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Recent grad named finalist in national newswriting competition

June 26, 2014 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Gabriella FullerRecent Liberty University graduate Gabriella Fuller was named a finalist in the 2014 Chandler Student Religion Reporting Contest, sponsored by the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA). Her entry included opinion pieces she wrote for the Liberty Champion, the university’s student-run newspaper.

Fuller joins nine other finalists from institutions across the country and beyond, including the University of California (Berkeley), the University of Toronto, the University of Washington, and Brigham Young University. Entries were submitted from as far away as Europe.

Winners will be announced in Atlanta on Sept. 20 at the RNA Annual Banquet.

“Going head-to-head with students from other major universities, Gabriella has distinguished herself wonderfully,” said Dr. Norman Mintle, dean of Liberty’s School of Communication & Creative Arts. “What a pleasure to nurture her writing artistry and watch God use her talent for His glory. Every day here in the School of Communication & Creative Arts we empower and enliven the God-given creativity in each of our student artists. Filled with His Spirit — the original source of creativity and imagination — our graduates are engaging the popular culture in powerfully meaningful ways.”

Fuller graduated with a degree in Communication Studies with a specialization in Journalism and a minor in Global Studies. While at Liberty she worked with the Liberty Champion for a year-and-a-half. She began as an opinion writer and worked her way up to opinion editor, where in addition to managing the section, she contributed to news and features.

“Gabriella engages fully in her studies and pursues excellence in whatever she is doing. I am glad that the RNA recognized her work at this level,” said Deborah Huff, associate professor of journalism and Liberty Champion advisor.

Fuller also spent a year working for Liberty Counsel, writing broadcast scripts and press releases, and served as a media journalist student worker in the Center for Global Engagement for two years.

She will return to the Champion staff this fall as a graduate student assistant while she pursues her master’s degree in Strategic Communication.

“Studying at Liberty University was an incredible blessing,” Fuller said. “Though I always knew I had a passion for writing, it wasn't until my years at Liberty that I truly discovered how God could use that passion for His glory. … My professors continuously challenged me to hold not only every thought, but every part of my editing and reporting process, captive to Christ. This constant striving to apply biblical wisdom to a predominantly secular profession stretched and inspired me both spiritually and professionally.”

Fuller said she hopes to continue using her writing as an avenue to share the Gospel.

“Being recognized by the Religion Newswriters Association is extremely encouraging, and it serves as a reminder that what we say and do as students, and ultimately as Christians, truly matters — that our words and our actions can and do make a difference in the world. 

“My time at Liberty taught me that being a Champion for Christ is so much more than just a motto, it is an identity. I am grateful for this opportunity to share my writing, and I am proud to represent Liberty in the competition.”