RTDNF is proud to announce its 2013 scholarship and fellowship winners:
Carole Simpson Scholarship
Carole Simpson is a former member of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation Board of Trustees. She established the Carole Simpson Scholarship to encourage and help minority students overcome hurdles along their career path. Carole Simpson Scholarship winners are working as reporters, producers and anchors in television and radio stations across the country.
2013 Carole Simpson Scholarship Winner - Imani Crenshaw | Work Sample | Work Sample | Work Sample
Imani J. Crenshaw is a sophomore and Broadcast Journalism Major at Hampton University. She is the host and face of The HU Underground, a reporter with GlobalGirl Media and a recipient of the 2013 National Association of Black Journalists Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for her webisode series “Como Amar: How to Love.” Crenshaw attended El Camino College in Torrance California. She is a cheerleader, a Cheerleader Club Representative to the Inter Club Council, made the Dean’s List in the spring 2013, is a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and is an NABJ member. She is also a Project Success member, speaker, and scholarship recipient. She is a native of Los Angeles, California, and a graduate of West High School in Torrance, California.
"Receiving the Carole Simpson Scholarship from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation means everything to me," said Crenshaw. "I would like to thank RTDNF and Carol Simpson. I'm so proud to have received such a prestigious award from such an amazing company. Carole Simpson is one of my role models, for the simple fact that she has completed so many firsts as not only a woman, but an African-American woman. She represents something so powerful and I cannot wait to continue my journey and embrace that power to become a great journalist as well."
“She won on her video work which demonstrated she has a winning personality, a strong broadcast voice, and good articulation in her narration tracks," said Simpson. "She exudes energy, enthusiasm, and confidence. I congratulate her and wish her an exciting future in broadcast journalism.”
Ed Bradley Scholarship
In 1994, RTDNF presented the first Ed Bradley Scholarship. Since then, 22 young and aspiring journalists have received the award created by the late CBS News and 60 Minutes correspondent. Ed Bradley received the Paul White Award from RTDNA in 2000. The Paul White Award recognizes an individual's lifetime commitment to excellence in journalism. Bradley received the First Amendment Award from RTDNF in 2005 in recognition of his support of the First Amendment rights guaranteed in the constitution.
2013 Ed Bradley Scholarship Winner - Taylor Moore | Work Sample | Work Sample | Work Sample
Taylor Moore is a senior Contemporary Media and Journalism major at the University of South Dakota. He is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He serves as one of KYOT’s Coyote News anchors as well. Moore previously served as sports commentator and reporter for Coyote News. It was through his work as reporter for Coyote News that Moore developed a passion for storytelling. In his spare time Moore enjoys working with the University of South Dakota’s Union of African American Students as well as the Campus Activities Board at the University of South Dakota. Moore is looking forward to returning as an anchor for KYOT’s Coyote News in the spring.
"I am truly honored to receive the Ed Bradley scholarship," said Moore. "This scholarship has permitted me to finish my education at the University of South Dakota, and continue to strengthen my journalistic endeavors. To be an African American male in journalism and to have such an example in Ed Bradley means a great deal to me. Due to his hard work and efforts, he has made it possible for several other African Americans to excel in this field as well. I am eternally grateful for receiving this scholarship and I truly hope that my future endeavors in journalism will honor his name."
Mike Reynolds Scholarship
Mike Reynolds, who died in 1988 of a brain tumor at age 45, was assignment editor and later managing editor at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. Trustees of the fund to honor his memory require applicants for this award to be enrolled in journalism school and have good writing ability, excellent grades, a dedication to the news business, strong interest in pursuing a career in electronic journalism and a demonstrated need for financial assistance. The winner receives $1,000.
2013 Mike Reynolds Scholarship Winner - Amanda Roley | YouTube | Work Sample |
Amanda Roley is a senior at Washington State University studying Journalism and Media Production. Her interest in broadcast news began in her high school video productions class and grew ever since. Upon her admission to WSU, Amanda immediately got involved in the student run television station “Cable 8 Productions.” Her participation included working as an anchor, an Assistant Director for a cooking show, and was producer for the third season of, “Studio 41,” which is titled after the studio Edward R. Murrow worked in at CBS. Amanda completed a reporting internship at KHQ in Spokane last summer. She currently works as a student journalist for Murrow News 8 and also reports for Pullman Radio (KQQQ). For Pullman Radio, Amanda reports stories from her favorite beat covering weekly city council meetings for Pullman and Moscow along with other local events. She is expected to graduate from WSU in summer 2014.
