Achieng Agutu, a junior public relations major, was one of 15 Indiana students to be recognized for excellence in journalism at the Hoosier State Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and Newsroom Seminar on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
Agutu won third place in the editorial/opinion category for an op-ed article, “Reflections on living in a white world,” that was published in The Goshen College Record on Dec. 3, 2015. The article earned a first-place award from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association in April, competing in the division for colleges and universities with enrollment under 3,000.
“I didn’t think my article would make it this far,” said Agutu. “Winning this award has shown me that my story and my voice is valid and people want to hear about it. But not only my story or my voice but the stories and voices of the countless number of women, men and children who have sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the oppressed in this country. This is just the beginning. I’m ready to write some more history worth reading.”
In the Hoosier State Press Association, students across the state of Indiana compete in a single division in five categories: news, feature, sports, editorial/opinion and photography.
“As the only student from a small college to win an award, Achieng represented Goshen College well,” said Duane Stoltzfus, a communication professor and adviser to The Goshen College Record. “In writing this opinion piece, she showed both strong conviction and command of the language. She is one of our most gifted student communicators.”
A judge commented: “This didn’t make me feel uncomfortable as the writer states the column might, but it did make me think. And good columns should make people think.”