Nicole Ault

Hillsdale College Students Accepted to 2018 World Journalism Institute

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Hillsdale, Mich. – Hillsdale College congratulates junior Nicole Ault, sophomore Abby Liebing and 2017 Hillsdale graduate Leah Hickman on their acceptance to this summer’s World Journalism Institute (WJI) at Dordt College. The course, “Backpack Journalism in a Digital Age,” will focus on developing the storytelling and technical skills needed to become qualified for the best media job opportunities in print, photography, video and sound.

“This is a remarkable educational opportunity for our students,” said John J. Miller, director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. “We’re excited to see them gain world-class training and practical experience in their chosen field through this prestigious program.”

Ault, Liebing and Hickman are joining a WJI class at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa that includes 28 students from 18 states and three countries.

WJI is a free two-week course sponsored by WORLD Magazine with a mission to recruit, equip and encourage the next generation of Christian journalists. The course offers instruction in the nuts-and-bolts of backpack journalism for convergent media from a Christian worldview. The course focuses on the marketable skills needed for jobs working with newspapers, magazines, websites, television and radio. With professional mentors by their side, participants draft print stories, record radio spots, shoot photography slide shows and film video reports. WJI’s workshops and seminars are led by guest speakers who have spent decades honing their skills in these areas. The course will emphasize news and feature writing and reporting, whether that be for Christian or secular organizations. Classes will include short lectures and emphasize discussion and analysis of writings.

“At the conclusion of the course, I hope to leave the cornfields of Iowa with a new set of tools that will help me be an effective communicator in this world of noise,” said Hickman.

“WORLD’s reporting has informed my worldview since my childhood,” said Ault. “I’m excited to develop my journalism skills under the talented, godly training and leadership of the magazine’s reporters.”

WJI held its first summer training program in 1999. Since then, young journalists have gathered in Asheville, NC; Washington DC; Los Angeles, CA; New York City, NY; Austin, Texas and Sioux Center, IA. Graduates of the program often secure paid internships, and many have gone on to work in such newsrooms as the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Des Moines Register and WORLD Magazine. Several stories written by the students at last year’s WJI were published in local and regional newspapers, a national magazine and a radio program.

Through the generous support of donors, WJI is able to offer this course free to accepted students each year—including not only tuition, but also housing, meals and transportation to and from the Sioux City and Sioux Falls airports.

WJI will be held May 17 to June 2, 2018. To learn more about WJI and hear about the experiences of students from previous years, visit WJI’s website at

Hillsdale College’s Dow Journalism Program is directed by John J. Miller. Maria Servold serves as assistant director of the program.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Emily Stack Davis
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