Aubrey Herbst was in high school when she recognized her passion for writing. While she was well prepared for the challenges Wittenberg would later offer her as an English major and journalism minor, she has gone above and beyond what most Wittenberg students experience during her collegiate career.
Each year, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Central Ohio Pro Chapter gives scholarships to top journalism students attending Ohio colleges. At the end of her junior year, her adviser, Associate Professor of English D’Arcy Fallon, encouraged Herbst to apply for one of the scholarships.
The good news came just before the SPJ’s annual Founders Day event in May, when Herbst received one of the James W. Faulkner Awards for the 2008-09 school year. Pulitzer Prize-winning Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, the wife of Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, spoke at the awards ceremony.
“I was excited to be able to represent Wittenberg and our fairly new journalism program,”Herbst said. “And I was ecstatic and surprised when I received the e-mail of congratulation.”
Herbst has always wanted to make a difference and is a true believer in the power of the written word.
“The most influential force in our culture is the media,” she said. “Whether it is gossip magazines, television shows, news channels, Web sites, or newspapers, the media is a, if not the, driving force of the information era. Therefore, I want to be I want to be a positive addition to such a powerful yet controversial realm.”
The SPJ award is not the only thing that keeps Herbst moving forward. She also volunteers for an after-school program called Girl Power.
“It is a program for middle school girls, and we focus on nutrition, fitness and a positive self-image,” Herbst said. “I love the program and especially the girls. Volunteering with these girls is a great way to get involved in Springfield and be a positive influence in their lives.“
Since her sophomore year, Herbst has been involved with Wittenberg’s student-run newspaper, The Torch. After having such a great experience writing at Wittenberg and studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria, during the fall 2008 semester, Herbst fell in love with traveling and plans to use her writing abilities to make a difference in the world.
“Studying abroad really broadened my perspectives, and yet it also solidified my views and appreciation of the U.S.,” Herbst said. “I encourage everyone to get up and get out and learn something.”
Herbst said her educational experience and family support has prepared her well.
“Whether that is with a newspaper, another media outlet, writing and working for a private company, or working for a nonprofit, I hope to use the abilities that God has blessed me with for good,” Herbst said.
- Written by Lauren Johnson '09
- Photo by Robbie Gantt