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UIndy Students Earn National, International Honors with the Reflector, Speech & Debate Team

Comm students in Ireland

Written by Addison Campbell

There are various Communication students here at UIndy who have accomplished a lot and up first is Mia Lehmkuhl, who was named a Pulliam Intern by the Hoosier State Press Association. The Eugene S. Pulliam Internship is offered to those who are undergraduate students from Indiana or attending Indiana colleges and universities at Indiana newspapers. This Internship offers work at daily and nondaily newspapers in Indiana and encourages students to enter careers in newspapers. 

 When Mia found out she earned the internship, she stated that, “being named an HSPA Pulliam Intern is such an exciting opportunity. It means a lot to me as a student journalist to be able to work with The Daily Journal and learn from all the great people there. I have always loved telling stories, and journalism allows me the opportunity to tell others’ stories and amplify their voices.” 

Mia also expressed how important this opportunity is, “especially in the divisive political landscape we have in the U.S. right now, it is crucial to uplift and support student journalism. The Pulliam internship is a great example of this, and it means so much to me.”

UIndy provides so many opportunities for its students, including The Reflector, which won 36 state/regional level awards this year. Mia Lehmkuhl, who is the editor-in-chief, stated, “The Reflector has definitely, first and foremost, given me the confidence to go for such a big internship.” 

The Reflector teaches journalists many skills including leadership. “I learned how to be a leader in my roles as opinion editor and editor-in-chief, but I have also grown so much as a writer since I first stepped into the newsroom,” said Mia. 

Mia also expressed her gratitude to Dr. Jeanne Criswell by stating she, “has been nothing but a pillar of support, mentorship, and encouragement in my free time here- as well as all of my talented peers whom I have the pleasure of working with.” 

Another outstanding student, Jesutofunmi Oyeleke ’26 (Computer Engineering) won the international championship in audio narration at the the International Championship in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Stephanie Wideman, director of the UIndy Forensic Speech and Debate Team, remarked  that, “Jesutofunmi Oyeleke’s international win continues our tradition of excellence at the International Forensic Association’s 34th Annual Championship. This is the third year in a row that one of our speech and debate students has won an event championship.”

“What is unique about Oyeleke is he is only a sophomore. You normally only see more senior members of the team give this level of performance. In addition to his win in audio narration, he placed third in impromptu speaking out of 120 competitors. The future is certainly bright for him. I am sure this is not the last time we will be celebrating his success,” said Dr. Wideman. 

These various groups and students continue to work hard throughout the school year, and their accomplishments do not go unnoticed. UIndy offers many opportunities to its students that allow them to grow and prepare them for their next steps in their careers.