Rolla High School senior awarded ‘Feature Story of the Year’ from Missouri Journalism Education Association


Press Release

Rolla High School senior Lauren Ulrich, who is the Editor In Chief of ECHO, the school newspaper, and the Sowers Intern reporter for the Phelps County Focus, was awarded Feature Story of the Year by the Missouri Journalism Education Association today. The announcement came after months of evaluation by a “highly-qualified judging team” according to the Missouri JEA website.

Ulrich’s adviser, Dr. Mary Gillis submitted her feature story, “Cattle and Cowhands: the rural roots of farmlife in Missouri”, which ran in print in the March 2019 issue of ECHO Magazine, to the state competition in February. The Missouri JEA contest bestoys this award upon the top story submitted in each of the categories, including yearbook feature and sports reporting, and news, feature, opinion, sports, and in-depth reporting for newspaper. The Missouri JEA website reported that “[The winners] submitted impressive pieces of work, and this is a wonderful honor for all of the students and the schools they represent are indicative of the high quality of their publications programs.”

Ulrich was recognized earlier this year when she, and fellow ECHO staff member Genevieve Huber, attended the National Journalism Education Association convention in Washington DC. Ulrich competed in an on-site writing competition and earned an Excellent rank for her work. Huber also earned a Superior rank at the National competition.

Ulrich attended the Institute for Environmental Journalism in Bar Harbor, Maine last summer where one of her pieces, “Scientists And Fishermen Wrangle With Uncertain Future Of Maine’s Lobster Fishing Industry,” was published by iGeneration Youth and then republished in MSN. Ulrich’s was then featured in Ms. Magazine with her article “Three Girl Activists Changing the World,” which was published in The Future is Ms. series on September 10, 2019.

Ulrich is also the 2019 recipient of the annual Show-Me Soil and Water Conservation Society Scholarship. In 2019, she traveled with Rolla’s chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby to Washington, D.C., to lobby for a comprehensive, bipartisan climate bill that was active in the House.

Ulrich plans to attend Indiana University in the fall to major in Public Affairs with a concentration in Environmental Management. She received the Boch Family Scholarship from the O’Neill School of Public Affairs to assist in her education.

The winning story is now being featured on this site.