Student earns AWSM support for internship

January 27, 2010

The Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) has awarded Jocelyn Syrstad, a junior journalism major, an internship scholarship -- part of a program that recognizes a select and talented group of female undergraduate students pursuing careers in sports journalism. 

Syrstad was just one of six students across the country receiving an award from AWSM this year. Her honor marks the second time in the past three years that a Penn State student has been selected for the program.

As the recipient of the Betty Brennan Scholarship, Syrstad will receive a $1,000 endowment and the opportunity for an all-expenses-paid trip to the annual AWSM convention, in addition to a paid internship in with one of the AWSM’s host organizations. In Syrstad's case, the host organization is, and she will complete a summer internship as a backup beat writer covering the Minnesota Twins.

A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Syrstad will spend a minimum of 10 weeks this summer covering the Twins. Interns in the program write six to eight stories a day, and "they learn how to think and work as a beat reporter," said Bill Hill, coordinator of the program.

With some direction from Malcolm Moran and Marie Hardin, the faculty members who lead the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, Syrstad wrote an article that was published in AWSM’s spring 2009 newsletter. With that as her first interaction with the group, she became more invested and then did not hesitate to apply for the scholarship.

Syrstad has some tangible hopes for the internship this summer.

"I just hope that I will gain a wonderful experience and knowledge of how this industry really works," she said. "I hope that it will help me improve my deadline writing ability and that it will make me more aware of what I truly need to do to be successful in this industry."

Syrstad’s writing experience includes covering sports as a staff member of The Daily Collegian and serving as a freelance reporter for The Associated Press. In the summer of 2009, she completed an internship for This Week Newspapers in Dakota, Minn.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010