Shrestha receives endowed sports scholarship

Nikisun Shrestha, left, is the first recipient of the Endowed Scholarship for Sports Journalism offered by the Alumni Athletic Coordinator Larry Hymel. Hymel sees the scholarship as a way to give back to the university and a way to help future sports writers pursue their passion.
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion’s Roar

Alumni Athletic Coordinator and alumnus Larry Hymel is giving back to the university after more than 50 years of service through the Endowed Scholarship for Sports Journalism. The first recipient of this scholarship is junior accounting major Nikisun Shrestha for his sports reporting at The Lion’s Roar this past year.

Shrestha is an international student from Nepal who came to the university with an interest in sports. Shrestha is thankful to be recognized for his work and for his passion for sports journalism.

“I’m just incredibly honored to be getting the first scholarship,” said Shrestha. “Coming in as an international student from Nepal, sports was one of the first things I could really connect to. So, it has helped me meet new people, meet the coaches and players. It has kind of helped me settle in to the cultural shock. To get recognized for my efforts truly means a great deal to me.”

Shrestha is also thankful to Student Publications and the people that he has worked with for their support through his journey in sports journalism.

“I thank Dr. Lind and Ms. Lorraine for giving me this opportunity to work over here and to pursue something I love,” said Shrestha. “I like to thank Ms. April and Ms. Heather for all of their help during their time working here. I like to thank all of my editors, editors in training and the staff for just introducing and helping me grow in sports journalism. Last but not least, I want to thank Larry Hymel for recognizing my efforts. It just means a great deal to me.”

Hymel worked for the university as a student worker at The Lion’s Roar and was the first Sports Information Director for the university in 1966 after being the sports editor for The Daily Star in the same year. Hymel was the SID for 28 years before retiring to become the University Center Director for the next 11 years. In 2005, he retired once again, became the Alumni Athletic Coordinator and will retire from that position at the end of the semester.

In 2011, Hymel was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service in Sports Journalism. Earlier this semester, Hymel received the Lion For Life award from the Lions Athletic Association in Strawberry Stadium.

Hymel came up with the idea of the scholarship after being inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

“I was there because of Southeastern, and there are two other former Lions Roar sports editors in the Louisiana Hall of Fame,” said Hymel. “It all fits together. Then came the planning and eventually the actual setting up of the Endowed Scholarship for Sports Journalism. I wanted to give back to Southeastern because Southeastern has given a lot to me.”

Hymel wanted the scholarship to primarily go to students doing sports writing for the university athletics department.

“It is going to be rewarded on a semester to semester basis,” said Hymel. “My first priority because I worked with sports information for so long  is to a student who does writing in sports information. If they didn’t have that, the second choice is someone from The Lion’s Roar since I also worked there and it is still dear to my heart. If for some reason nobody qualified, the third and the final choice will be someone at the Southeastern Channel who does sports.”

Hymel wants to help students that have an interest in sports journalism continue to pursue their passion just as Hymel did.

“I wanted to give back to Southeastern in some way for all it has meant and done for me,” said Hymel. “Also, I wanted to help a young person interested in writing sports. I was fortunate enough that I had some financial help when I went to school.”

Shrestha is currently in training to become the sports editor of the Lion’s Roar.Shrestha looks forward to getting even better as a sports journalist in the future.

“I like to think of myself as a student of sports journalism,” said Shrestha. “I just want to keep on improving because I’m still new at this, and there is a lot I need to learn to improve. So, this just provides me some more motivation to continue to get better at sports journalism.”