By: Jillian Wilschke—
Muncie, IN – Ball State University student Grace Hollars, a resident of Muncie, Indiana, will take her photography skills to South Korea next month to cover the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Hollars, who is studying photojournalism at Ball State, will report from the games through the university’s Department of Journalism’s immersive learning experience BSU at the Games. The student-run news agency debuted at the London 2012 Olympics and members have been to both the Winter Olympics in Russia and the summer games in Brazil.
“I’m the only student photographer besides my professor. I think I’m more anxious than excited. I’m a go getter— I want to get to work. I’m ready for the challenge,” Hollars said.
Hollars and other four students are being led by Ryan Sparrow, Ball State journalism professor, and will provide daily coverage of the games from February 9-‐25. Because of Ball State’s experience with previous Olympic contests, TeamUSA granted full media credentials to the students.
Previous BSU at the Games students have had limited “behind the scenes” credentials and have not had access to actual competitions like they will now.
“I have some pretty sweet press credentials unlike my trip to Rio. I’ll be really focusing on the actual games, rather than the culture of city,” Hollars said, “We’ll be doing culture stories when we have time, but with the amazing access we have to the floor of every single event, I really think we are going to immerse ourselves in the excitement of the games.”
In the past, students have produced stories, news graphics, photos and videos that have appeared in major news outlets such as the Huffington Post, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune.
WTHR-TV, an NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, NBC, the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer will serve as partners for BSU at the Games.
“Ball State has shown me I could be great at what I do, but the journeys and work I’ve done throughout my life has prepared me for this trip. Somewhere in between the long hours and falling down to stand right back up, was the difference. My professors saw that difference and they put their faith in me to make the not only them proud, Department of Journalism, CCIM, and Ball State proud,” Hollars said.
Fans may follow the Olympics through the eyes of the students through Twitter @bsuatthegames and at facebook.com/bsuatthegames. The project’s website bsuatthegames.com, will have original stories, blogs and photos.