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Gary James and NPR—Right Place, Right Time

Steve Charles—One of the delights of working at Wabash is being in the right place, right time when students get good news. Sometimes great news.
 
I had one of those moments Friday afternoon, when Gary James came bounding up the stairs of Kane House and into my office. 
It was late, most folks had gone home for the day. Gary’s mentor Howard Hewitt was pursuing his avocation of wine sampling in Oregon, and Jim Amidon had actually taken a day off (an historical moment in its own right.)

So I was the only one left for Gary to announce: "I just heard it—I got the internship. I’m going to be an intern at NPR." 

I haven’t seen Gary so happy since Election Night. (Gary worked hard for Obama in Montgomery County.)

Those who know Gary’s talent and accomplishments covering the Wabash community won’t be surprised that National Public Radio chose him for the coveted internship. The news editor for Indiana’s "Best Small College Newspaper" (The Bachelor earned that honor from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association under Howard’s mentorship this year), Gary was a runner-up for Indiana Collegiate Journalist of the Year, has been writing professionally for the College since his freshman year, wrote the pivotal piece for Wabash Magazine‘s "Our Town" issue, and is one of the most articulate and gregarious students we’ve had at Wabash.

Still, there’s a lot of competition for these internships (Gary was pleasantly surprised to learn it’s a paid internship!) from graduate and undergraduate students across the country. Big journalism programs. Big broadcast journalism programs. 

If The Bachelor’s win as best small college newspaper this year is the "Wabash Always Fights" team journalism story of our year, Gary’s earning the NPR internship may be the best individual story.

Coincidentally, I actually witnessed the beginning of Gary’s journey to the NPR internship, when he walked up to NPR Correspondent Ari Shapiro in after the award-winning journalist’s presentation in the Detchon Center and asked if NPR ever hired interns. I was photographing the "student/speaker interaction" and was impressed both with Gary’s audacity and Shapiro’s clear interest. 

 
That’s another delight of working at Wabash. You not only get to hear the good news, you get to see where it all starts. Right place, right time. 

In photo: NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro talks with Gary James about the challenges of broadcast journalism during Shapiro’s visit to campus last year.