Two Fresno State senior mass communication/print journalism students from Modesto — Chhun Sun and Maggie Thach — have been selected to participate in the prestigious 2006 Sports Journalism Institute in Florida and a newspaper internship this summer.

This is the first time two Fresno State students were selected in the same year, said Greg Lewis, mass communication journalism professor and adviser for The Collegian, where both students work this semester.

“Maggie and Chhun are among the top reporters we’ve had in the last few years,” Lewis said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving. That two of our students were selected out of only 12 nationwide makes us very happy. We see a lot of potential in these two students.”

The classroom portion of the program will take place June 2-11 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the Poynter Institute, followed by eight-week paid internships with daily newspapers.

Sun will intern at the Salt Lake City Tribune. He is a 2000 graduate of Modesto High School and previously interned at the Yakima Herald-Republic in Washington.

Thach will intern at the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a 2002 graduate of Thomas Downey High School and previously interned at the Salt Lake Tribune.

The pair, who also work on the Fresno State student newspaper, The Collegian, and as sports-event stringers for The Fresno Bee, are among 12 college journalism students making up the Sports Journalism Institute’s 14th class.

The nine-week training and internship program is designed to attract talented students to print journalism through opportunities in sports reporting and editing and enhance racial and gender diversity in newspaper sports departments

The Sports Journalism Institute, founded in 1993, works with the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). The institute is funded by the Tribune Foundation, Hearst Newspapers/Houston Chronicle, Associated Press Sports Editors and the New York Daily News.

Fresno State’s Mass Communication and Journalism Department offers a professionally oriented curriculum leading to bachelor and master’s of arts degrees and counts hundreds of alumni in communications industries worldwide. The department averages about 450 students annually and has a faculty of 14 led by Chair Don Priest. For more information: 559.278.2087.