Taryn Luna is attending the New York Times Student Journalism Institute.

Taryn Luna
Taryn Luna

When Taryn Luna found out she was one of only 20 students nationwide chosen to attend the New York Times Student Journalism Institute in Miami this January, she was stunned. Luna, an OSU junior majoring in New Media Communications, thought the opportunity seemed too good to be true.

Participants at the Institute, which is for members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, often go on to intern or work at prestigious news organizations like The Washington Post, the Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and, of course, The New York Times itself.

Although Luna considered it a long shot when she wrote her 500-word essay and sent samples of her work to apply for the Institute, she has no reservations about going. “I’m so excited to work with students who are passionate about doing this for a living,” says Luna.

While at the 10-day Institute, Luna and her fellow students will work alongside veteran journalists from the Times, The Boston Globe and the Time’s Company’s regional newspapers in a newsroom environment. Past participants have been dispatched into Miami to cover presidential speeches and campaign events, the funeral of a famous mob leader, issues such as immigration, and dozens of other stories.

Luna started at OSU as an English major, but soon decided that writing papers on Shakespeare wasn’t for her. She switched majors and joined the staff at the Barometer, where she likes most to cover stories that have an impact, like OSU professor Dennis Hruby’s smallpox vaccine.

“Taryn is exactly the kind of student who will thrive in the Times’ program,” says New Media Communications professor Pam Cytrynbaum, who recommended Luna for the Institute. “It is especially an honor for her to be selected because she isn’t coming from a traditional journalism program, but from our New Media program.”

Throughout her time in Miami, Luna plans on keeping a blog to chronicle her experiences reporting there.

“It’s great that I have Oregon State backing me,” says Luna. “Everyone in the department has been so supportive.”

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