KU News Release


Jan. 31, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 785-864-7644

KU ranks third in national collegiate writing competition

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is third in the nation in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program.

Known as the Pulitzers of college journalism, the awards are open to students in the 110 accredited undergraduate journalism programs in the United States. There are six writing competitions, three photojournalism competitions, three broadcast news competitions and two multimedia competitions with championship finals in each division.

KU was propelled to third place when Alyson Van Dyke, a spring 2010 graduate, earned third place in the feature writing category for “Unexpectedly Expecting.” Published in April 2010 in the University Daily Kansan, the story shed light on the decisions of four women who experienced unplanned pregnancies.

Van Dyke won a $1,500 scholarship for her third-place finish. She now reports for the Kansas City Business Journal.

Ted Frederickson, professor of journalism, praised Van Dyke’s ability to cover a controversial issue in a narrative writing style, extracting dialogue from conversations with each of the four women.

“The story is written almost cinematically,” he said. “That’s not easy to do. She wrote about a difficult topic using a challenging writing style and did both very well.”

Van Dyke is the daughter of Joseph Van Dyke and Carol Hille of Topeka and a graduate of Washburn Rural High School.

Four writing competitions remain for the 2010-11 academic year. Pennsylvania State University ranks first and Indiana University ranks second in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is fully funded and administered by the W. R. Hearst Foundation. Publisher William Randolph Hearst established the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Hearst Foundation Inc. in the 1940s, before his death in 1951. Since then, the foundations have awarded more than $500 million in grants and programs.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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