"I was quite surprised when I received a call informing me I would be awarded the Mike Reynolds RTDNA scholarship!" said Roley. "I am truly honored to have been selected to receive such a prestigious award. When I began to apply for this scholarship, I looked at the work of past scholarship recipients and was highly impressed with their skills and great work they have done. Being able to say I now join the ranks with those talented individuals is a great privilege to have. Receiving this scholarship is truly a blessing. My passion for broadcast news began in my high school journalism class, and has grown ever since then. Being selected for this scholarship means more than money to help pay for school. It means all the work I have done to grow as a reporter in pursuit of my dream is paying off. This scholarship confirms to me that I am heading in the right career path and that I do it well. For that I am very grateful. Thank you so much for choosing me for this amazing award!"
Two $1,000 awards given in honor of former RTDNA Presidents Theodore Koop, Bruce Dennis, James McCulla, John Salisbury, Bruce Palmer, Dick Cheverton, Jim Byron, Ben Chatfield and John Hogan.
2013 Presidents Scholarship Winner - Jason Puckett | Website
Jason Puckett is a senior, broadcast journalism major at Elon University. He interned at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina during the summer of 2012, and furthered his experience and skills with a 10-week internship at CBS News’ “60 Minutes” this past summer. Jason is the Senior Reporter for Elon Local News, the university’s student newscast, where he anchored for two years and also served as assignment manager. At Elon, he has reported live from the 2012 Democratic National Convention, anchored a seven-hour live election show, and interviewed Senators, Congressional Representatives, and just about every resident of Elon. Jason’s interests include politics, people, and reporting stories. After graduation he plans to become a local TV reporter.
"Being chosen as a recipient of the President’s Scholarship is truly an amazing honor," said Puckett. "Some of my best college experiences have come about through my participation in RTDNA activities. This scholarship will allow me to continue my reporting and storytelling at Elon as I finish out my senior year and prepare to enter the workforce."
2013 Presidents Scholarship Winner - Shannan Ferry | Website
Shannan Ferry is currently the Station Manager at WRHU-FM Radio Hofstra University and is a College Reporter for Fox News Channel. Some of her most recent accomplishments include winning the 2013 Fox News College Challenge, accepting a Gracie Award in the Most Outstanding Interview or Feature category, and being honored by the Press Club of Long Island. Shannan reported live from the floor of the 2012 Republican National Convention interviewing politicians, filing audio reports, and contributing to live coverage. She also reported on camera at the 2012 Presidential Debate for Hofstra University’s website, interviewing politicians such as Peter King, David Axelrod and Bobby Jindal among many others. Shannan previously interned with NY1 News in New York City where she helped reporters out in the field and in the newsroom. Shannan hopes to pursue a career in television or web reporting after graduation.
"I'm so honored to receive the Presidents Scholarship from the Radio Television News Directors Foundation," said Ferry. "RTDNA/F is comprised of the biggest and best newsmakers in the business and having leaders in the industry recognize my hard work is extremely rewarding. Not only will this prestigious award help me financially, but it will also encourage me to continue pursuing my professional career in media. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to further developing my leadership and professional skills through the help of RTDNF."
Lou Prato was RTDNA treasurer from 1981 to 2001 and served as secretary of RTDNF's Board of Trustees until 2006. Prato's friends and colleagues have endowed an RTDNF scholarship in honor of Lou and his wife, Carole. The scholarship provides a $1,000 tuition grant to a deserving student who is planning a career as a sports reporter in television or radio. Lou has worked as a news director, a journalism professor, a consultant, and Director of the Penn State All Sports Museum. Lou and Carole live near his alma mater, Penn State University. He is the author of The Penn State Football Encyclopedia.
