MPR/Gary Eichten Fellowship


Alex Forster and Cindy Gonzales with MPR mentor, Gary Eichten 

In response to a gift to Minnesota Public Radio, the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University is pleased to offer two student fellowships at $5,000 each for full-time, summer internships with Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Next summer (2014), one student from the College of St. Benedict and one student from St. John's University, will be selected to serve as MPR/Gary Eichten Fellows. Selected students will complete an internship at MPR, located in downtown St. Paul, learning the basics of news writing, reporting and production with a goal to write and produce material for MPR newscasts. This prestigious fellowship opportunity was created in honor of Gary Eichten, a 1969 St. John's University graduate, who wore many hats during his award-winning, 40-plus year career at Minnesota Public Radio.

Selected Fellows will work full-time at MPR beginning June 2, 2014 and continuing through August 8, 2014. Students may elect to earn credits for the experience; those choosing to do so will work with the Assistant Director of Experiential Learning & Community Engagement on an individual basis to set up payment and assessment for credits earned. Prior to their commencement as Fellows, students selected must participate in a training seminar in May 2014. Finally, following their summer-long internship, Fellows will submit an audio-visual presentation highlighting their summer experience, as well as offer a poster presentation of learning to the community at CSB/SJU's Scholarship & Creativity Day the following April.

Please note, students will not be allowed to have any other paid employment during the ten-week fellowship. Fellowship stipends will be paid directly to the student by MPR, along with reimbursement for parking or bus costs incurred.

Students with a diversity of life experience are encouraged to apply.

Position Responsibility:

  • Learn writing, reporting and production techniques for radio.

  • Make calls to news sources.

  • Edit tape.

  • Assist with production.

Required Education and Experience:

  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program at the College of St. Benedict or St. John's University with Sophomore or Junior standing as of Fall 2013.

  • Coursework must have an emphasis in writing, communications, English or a related field

Required Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • Awareness of current events, news topics and issues is essential.
  • Ability to follow directions and work under deadlines.
  • Self-motivated, resourceful, curious, and detail-oriented.

Preferred Skills and Experience:

  • Strong writing skills preferred with previous high school or college newspaper experience or media work (writing and/or photography) desirable.
  • Some familiarity with basic production skills (audio or video editing) desirable, and/or some experience with online production and editing.
  • Experience using social media platforms, computer graphics and/or data visualization helpful.

Please feel free to contact Laura Hammond, Assistant Director of Experiential Learning & Community Engagement, at any questions. The application deadline to be considered for an MPR/ Gary Eichten Fellowship is Sunday, January 26, 2014. The selection process will begin that week with selection committee review and anticipated decisions/notification of Fellowship awarding by March 1.


Those interested in applying should submit the following items directly to

1) Cover Letter:

a. Why are you interested in the position and how will it parallel personal interests and current educational pursuits?

b. What experiences do you hope to gain from the Fellowship?

c. Describe an example of something in your background that gives you a unique life perspective.

d. Discuss an MPR news story that particularly resonated with you, and why.

e. Do you have the required and/or preferred skills and experience listed above? If so, be sure to include this on your resume and highlight pertinent skill sets in your cover letter. If not, please explain how you would go about acquiring those skills.

f. Indicate your willingness and ability to discuss the fellowship experience at public forums to be held in Spring 2015;

2) Résumé: include relevant paid and unpaid work/volunteer experiences, relevant course or other training, conferences or workshops attended, honors and awards, public talks or media involvement, and other skills such as languages or computer skills;

3) References: include full contact information for three (3) references. Please select various references that are able to give a holistic view on academics, non-academics, skills, etc.

4) Two Writing Samples: submit your strongest writing samples regardless of what they were used for.