CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2014
EXCELLENCE IN STUDENT JOURNALISM AWARD WINNERS
Adam Baumgartner, Ball State University -- 1st place
Ellie Price, Franklin College -- 2nd place
Molly Jirasek, Indiana University -- 3rd place
(L-R) Ellie Price of Franklin College, 2nd place; and Molly Jirasek of Indiana University, 3rd place.
The Indianapolis Press Club Foundation is reinvigorating its scholarship programs with the new Excellence in Student Journalism award, which was presented for the first time on Nov. 8, 2014. The winner and the two runners up represent the the best in the next generation of journalists from Indiana colleges and universities.
The foundation reached out to journalism departments at colleges and universities across Indiana and asked them to nominate their top student journalist for this new award. Among the requirements were that nominees be active in student media; strong reporters, writers, broadcasters or photographers; and committed to working in journalism.
The 1st place recipient of the Excellence in Student Journalism award, Adam Baumgartner of Ball State University, has a blend of reporting, graphic and design skills. Michael Holmes, chairperson of Ball State's Department of Journalism, quoted one of Baumgartner's professors who said he ranks among the most talented communication design students. Baumgartner received $5,000 and because the top student came from Ball State, professor Holmes received $1,000 for the university's journalism school from the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation.
Second place winner, Ellie Price of Franklin College, brings a range of skills and passions to the profession. She has embraced web and newspaper design, equipping her well in whatever course she takes after graduation. John Krull, director of the college's Pulliam School of Journalism, called her a gifted and tenacious reporter. She received $2,000.
The recipient of the third place $1,000 award, Molly Jirasek, is a broadcast journalism student at Indiana University. She showed professionalism and good reporting in the pieces she submitted. The professor who nominated Jirasek, Bonnie Brownlee, called her a model broadcast journalism student who is inquisitive, passionate and determined.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LAST ROW -- BEST IN COLLEGIATE JOURNALISM AWARD WINNERS
This year, in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Foundation awarded cash prizes on May 22, 2014 for news, features and sports writing. The awards -- $1,031, $1,032 and $1,033 -- mirror the checks the last row drivers receive for 31, 32 and 33 cents.
With help from the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, the following Indianapolis area high school students attended the High School Journalism Institute at Indiana University during the summer of 2013.
Tajhanae Gillard -- Lawrence Central High School
Brianna Kirk -- Emmerich Manual High School
Molli Loftus -- Lawrence Central High School
Tiffani-Angel Sheffield -- Emmerich Manual High School
"Without your help I would not be attending at all. Thank you." -- Tajhanae Gillard, scholarship recipient.
"It means a lot to me that I was picked. Thank you for choosing me." -- Milli Loftus, scholarship recipient
"My students and I are elated that they'll be atteding the High School Jounralism Institute in Bloomington this summer. Neither would be going if not for your assistance.... Thank you for caring for our students, and in doing so, for also caring for the future of our profesion." -- Elizabeth Granger, advisor, Cub Reporter, Lawrence Central High School.
Congratulations to the 2011-2012
Charlie Scudder, Indiana University, $5,000
Lauren Sedam, Indiana University, $5,000
Among the scholarships the IPCF hands out are:
Maurice and Robert Early Scholarship was created to honor the press club's first president, Maurice Early, a columnist and political reporter for The Indianapolis Star, and his brother Rober201t Early, who was managing editor of The Star for 34 years. The Early Scholarship goes to students who are pursuing a career in journalism and are enrolled at an Indiana college or university.
Walter E. and Mary E. Hemphill Scholarship was established in 1997. This fund grants journalism scholarships based on need to talented journalism students.
Our 2010 Scholarship winners:
- Sean Morrison, Indiana University, $2,000
Maurice & Robert Early Scholarship
- Caitlin Johnston, Indiana University, $2,000
- Rachel Stark, Indiana University, $2,000
- Aisha Townsend, Butler University, $1,000
- Stephanie Kuzydym, Indiana University, $1,000
The Scholarship Committee was absolutely delighted this year to receive 69 scholarship applications this year, more than we’ve ever had. It was a surprise.
