Embracing Opportunities

“It seems like, if you go to a bigger school, you have to pick your one thing,” says Georgia Lodewyk. “But, since Dordt is a small university, I’ve been able to be involved in many different things.”

“Many different things” is right: she played on Dordt’s soccer team for a couple years; served as a resident assistant for a year; was involved in choir for four years; and participated in the World Journalism Institute for a summer. She spent a semester studying abroad in Seville, Spain, honing her Spanish-speaking skills.

Along the way, she has found chances to grow as a journalist, including by being on the Diamond staff for four years.

“I loved the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone as a Diamond writer, and it’s been great to be a co-editor this year as well,” she says. “I enjoy hearing story pitches from our writers, and then considering how I can best help support them as they try to tell the best story they can.”

Lodewyk and her co-editor oversee more than 40 writers, in partnership with Instructor of Journalism Lee Pitts. They produce seven issues each semester, and getting stories from possibilities to published takes work.

“It’s a huge responsibility, but I’m glad I’ve had the experience,” she says. “Every issue, we run into challenges: you don’t know what you’re going to get from your writers, and you don’t know how it’s all going to piece together. So, when the final product goes out—well, as an editor, I feel a sense of joy and pride, because I know what had to happen behind the scenes for the issue to make it to print.”

During her junior year, Lodewyk knew she wanted to get more journalism experience. She asked Pitts if he had any advice for how she might land an internship. “He told me, ‘You’re going to have to cold call,’” she recalls. “The NW Iowa REVIEW called me back first. On my first day, they handed me a camera and said, ‘Here’s your story. Go write it.’ There was so much I had to learn from that first story, but I was ready to jump in because of what I’d already learned at Dordt.”

Lodewyk says that she tries to do her best with every story that she is given. One of her first stories required her to do a ride-along with a Woodbury County police officer; although she was nervous at first, she found the experience to be very interesting. She has covered city politics, attending city council meetings and County Board of Supervisors meetings.

In fall 2023 when Representative Randy Feenstra hosted the “Faith and Family with the Feenstras” event on Dordt’s campus, Lodewyk had the chance to be part of a press gaggle with Florida Governor and then-presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. Lodewyk stood shoulder to shoulder with reporters from The New York Times, BBC, CNN, ABC, and others as they peppered Governor DeSantis with questions.

“That was definitely so much fun,” she says. “It was great to meet other journalists there as well and talk about the industry.”

After graduation, Lodewyk and her sister plan to take a trip to England and the Netherlands. From there, Lodewyk plans to keep her options open.

“During my time at Dordt, I’ve learned that there are so many options to serve God and do work in his kingdom,” she says. “No matter what I do, I hope to combine my love for people and my interest in hearing other people’s stories.”