Co-Director Elizabeth Trevathan named 2022 Minnesota Journalist of the Year


Kathryn Campbell

DOUBLE JOY. Co-Director Elizabeth Trevathan smiles as she receives her Journalist of the Year award. Trevathan said, “I think 9th grade me is freaking out right now. It feels very strange… very surreal.”

Four years ago, the words “State Journalist of the Year” were a faint echo in 9th-grade Elizabeth Trevathan’s world. But now a senior, the title is Trevathan’s to wear.

Walking on stage to receive her award during today’s X-period assembly, Trevathan said, “It was one of those moments where I had a lot of emotions and was very excited. I was like don’t cry, that’s what you do, don’t cry.”

But the glory and validation that Trevathan felt from receiving this award was not the result of a singular moment; instead, it was of the cumulation of her four years of dedication to student journalism. From a staff writer to news editor and most current Director position on the publication’s team, Trevathan has been able to continuously write and lead staff because of her profound passion for journalism. Even as her responsibilities as a member of the RubicOnline grew when she first stepped into the Director role, Trevathan has maintained an appreciation for each part of the writing cycle, something that she finds has made her achievements even more meaningful. “I enjoy the process- brainstorming, writing, interviewing, editing- so it was kind of a validation that when I put effort into my passions, I do get things out of it,” Trevathan said.

Related to her journalism experience as well, Trevathan’s biology and environmental science interests have been a prominent factor of her continued excellence in journalism.

Taking on her [SUSTAINABILITY & ETHICS] beat in junior year, Trevathan has been granted life-altering experiences to write for her community and learn about science on a local, national and international scale. From topics from Starbucks child labor to Line 3, Trevathan believes that her experiences as a student journalist will help her as she double majors in physics and environmental studies at Macalester College next year. “I try to find ways to combine my love for science with journalism cause I think that’s where change can happen,” Trevathan said.

Balancing the line between being a director, keeping people accountable and also like being their friend. It’s a hard balance to hit.

— co-Director Elizabeth Trevathan

Being able to blend a multitude of her passions in her work hasn’t been the only highlight for Trevathan. Besides the writing aspects of journalism, a surprising source of satisfaction Trevathan has felt on staff also stems from her leadership role as a Director. Trevathan said, “I just found it really rewarding to sit down and explain something to my staff and watch them learn something new or think in a different way or come up with a story idea that they’re really passionate about.”

Of course, as a Director, there are also many obstacles that Trevathan has faced. One of them is maintaining professional yet amicable relationships between peers who are simultaneously her staff members yet also friends outside the classroom. “Balancing the line between being a director, keeping people accountable and also like being their friend. It’s a hard balance to hit,” Trevathan said.

Yet with a big heart, determination and lots of loving support, Trevathan is grateful for her impressive results and the experience she has gained along the way. Trevathan said, “I think a little bit of it [winning this award] is just validation because the only reason why I do journalism and am on Rubicon is because I enjoy it. So thank you to the people at SPA who have supported me. Thank you to my co-Director, Ms. Campbell and my parents who always thought I was a little crazy for wanting to do journalism but got over it.”

With college decisions already in place, Trevathan is now focused on rounding out her senior year with a strong and exciting end: applying and attending the National High School Journalism Convention and competition in Los Angeles, California, this April.

“I think 9th grade me is freaking out right now. It feels very strange… very surreal, ” Trevathan said.

Check out Trevathan’s full portfolio here.