Scripps Howard Foundation names winners of Top Ten journalism scholarship program

Fri, September 15, 2006 by Sue Porter

CINCINNATI – The Scripps Howard Foundation today awarded $100,000 in scholarships to 10 college journalism students from across the United States through its annual Top Ten Scholarship Program.
Communication schools could nominate one full-time student as their representative in the competition. From the pool of candidates, a panel of newspaper, broadcast and television network professionals chose 10 recipients for the $10,000 scholarships. The one-time award is applied toward a full academic year.
“Since the program began in 1999, the foundation has awarded $800,000 to 80 exceptional scholars,” said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the foundation. “Like their predecessors, this year’s winners represent a very bright future for journalism in America.”
The Top Ten scholars were chosen for their academic achievement, demonstrated interest in journalism, portfolio, and an essay about their long-term career goals.
"These winners will be stars in the media,” the judges said. “They are well-rounded, hard-working, focused journalists. Their goals are ambitious, varied and, for them, realistic -- to write for newspapers or magazines, be television reporters or anchors, or to pursue multi-media or Web-based careers. One is a mother of three who is capitalizing on a second chance; another is the first in her Latino family to go from high school to college. They share a passion for journalism."
The winners are:
  • Melissa Domsic, a senior from Shelby Township, Mich., who is studying journalism at Michigan State University. She has interned at the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, and has worked since 2003 on the staff of The State News, the university’s independent newspaper.
  • Alysha Hernandez, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, who is studying print journalism and anthropology at Texas State University-San Marcos. In addition, she is a reporter for the campus newspaper, The University Star, and has worked at the campus radio station. Hernandez has interned at the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in Washington, D.C., and at the National Association of Hispanic Journalist’s Summer in New York convention. She has studied in Chiapas, Mexico, and plans to further her anthropological study next summer in Guatemala, doing freelance writing and photography in her spare time.
  • Teddy Kider, a senior from Rockville, Md., who is journalism major at Northwestern University and managing editor of The Daily Northwestern. As a sophomore, he was one of the youngest sports editors ever at The Daily. He has worked as a writing intern at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale, The (Madison, Wis.) Capital Times and The Frederick (Md.) News-Post.
  • David McRaney, a senior from Hattiesburg, Miss., who is executive editor of The University of Southern Mississippi’s campus newspaper, The Student Printz. He has interned for The Lamar Times and The Petal News, both in Hattiesburg, and recently began freelancing for The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., as well as The Daily Journal of Commerce in New Orleans. He is also president of the USM chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
  •  Leah D. Nelson, a junior from Urbana, Ill., who is a news-editorial major at the University of Illinois. The mother of three children ages 2-6 spent this summer as music editor of a local entertainment magazine, and for the past 10 years has worked as a freelance reporter and editor for several Central Illinois newspapers.
  • Matthew Sokoloff, a senior from Longwood, Fla., who is majoring in convergence journalism at the University of Missouri. His first internship was as a high school sophomore at WDBO Radio in Orlando, Fla. He has since gained experience as a photographer, graphic designer, reporter, editor, program host, anchor and producer at media outlets in Missouri and Florida. This summer he interned in the digital unit at ABC World News. 
  • Mary Specht, a senior from Washington, D.C., who is studying journalism at American University. She is the first student to win both the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Top Ten competition and its Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition. Specht has been section editor of AU’s student newspaper, The Eagle; has interned with the Brookfield Journal, in New Milford, Conn., and USA Today; and has written for Documentary Magazine and the Hartford Business Journal. She is an intern this fall in the U.S. State Department’s international information programs division.
  • Zachary Warmbrodt, a senior from Richardson, Texas, who is studying journalism at the University of Texas-Austin. He is managing editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and in 2004 worked as a reporter at The Oklahoma Daily, Oklahoma University’s student newspaper.
  • Chris Welch, a senior from Omaha, Neb., is studying broadcasting and political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He recently completed an internship at NBC News in New York City and has also worked as an on-air reporter at KTIV-TV in Sioux City, Iowa. This fall, he is leading the revival of a local student chapter of the Radio and Television News Directors Association.
  • Sharon Marie Yep, a junior from San Francisco, is studying journalism with a linguistics minor at California State University-Chico. She is managing editor of The Orion, her school’s weekly newspaper, and has interned at The (Sonora, Calif.) Union Democrat.
 Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes. It is the philanthropic arm of The E.W. Scripps Company, a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.

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