RTDNF is proud to announce its 2014 scholarship and fellowship winners:
 
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.


2014 Ed Bradley Scholarship Winner - Aaron Maybin, Marquette University
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Aaron Maybin is a senior journalism at Marquette University. The Wisconsin native is currently an associate producer at WISN-TV in Milwaukee, where he writes for newscasts, pitches story ideas and shadows reporters. During the summer of 2014, Maybin investigated inner-city gun violence in Flint, Michigan and the deep-rooted hunting culture in Minnesota for the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative. He has also worked at WABC-TV in New York, KPHO-TV in Phoenix for the Meredith-Cronkite fellowship, WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee and served as news director at Marquette University Television. His goal is to work in network television and report for a newsmagazine show where he can do in-depth features on topical issues in the world. He is an avid runner, swimmer and Green Bay Packers fan.

"I cannot thank the RTDNF enough for selecting me to receive the 2014 Ed Bradley Scholarship," Maybin said. "Receiving this award is truly a full circle moment for me. I grew up watching 60 Minutes and admired Bradley’s skill, veracity and phenomenal storytelling. I still watch Bradley’s news stories and credit him as one of my first journalism teachers. I am extremely thankful to Bradley’s family for believing in a young journalist and allowing me to continue making strides toward a prosperous career in television."
 
Presidents Scholarship
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.




2014 Presidents Scholarship Winner - Brooke Sassman, Rutgers University
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A senior at Rutgers University in the School of Communication and Information, Brooke Sassman is one of this year’s RTDNF Presidents Scholarship winners. The Journalism and Media Studies major represents the top .5% of her class as a member of Cap and Skull, the highest senior honor society at Rutgers University. This past spring, Brooke received a Foundation Scholarship from New York Women In Communications. In 2013 she was awarded the Ruth Whitney Scholarship from Glamour Magazine for her advanced level of reporting. For her work in the industry, the Today Show recognized Brooke and 17 other students as the “future of women in communications”. She’s previously interned at NY1 News, The Today Show, Today.com, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, and She’s the First. She managed over 500,000 Twitter followers as the Social Media Strategist for the web-based talk show “Gimme Mo” hosted by Monique Coleman. As a sophomore in college she also produced a commercial for the show that aired on channel 34 in New York City. Brooke has published more than 30 stories on Today.com, written for the Huffington Post and recently sold her first article to the national teen publication, Justine Magazine. On campus she’s served as the senior class President and co-founded a chapter of She's the First. In her time working for the Rutgers University Television Network, she's worn many hats as an Executive Producer, Creative Services Supervisor, Production Assistant, Host and News Correspondent.

"I'm so grateful that RTDNF saw something special in my young career and journey to becoming a journalist. I place a lot of value in the journalistic practices that RTDNF promotes and I could not be happier to become part of an organization that I have forever looked up to. Thanks for honoring me as this year's Presidents Scholarship winner, RTDNF!"
 
N.S. Bienstock Fellowship
An award established in 1999 by Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper, the original owners of N.S. Bienstock. Acquired by United Talent Agency in 2014, the firm now known as Bienstock, a UTA Company has been a leading talent agency in news and reality-based programming for more than 50 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.

2014 N.S. Bienstock Fellowship Winner - Angela Chen, KTRK-TV
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Angela Chen is a Southern California girl who is slowly learning how to line dance. She is currently a reporter at KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O in Houston. Chen graduated from UC San Diego with degrees in Literature, Writing and Psychology. Her first job was at KUSI’s morning show in San Diego, where she worked as a news writer and associate producer. After that, she earned a Master of Science from Columbia University’s Journalism School in New York City and went on to become a reporter for NY1 News. While she was there, some of her top stories included the destruction by Hurricane Sandy, the aftermath of Private Danny Chen's death and Anthony Weiner's indiscretions. After a couple years, she left the Big Apple and headed home to Los Angeles to help care for her father after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. While at home, she became a freelance reporter so she could spend more time with her dad. She worked in Bakersfield for KBAK/KBFX as an evening reporter and for XETV San Diego 6 News as the nightside reporter. She then went on to become the morning reporter/fill-in anchor for KOLO 8 News Now, the ABC affiliate in Reno. She was also a freelance writer for The New York Times and has worked at The Charlie Rose Show and Dateline NBC. Chen has lived in London and Taipei. She is fluent in Mandarin, a certified scuba diver and loves The Simpsons.
 
