Baker University senior Justin Toumberlin has been awarded a Pulliam Journalism Fellowship and will join the newsroom of the Arizona Republic this summer for a 10-week paid program. The fellowship offers mass media students real-world experience working with journalists, photojournalists, and editors in an urban newsroom.
Toumberlin has been on the staff of the university’s newspaper, the Baker Orange since his freshman year, serving as staff photographer, assistant photo editor, and as photo editor for the past two years.
After he graduates in May, Toumberlin will move to Phoenix to begin working as a photographer and videographer for the award-winning newspaper.
“I am interested and excited to just go exploring. I have never been to Arizona, so it’s going to be a really cool experience meeting the other people who will be working with me,” Toumberlin said.
Toumberlin is the first Baker University student to receive this fellowship, named for Eugene C. Pulliam, who was an Atchison, Kansas, native and graduated from Baker Academy, a preparatory school associated with the university, in 1906. Toumberlin attends mass media classes in Pulliam Hall, which is named after the longtime journalist.
“When I first got to Baker in 2005, the university’s newspaper was newly located in Pulliam Hall, the building named after Pulliam,” said Dr. Joe Watson, chair of the Department of Mass Media and Visual Arts. “So the fact that Justin has this prestigious honor just adds a different chapter to Baker’s history with the Pulliam family.”
Pulliam started his career as a reporter for the Kansas City Star and enjoyed a long career as a newspaper publisher, acquiring nearly 50 papers across the United States. He founded Sigma Delta Chi with fellow student journalists at DePauw University. The newspaper fraternity became the Society of Professional Journalists.
“I am most excited about using what I have learned at Baker in a professional setting and being considered in a fine group of journalists,” Toumberlin said.