Senior Editor Olivia Wieseler Wins Journalist of The Year 


Hannah Kramer, Arts & Life Editor

“It wasn’t until I came to BV that I realized that, wow, I actually do like writing and telling stories through the written word,” Olivia Wieseler said.  

Olivia Wieseler, the Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year awardee is from St. Helena, Nebraska. This town, in Wieseler’s words, is a “small village” of 86 people. Graduating with only ten in her class, Wieseler says she did not expect to do anything spectacular in college. She planned to go to class, do homework, and then curl up in her dorm room, reading in her free time. That all changed when she came here to Buena Vista University. 

Thinking she wanted to go into the video editing career field, she began out with a double major in Digital Media and English her freshman yearHer double majoring choices led many to believe she was a writer.  

“No, not really. I just really like to read,” Wieseler would reply.  

As her time at BV continued, professors started to take notice of how Wieseler could, indeed, write.

“Jerry [Johnson] recruited me to write the script for the Mickey Mouse Cornfield story, and then I was recruited to write for The Tack, and just all of that together, I was like, wow, I actually really like writing and now I can consider myself a writer, a journalist,” Wieseler confessed.  

After joining The Tack and becoming a contributing staff writer for the opinion section, Wieseler became assistant editor for the opinion section after consistently writing. The spring of her sophomore year she became the news editor.  

“As I became more comfortable with The Tack and the organization itself, I kept wanting to challenge myself. [This is] when I really discovered that I liked to tell stories and find information, and research to really dig deep into what’s going on in this campus and what do people need to know,” Wieseler said.  

Wieseler was inducted into the Society of Colligate Journalists (SCJ), and soon took on the position of co-editor-in-chief of The Tack. Her journey of success in the journalism and Digital Media world here at BV has only escalated. As a senior, Wieseler is a Digital Media major with a minor in English and Political Journalism. She is also the senior editor of The Tack, special events producer for BVTV, social media manager for Impact, writing tutor for the CAE, and Jerry Johnson’s academic assistant. She has came a long way from the freshman who wanted nothing more than to read in her dorm room.  

Wieseler’s devotion and passion for all she is involved in has amounted to her winning the Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year 2019 SCJ Award.  

“I had no idea that I was even nominated for it, really. Andrea and Jamii didn’t tell me anything, they nominated me back in the spring and never said a thing about it,” Wieseler relayed.  

The Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year 2019 SCJ Award recognizes a SCJ student journalist who exemplifies journalistic ethics. According to the SCJ requirements, the award goes to “a student journalist who meets the highest standards of ethics, service, leadership, and technical skills.”  

“I was just kind of dumbfounded, I didn’t know what to really think. Sometimes I feel like what did I do to…? I feel as if everyone is doing just as much, everything that I’ve worked on has been a collaboration in some sense. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am without being pushed all the time,” Wieseler said.  

Wieseler was nominated for this award and was chosen out of many other nominees across the country. In order to be nominated to receive this award, a SCJ journalist must have letters of recommendation. Professor Jamii Claiborne was one of those responsible for a letter of recommendation. Her reasoning as to why Wieseler is deserving of this award is the best explanation to describe the type of person and journalist Wieseler is.  

“Olivia is committed to learning all she can about and seizing every opportunity possible in journalism. She soaks up learning like a sponge and thrives on it. However, she is also grateful for it. Although she has accomplished much (and will continue to do so over the next year), she is humble and thankful at every step. What matters to her is the learning and the work, not the recognition, Claiborne stated.  

Wieseler plans to graduate in the spring of 2020 after she completes her internship with the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.. She hopes that this internship helps her become a better journalist and looks forward to being in D.C.  

“I won’t be doing journalism for them, because it’s not a news organization, I’ll be doing communications for them. But the reason I thought this internship would be helpful would be because of all of the issues, and all of the knowledge that is in there. All of that basic research that stems or influences what journalists write about,” Wieseler explained. “I thought if I could get in there and really learn about different issues, because they talk about everything from foreign policy to technological innovations, to health care- all of these different topics. I thought if I was there amongst these people I could really absorb all of the knowledge, all of the stuff that would help me be a better journalist once I graduate because I would have a better understanding of all these different issues.”  

There is no doubt when Wieseler graduates that she will be a successful and devoted journalist. A student journalist that is beyond deserving of the, The Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year 2019 SCJ Award 

Andrea, Jamii, and Jerry, they all saw potential in me and kept pushing me to do new things and to try new things, I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone. Like Andrea says, the only way you can grow is to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and that’s definitely what they did, and now here I am with this award,” Wieseler concluded.