Pyle Scholars program. Now, Media Scholars will participate as well. (Courtesy photo)

Coming next fall: Indiana University’s first class of Media Scholars. Sixteen spaces are open for the top incoming media and game design students, starting fall 2018.

The Media Scholars honors program, open to a select group of incoming students, is an exclusive Media School program that allows students to earn a general honors notation, take advanced classes, travel globally and work with a faculty mentor. Media Scholars will be students enrolling with the intent to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Media or a Bachelor of Science in Game Design degree.

Media Scholars will receive the same benefits as Ernie Pyle Scholars, The Media School’s honors students in journalism. The Media Scholars and Ernie Pyle Scholars will function as parallel programs.

Associate professor Emily Metzgar, director of the honors program in The Media School, believes this opportunity is unrivaled at IU – except perhaps by the Ernie Pyle Scholars program.

“Graduating the first class of scholars in 2011, the Ernie Pyle Scholars honors program now has 90 alumni working everywhere from Hill & Knowlton Strategies and Ketchum Public Relations to CBS’s 60 Minutes and The Washington Post,” Metzgar said. “I am pleased that with establishment of the Media Scholars honors program we will be able to offer exciting academic and professional opportunities to students in our school’s two other degree programs.”

Media Scholars will have certain privileges while attending Indiana University: taking honors courses in The Media School, engaging with media professionals and receiving subsidies for international travel courses. Media Scholars will have the chance to travel to New York while visiting media organizations and networking with alumni. Students participating in professional summer internships will be able to travel to Los Angeles or London.

Carley Lanich, a senior Ernie Pyle Scholar, has traveled with The Media School several times.

Doug Pardue answered students’ questions during a break from the panel discussion. From left, sophomores Sarah Lally, Jack Evans and Carley Lanich, and freshman Sarah Gardner, asked about Pardue’s experience reporting in South Carolina as well as the difficulty in selecting which stories to publish. (Jill Moore | The Media School)
Ernie Pyle Scholars (from left) Sarah Lally, Jackson Evans, Carley Lanich and Sarah Gardner talk with Doug Pardue, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier. Media School honors students have opportunities to meet with media professionals who visit the school. (Jill Moore | The Media School)

“I would say more than anything, these trips gave me confidence to report in an unfamiliar and sometimes challenging environment — one you wouldn’t typically encounter in Bloomington,” Lanich said. “They also allowed me to study and experience a culture unlike my own.”

Incoming Media Scholars will be directly admitted to The Media School as media or game design majors. The program assigns students to a faculty mentor to aid with academic navigation. Media Scholars will be eligible to enroll in up to six honors courses in media studies, classes that will count toward the Hutton Honors College general honors notation, if they desire. Media Scholars will also be privy to exclusive meetings with media professionals who visit the school throughout the year.

These same benefits are offered to the Ernie Pyle Scholars. Jamie Zega, a senior Ernie Pyle Scholar, praised the advantages of participating in the program.

“As a freshman, it helped me get my foot in the door of the (Indiana Daily Student) with a little more confidence,” said Zega, who now serves as the editor-in-chief of the IDS. “We were given access to honors sections of required journalism classes, which gave my cohort of Ernie Pyle Scholars had the opportunity to have classes together with just each other.”

The first step to becoming a Media Scholar is to apply to IU by Nov. 1 as a media or game design major. Students whose applications meet the minimum criteria will be invited to apply to the program using IU’s Selective Scholarship Application.

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