Only nine entries had arrived one day before the deadline. But, in what can only be described as true journalistic fashion, 60 entries arrived on the deadline or in our post office box in the days just following it.
It was an extremely difficult judging process because we had some very talented student journalists who applied and we were sad to pass on so many good entries.
Ultimately, we settled on students who appeared very committed to journalism careers who submitted absolutely outstanding writing samples. We were inspired by these writers.
The Hemphill Scholarship, which was endowed by a family who left funds for this purpose to the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, went to Sean Morrison, an Indiana University junior. He received $2,000.
The judges were crazy about Sean’s descriptive and interesting stories, which included a compelling portrait of a high-jumper. Sean told us in his essay that he was 7 years old when he discovered journalism and made his career choice.
“Forget being a Power Ranger – I wanted to be a journalist. The whole uniformed-hero thing would’ve been worse pay and longer hours, anyway,” he wrote. “Today, I’m not so sure donning a white jumpsuit and fighting crime is a worse job in terms of hours, pay or even levels of stress and sanity. That hasn’t changed my plans to be a journalist, though.”
We feel confident that we will be seeing great things from Sean.
The judges awarded two Maurice & Robert Early Scholarships, which are $2,000 each and named for former Indianapolis Star journalists.
Our first winner was Caitlin Johnston, an Indiana University senior.
Caitlin is a fantastic writer who has a talent for description and is clearly dedicated to the craft. She spent many nights at a Steak & Shake to write an interesting profile about a waitress there and spent an evening with some teens who were smoking synthetic marijuana for a story in The Journal Gazette about whether the drug should be criminalized.
Caitlin wrote in her essay that she wants “to produce good, honest stories. I want to inform and to inspire. I want to write so that setting down the paper or clicking a different link never crosses the reader’s mind.”
We are confident she is the kind of writer who can achieve that.
Our second Early Scholarship winner was Rachel Stark, another Indiana University senior.
Rachel captured our attention with a fascinating story about graffiti on a bathroom wall. She discovered an ongoing conversation on the wall, one that started with a woman writing about her bulimia and continued with advice from her fellow students. She even tracked down one of the students who wrote on the wall.
Rachel oversees four sections of IU’s Insight magazine and writes as well for the Indiana Daily Student and Running Times magazine. Her letter of recommendation, from IU professor Nancy Comiskey, said that Rachel “demands excellence. She’s a talented reporter and writer who’s going to get even better.”
We believe that.
The judges also chose two winners for the Lennis Scholarship, which is named for another former Indianapolis Star writer.
Each Lennis Scholarship was $1,000 and at least one was designated for a Butler University student. That winner was Aisha Townsend.
Aisha is only a sophomore at Butler but she has already completed two internships that involve writing, even as she has been deeply involved in charity work and several student organizations.
Aisha attended the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Gary and two of her clips came from her high school years, when she was writing a guest column for the Gary Post Tribune.
We were impressed with the maturity in that writing even as a high school student and we also liked a story she wrote for the Butler Collegian about the experiences of an African-American studies professor at a majority white university.
Our second Lennis Scholarship winner was Stephanie Kuzydym.
Stephanie is an Indiana University junior who specializes at the Indiana Daily Student in sports but wrote some impressive news stories when she interned for the South Bend Tribune. We liked her story about a man who was left homeless after his house was condemned. It puts the reader right in the middle of the home with vivid descriptions but the newsier parts of the story are handled deftly as well.
We also loved a story about a golfer who hit a hole-in-one in a tournament thanks to a caddy’s advice and gave the caddy the car he won as a result. It was a delightful topic and she captured the spirit of the moment.
Ron Johnson, IU’s director of student media, said that her “work ethic, persistence, speed and attention to detail” makes Stephanie one of the student’s newspaper’s best journalists.
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The 2009 Scholarship winners can be found here.
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More information on these programs can be obtained by emailing the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org