Awards at the First Amendment Days

Kendra Bries

This year is the second time that the Greenlee School and Kappa Tau Alpha Diversity and Inclusion Awards have been presented. One of the awards is given to a professional journalist who has ties to Iowa and the other is given to an Iowa State student.

This year Ally Karsyn, of Siouxland Public Media and creator of Ode, and Emily Blobaum, of the Iowa State Daily, were the recipients of the awards.

Blobaum is the managing editor of the Iowa State Daily and received the award for her work on invisible disabilities, DACA, and the Daily’s Voices project. She has written multiple articles for the Daily about various disabilities at Iowa State, many of the people she met at the Alliance for Disability Awareness.

“I try to be as transparent as possible,” Blobaum said.

Blobaum has also written about DACA and the recipients of it. To tell the story as purely as possible she took an unconventional approach to the interviews.

“We gave them the questions ahead of time,” Blobaum said. “Every single word in the story is their own, except for the opening paragraphs.”

Karsyn is the creator of Ode, a platform that allows people from the Sioux City area to tell their story to others from their area. So far, over 90 stories have been told at 16 events, with the most recent being themed as “Just Keep Going”.

“It’s amazing the things you can come back from,” Karsyn said.

Her inspiration came from people on the Internet only reading headlines and then commenting based on that.

“Would you say that to my face?” Karsyn said.

She has not received a single negative comment yet on Ode.

“Diversity is everywhere,” Blobaum said.