The Richmond Times-Dispatch welcomed five interns this summer across four departments: metro news, photo, sports and copy editing.
Katherine Lutge, metro news
Education and involvement: Katherine is a rising senior at Virginia Tech, double majoring in multimedia journalism and political science. At Tech, she is The New York Times campus ambassador, the event coordinator for the Society of Professional Journalists and the alumnae relations director for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Katherine graduated from James River High School’s Leadership and International Relations Center in 2019.
Experience: This is Katherine’s second Richmond news internship following her internship at NBC12 News (WWBT-TV) last summer where she worked as a digital content producer. She worked in child care in the summer of 2020 and was a camp counselor at Westview on the James for three summers.
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Fun fact: “I have gone by four nicknames: Kat, Kate, Katie and KEBL [my initials]. I can tell when I met someone by the name they know me by.”
Most surprising aspect of working at RTD so far: “So far the most surprising, but amazing, thing is the independence I have as a reporter. I love that I get to see a story from start to finish. It’s exciting to see your name in print on a byline, especially when it’s on the front page. One of my favorite stories was picked up by The Associated Press and was shared on many news sites, including The Washington Post.”
Favorite thing(s) about RVA: “Richmond has been my home my entire life, but I am still discovering it. I especially love art, the James River and all the breweries and restaurants. Working at the RTD has allowed me to see more of the city I’ve grown up in.”
Career aspirations: “I hope to work in political journalism following elections or government. I would love to work in Washington, D.C., one day.”
Madyson Fitzgerald, metro news
Hometown: South Chesterfield
Education and involvement: Rising senior at the University of Richmond majoring in journalism and leadership studies
Experience: Copy chief at The Collegian (UR’s student-led newspaper), communications assistant at UR’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, former editorial intern at The Henrico Citizen, former copywriting intern at Thompson Hospitality LLC and former contributor at Urban Views RVA
Fun fact: “I won an award at the Miss Virginia Princess Pageant in 2006.”
Most surprising aspect of working at RTD so far: “I think the most surprising aspect of working here so far has been the amount of encouragement I’ve received to cover things that matter to me. I’ve actually had numerous people ask what topics interest me most these past few weeks, and they’ve all been helpful in providing more information or recommending people to speak with that may have more information.”
Favorite thing(s) about RVA: “I love that Richmond is like a big little city. There’s always something to do without it being too overwhelming at the same time. To be more specific, though, I really love the Chesapeake Pizza at Bottom’s Up in Shockoe Bottom, picnics at Libbie Hill Park, skating at the Rollerdome, basketball games at UR and VCU, late-night runs with my friends to the Cookout on Broad Street, the little boutiques in Carytown and so much more. I just feel like there’s never a dull moment here, and I love it.”
Career aspirations: “After graduating next spring, I want to continue working in daily print journalism. I really enjoy reporting on climate change and housing, so I hope that I can continue to follow those beats. I’m also interested in exploring markets outside of Virginia to see what other regions have to offer.”
Armond Feffer, photo
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Education and involvement: Armond is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri Class of 2020. He majored in photojournalism.
Experience: Armond has worked with The Denver Gazette, The Indian Express and the Columbia Missourian before RTD.
Fun fact: “I can name every country’s capital city!”
Most surprising aspect of working at RTD so far: “I am astounded at how helpful everyone has been. Colleagues always stop what they are doing to take the time to assist me or answer my questions. I have never felt like ‘the intern.’”
Favorite thing(s) about RVA: “The James River, the rich history and the food!”
Career aspirations: “I would love to be a staff photographer for a wire agency one day.”
Joe Dodson, sports
Education and involvement: Graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in digital and broadcast journalism. Was a staff writer for the Commonwealth Times and the sports director for WVCW.
Experience: Joe published articles for the VCU Capital News Service wire system that were shared with such publications as The Washington Post and Virginia Business Magazine. He spent last summer as a broadcast intern for the Tri-City Chili Peppers, where he gained experience directing live broadcasts.
Fun fact: “I minored in anthropology in college because I am fascinated by primatology and getting to know other cultures.”
Most surprising aspect of working at RTD so far: “I have been pleasantly surprised by the veteran staffers’ willingness to help me as a journalist.”
Favorite thing(s) about Richmond: “I’ve loved every part of living in Richmond over the last four years, but if I had to pick my favorite thing, it is enjoying the James River during the summer.”
Career aspirations: “I hope to continue to share the stories of the community I live in.”
Bre Offenberger, copy editing
Hometown: Vienna, W.Va.
Education and involvement: Bre graduated from Ohio University in April with a bachelor of science in journalism and an English minor. She worked for the campus newspaper, The Post, as copy chief for two years and became managing editor her senior year.
Experience: Bre has worked for CityScene Magazine as an editorial assistant, StartupNation as an editorial intern mainly focused on editing, and Play Too Much as a music writing intern. She currently freelances for Evergreen Entertainment, a music public relations agency, as an editor and publicity coordinator.
Fun fact: “I won a tennis state championship in high school, then quit playing competitively right after. I still watch it on TV constantly. If I’m not working, I’m probably catching up on tennis news.”
Most surprising aspect of working at RTD so far: “Without a doubt the camaraderie. I’ve never felt so welcomed so quickly, and everyone is so kind and willing to put everything down to help you out when you’re in a bind.”
Favorite thing(s) about RVA: “It feels so big yet so small at once. It has everything, but it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. It’s very cute, quaint and homey.”
Career aspirations: “I’d like to work my way up the editing ladder, hopefully to a senior editing position. I don’t see myself ever leaving editing, and I’m perfectly fine with that.”