CORVALLIS, Ore. - An Oregon State University fall term graduate from Salem has earned a prestigious 11-week internship at The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. Raju Woodward, a 2001 graduate of Salem's Charles A. Sprague High School, earned his bachelor's degree in history from OSU in December. He was informed of his selection for the internship spot earlier this fall.

"It is a tremendous honor," Woodward said.

Competition is fierce for the position, and only OSU and University of Oregon students are eligible to apply for the single internship each term, said Frank Ragulsky, OSU director of Student Media.

Woodward has served as a reporter and sports editor at the OSU student newspaper, The Daily Barometer. A Barometer article about OSU football player Alexis Serna, who rebounded after a shaky game against Louisiana State University, earned Woodward an honorable mention in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association 2005 Collegiate Newspaper Contest.

Last summer his commitment to ethical journalism and good writing earned Woodward a Charles Snowden internship at the Albany Democrat-Herald newspaper.

Woodward credits his history teacher at Sprague High School, James Nicholson, with teaching him one of the most important lessons a reporter will ever learn.

"Mr. Nicholson was always there to support me in anything I had ever done. He showed me respect is a two-way street, and as a journalist that is an important thing to understand."

Woodward began his reporting career at Sprague.

"I was a sports writer and an assistant sports editor in high school. The turning point in my life, however, came when I went to a summer journalism workshop for high school students. I was able to tour The Oregonian and I wrote a couple of articles for The Oregonian during my senior year in high school.

When Woodward arrived at OSU, he started out writing news, but soon left the paper.

"I had given up on journalism and just decided to be a history teacher." But during his junior year, lured back by the idea of writing about OSU sports, Woodward returned to The Barometer newsroom.

For his internship, Woodward will spend his first five weeks covering sports, and the remainder of his time will be spent covering a general news beat.

He plans to stay in journalism and would like to stick in the Pacific Northwest.

"I'm the biggest OSU sports nut ever, that's my passion. I've been a Beaver fan forever - that's the hardest part of leaving campus for me."

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Frank Ragulsky, 541-737-3374