Just because you’ve finished school doesn’t mean you’re done learning – that’s the attitude graduates Katelyn Verstraten and Garrett Hinchey have taken and it has paid off.
Verstraten and Hinchey both graduated from UBC journalism in 2014. A year out from their degree, with jobs at The Toronto Star and the CBC, they continue to seek opportunities to further their learning.
Verstraten won the Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics and Hinchey was selected to represent Canada for the Young Reporters Program at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“It never ceases to amaze me what our graduates are able to do,” said professor Kathryn Gretsinger.
“They continue to win the most prestigious awards and recognition for their work because they know how to work hard and tell important stories.”
Verstraten will join students and recent graduates from professional schools across North America for a two-week trip to Poland and Germany.
Once there, fellows will study Holocaust sites to determine what role professionals played during the Holocaust. Fellows will then take those lessons and apply them to the current ethical challenges being faced in the fields of law, medicine, journalism and seminary.
“The lessons of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust have not become obsolete as time goes by – if anything they have become more relevant,” said Verstraten.
“I think that having a network of professional journalists I can connect with and discuss ethical dilemmas with will be invaluable in my career. One of the big benefits of UBC j-school is the group of colleagues and mentors I have to consult and debate issues with. No one person has all the answers, especially in a profession like journalism.”
This is the third time this fellowship has been awarded to UBC Journalism students and alumni. Previous winners include Allison Griner in 2013 and Aleksandra Sagan in 2012.
Hinchey will travel to the Pan Am Games in Toronto from July 8 to the 21 as Canada’s representative in the Toronto 2015 Young Reporters Program.
“I’ve gotten a chance to do a lot of sports writing so far in my career, and the stories that really grab me are the ones that transcend sports – the ones that blend into culture, family, and identity,” said Hinchey.
“Reporting at the Pan Am Games, where each country represented looks at sports through a different lens, is something that will help me fine-tune my ability to find and write those stories in the future.”
One young journalist or sports management student was chosen from each of the 41 countries participating in the Games.
Not only will Hinchey serve as a member of the press during the Games, he will also participate in networking opportunities, monthly webinars and two full days of interactive training.
“I’ve always been of the mindset that constantly challenging yourself is the only way to improve yourself and your work. This is something that’s out of my comfort zone, but in some ways, that attracts me more to the opportunity: it’s a chance to better myself as a journalist and gain some more perspective as a person.”