2013 Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship Winner - Kristen Wolfe | Website | Work Sample | Work Sample | Work Sample
Kristen Lynn Wolfe is a senior at Salisbury University, studying media production in the Fulton School of Arts. In her freshman year, she chose to focus on her major rather than play a sport. She applied for a job in the Sports Information Department and since then, started a bi-weekly show called Squawk Talk that she produces, hosts and edits. She also manages approximately 20 students who film and commentate the broadcasts for the live varsity game streams on suseagulls.com. She is the president of the National Broadcasting Society Chapter at Salisbury University and a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honor society.
"It is an absolute honor to receive the Lou & Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship," Wolfe said. "When I was hired for the Sports Information Department at Salisbury University there was only a small amount of digital media. I started the bi-weekly show called Squawk Talk on the athletic website and I am very excited to be recognized for the hard work I have put forth, for the past three years. I would like to thank the Prato family and the Radio Television Digital News Foundation again and look forward to continuing a future in sports reporting."
N.S. Bienstock Fellowship
An award established in 1999 by N.S. Bienstock, Inc. owners, Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper. N.S. Bienstock has been a leading talent agency in news and reality-based programming for more than 35 years and is a long-time member of RTDNA. This award recognizes a promising minority journalist in radio or television news. In addition to the $2,500 award, winners of the N.S. Bienstock Fellowship receive an expenses paid trip to the Excellence in Journalism Conference.
2013 N.S. Bienstock Fellowship Winner - Patricia Guerra | Work Samples
Patricia Guerra is a California native who was raised in Mexico. She holds a BA in International Journalism and Media Studies from Tecnológico de Monterrey and attended the University of California, Berkeley as an undergraduate exchange student. Patricia worked at Univision in San Francisco where she covered the duties of assignment editor, writer, associate producer and on-air reporter. Patricia covered the Primary and General Presidential Election of 2012 with a focus on Latino issues. During that same year, Patricia and her colleagues received an Emmy Award in the category of "Best Large Market Evening Newscast" in the Northern California chapter. Patricia's experience includes working at a public policy think tank with a focus on low-income and minority communities. Patricia is a 2013-2014 duPont Awards Research Assistant Fellow. Her work at Columbia includes coverage of public housing, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in immigrant communities and the asthma epidemic in Harlem.
"Receiving this fellowship is both an honor and a great responsibility," said Guerra. "It has long been a dream of mine to build a professional career in journalism, thanks to N.S. Bienstock I am now one step closer. It is very encouraging to know that leading companies in the news industry are committed to increasing diversity in newsrooms across America."
Abe Schechter Graduate Scholarship
Abe Schechter, a true pioneer of radio news, became the first vice president of news for NBC. He began his career in newspapers, then moved to radio. During World War II, he became senior public relations officer for General MacArthur. He eventually returned to NBC where he helped create the Today show. From there, he became part owner of the Mutual Broadcasting System. In the 1960s Schechter founded a PR firm that he and his business partner, former RTDNF Trustee George Glazer subsequently sold to Hill & Knowlton. Schechter and his wife died in a car accident in 1989, and this $2,000 scholarship was established in his memory.
2013 Abe Schechter Graduate Scholarship Winner - Joe Baur | Website
Joe Baur is a freelance writer, filmmaker and satirist with a diverse array of interests, including travel, adventure, craft beer, health, urban issues, culture and politics. He ranks his allegiances in the order of Cleveland, the state of Ohio and the Rust Belt, and enjoys a fried egg on a variety of meats. Joe has a B.A. in Mass Communication with a focus on production from Miami University. Follow him at joebaur.com and on Twitter @BaurJoe
"Receiving the 2013 Abe Schechter Scholarship is an honor not only because I get to say my name in the same sentence as this pioneer in radio news, but because it allows me the opportunity to receive an international media education at a time when better understanding one another from an international perspective could not be more important," said Baur. "Because of this opportunity offered to me by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Mr. George Glazer of the First Amendment Banquet, I will be closer to my goal of making an impact in the world of ethical journalism. Thank you."
George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship
A $6000 award is given to a journalism student from the University of Texas at Austin. George Foreman is a boxing champion, Olympic gold medal winner and celebrated pitchman. As a young man, he was inspired by President Johnson and by RTDNF founder Barney Oldfield. In his autobiography, By George, Foreman credits LBJ's Job Corps program for rescuing him "from the gutter." He also thanks Barney Oldfield, "for a lifetime of friendship, devotion, counsel and wisdom. The world would be a far better place if everyone were lucky enough to have a friend like you."
