Augustana Senior Awarded Journalism Scholarship

Senior Matthew Housiaux will serve as Forum editor of the Mirror, Augustana's student newspaper, this fall.

An Augustana senior has been named a recipient of a prestigious journalism scholarship named in honor of one of South Dakota's longest-serving political columnists.

Matthew Housiaux '15, a native of Brookings, South Dakota, is one of two recipients of the 2015 David Kranz-Argus Leader Media Journalism Scholarships. Kranz worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at the Argus Leader and other newspapers until his retirement in 2010. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded for the upcoming school year.

A journalism and history major, Housiaux will serve as the Forum section editor for the Mirror, Augustana's student newspaper, this fall. We caught up with him to learn more about his experiences at Augustana, hopes for the future, and his summer internship:

Q. You're heading into your senior year – what are your major plans for your final year at Augie? And, ideas on what's next after graduation? Career goals? (OK, this is a lot of questions packed into one.)
While I do want to spend more time with friends and generally make the most of senior year, I plan to focus primarily on my academics and my job on the school newspaper. They are my passions and, with a few special exceptions, the things that give me the most fulfillment in life.

Regarding academics, I will be completing my senior history paper on "Indian Termination Policy in South Dakota." Regarding the newspaper, I plan to use my bully pulpit as the Forum editor to reach out to the international students at Augustana and write a column about each of their home countries. Whether I will actually complete this last goal is questionable, but I certainly feel that it's worth trying.

I'll tackle the plans after graduation and career goals at the same time. My plan after graduation is to attend grad school, ideally at the University of Texas in Austin, which has a fantastic history program. My career goals are still a bit fuzzy. My long-term plan is to become a history professor, but my current experience at Kiplinger is making me wonder if I shouldn't at least try journalism out for a while.

Q. Tell us what you're doing this summer.
I am in Washington, D.C., this summer working for the Kiplinger Washington Letter. My duties so far have included copy editing, fact checking, research for other reporters and some writing of my own on various topics.

Q. Most influential professors/classes so far at Augie? And why?
This is going to seem like an Oscars speech, so get ready: I am most indebted to my journalism professors, Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Janet Blank-Libra, who each taught me how to be a journalist and why journalism matters, but in different ways. Jeffrey's "History of the American Press" showed how journalism has evolved over time and the key role the free press has played in safeguarding our democracy (just think what we would have done without Woodward and Bernstein). And I only became a marginally better photographer thanks to Janet's "Photojournalism" class, but the conversations we had on ethics and the need to evoke the humanity of one's subject as a journalist will stick with me forever.

Everyone in the history department, but especially Dr. Margaret Preston and Dr. Matt Pehl, has also had a tremendous influence on the way I see and think about the world. The present seldom makes sense without the past, and they taught me to think constructively about how and why change happens over time (and what it means for us now). And of those four individuals I specifically named, it must be said that all have spent much time outside the classroom acting as official and unofficial advisers, shooting the breeze, dispensing their wisdom and so forth. If I do become a professor, I know I want to emulate all of them.

This is the first year that two Kranz scholarships were awarded.

“We are thrilled that we are able to award two scholarships this year,” said Maricarrol Kueter, chair of the David Kranz-Argus Leader Media Journalism Scholarship Committee. “Working with young journalists was one of David’s passions and being able to assist two students in his name is gratifying.”