2013 George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship Winner - Christopher Adams | Reflections | Work Samples
Born and raised in Chippenham, England, Christopher Adams moved to Austin, Texas, in the summer of 2010. He’s currently a Broadcast Journalism senior at the University of Texas at Austin. There, he is the Assistant News Director of Texas Student Television, the only student-run FCC-licensed station in the country. He’s also the Executive Producer of KVR News, TSTV’s weekly live newscast. Christopher is an award-winning journalist, picking up accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. During his time as Executive Producer, KVR News has been recognized as one of the best newscasts in the country by College Broadcasters, Inc. Christopher’s main passion is weather, and an internship with the meteorologists at KXAN-TV in Austin helped to fuel this passion further. He intends to continue his education by studying Broadcast Meteorology at graduate level.
"I am truly honored and humbled to be the recipient of the George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship, and I extend my utmost gratitude to the Radio Television Digital News Foundation for bestowing this honor on me," said Adams. "My passion lies with weather, and I plan to further my education by studying Broadcast Meteorology at graduate level. I believe meteorologists are heroes. They provide the public vital, life-saving information during outbreaks of severe weather, and my goal is to become one of those heroes. This scholarship from the RTDNF will undoubtedly help me on the path to my goal. I appreciate wholeheartedly this recognition of my hard work."
Michele Clark Fellowship
RTDNF's first fellowship is named for a CBS News correspondent who was killed in a plane crash while on assignment in 1972. Her family and colleagues at CBS sent money in lieu of flowers to create a fund in her name, endowing a permanent $1,000 award for young, promising minority professionals in television or radio news.
2013 Michele Clark Fellowship Winner - Chantee Lans | Website | Work Samples
Chantee Lans is a morning reporter at WPRI-TV/WNAC-TV (CBS/FOX). She covers overnight breaking news across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Chantee reported on international, national, and state level stories such as the Boston Marathon Bombings, the trial and sentencing of Reputed Mob Boss James 'Whitey' Bulger, the arrest of former New England Patriots Player Aaron Hernandez, the election of Pope Francis, the Blizzard of 2013, Boston Red Sox World Series Win, and Rhode Island's legalization of same-sex marriage. She also worked at WFMY-TV, WAPT-TV, and CBS News. Chantee is the president and co-founder of NABJ’s first tri-state chapter called the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.
"I am grateful and honored to win a prestigious award in memory of a young black pioneering journalist like Michele Clark," said Lans. "In her 29 short years, Clark made strides in the journalism field while touching the hearts of many. I aspire to one day leave my mark while achieving her level of success."
Pete Wilson Scholarship
The Pete Wilson Journalism Scholarship was established in 2007 by Wilson's friends and colleagues. The scholarship is granted to an undergraduate or graduate journalism student from the Bay Area who shares Wilson's commitment to ethical, responsible journalism.
2013 Pete Wilson Undergraduate Scholarship Winner - Talia Samelian Website | Twitter
Talia Samelian is a senior at San Francisco State University in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts department. She moved to the bay area two years ago from her home state of Florida in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a newscaster. In 2012 she created an online blog, Talia Around Town, to share local news packages and interviews she had created. Later that year, Talia was hired as an assignment editor in the news department of KPIX (CBS 5) in San Francisco. She’s currently the president of her school’s “College Students in Broadcasting” club. Talia was recently awarded the Steve Davis Memorial Scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
"I wrote my first newspaper article when I was 14 years old," said Samelian. "It was featured in my hometown’s local paper, The Sarasota Herald Tribune. When I saw my own words printed onto those pages for everyone to see, it was a very exciting and defining moment for me. I realized then that I had the ability to not only influence but educate my peers. It was this idea that propelled me to choose a career in journalism. I wanted to use my own voice to help those who were unable to help themselves; whose voices had been silenced. It is priceless knowing that the RTDNA believes in the work that I am so passionate about. The Pete Wilson Scholarship is a moment in my journey to the top that I will never forget. Thank you Radio Television Digital News Foundation for this opportunity and for supporting me. I will continue to work tirelessly to see my goals come to fruition."