"Receiving the N.S. Bienstock Fellowship is a privilege," said Chen. "I am honored and humbled to be recognized, and I am deeply encouraged by the spirit of this fellowship -- especially with the declining diversity in our recent journalistic climate. With this award, I'll continue pursuing the purpose for which Leibner and Cooper originally established this award --  to recognize issues that minority communities are facing that may otherwise be overlooked."
 
Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship
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.

2014 Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship Winner - Alan Miller, Brigham Young University
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Alan Miller is a senior studying broadcast journalism at Brigham Young University. While growing up, Alan's father owned and managed a handful of local small market radio stations along the Oregon coast. Alan literally learned to crawl in the halls of his father's station and had his first experience with broadcasting as soon as he could talk, telling stories and singing songs on air. Alan worked for the family business as a board operator for live high school games, as well as an on air personality in high school. While attending BYU as an engineering student, he visited the broadcasting facilities on campus and felt instantly at home and decided to change majors. After making the switch to broadcast journalism, Alan worked part time as an operator for BYUtv's master control operations. He volunteered to help in the web broadcast of the university's club hockey games and called a few games himself. As part of his education, Alan learned to shoot, write, and edit stories for the university's weekly sports broadcast. He continued to work part time at BYUtv and BYU Radio where he helped develop and launch a daily sports talk show and was an integral part of the the show's transition to become nationally simulcast on both TV and radio.

"Receiving the Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship is not only an honor and privilege, but an invitation to further dedicate myself to a work that is worthy of this distinction," Miller said. "The achievements of Lou Prato are to be admired and his contributions to his alma mater are of great significance to the history of Penn State. I'm grateful to the Prato family and all others associated with RTDNF for this generous scholarship that will help me begin my career and hopefully have the opportunity to some day give back in the same regards."
 
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.



2014 Carole Simpson Scholarship Winner - Nathalie Dortonne, University of Florida
Nathalie Dortonne is a senior and a journalism major with an African-American studies minor at the University of Florida. She is currently a news intern at the ABC-affiliate WCJB-TV 20, and produces Morning News in 90 broadcast updates for WUFT News. Dortonne also served as a stringer and photo editor for the Independent Florida Alligator, freelance writer for the Gainesville Sun, and a radio co-host for UF's NPR Affiliate WUFT-FM Radio Reading Service. Dortonne was a writer for the Gator Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists ZION Magazine, and a dancer/performer with the Black Actors' Guild. She is the recipient of the Multicultural Scholar Award for Academic Excellence in Political Science, Photo UF 2013 and 2014, the New York Times Scholarship, and was a Miami Herald Silver Knight Nominee for Journalism. She is a Digital Public Affairs Fellow for the 316 Group. Dortonne interned in the Florida House of Representatives in spring 2014, and in the U.S. House of Representatives during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Congressional Internship Program this past summer. She is a native of Miami, Florida.

"I am honored to receive the Carole Simpson Scholarship from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation because Carole Simpson is a true trailblazer who paved the way for a great deal of minority journalists," said Dortonne. "I have always looked up to Carole Simpson because she is one of the first Black female journalists to prove that we can overcome obstacles and excel in this industry. I would like to thank Carole Simpson and RTDNF for presenting me with this  distinguished award and believing in my potential as a rising journalist. I am excited to continue with my career and reach even greater heights. I hope that I have the opportunity to meet Carole Simpson sometime in the near future!"

Carole Simpson added, "It is with great pleasure that I choose Nathalie Dortonne to receive the Carole Simpson Scholarship for 2015. The University of Florida student impressed me with her writing, her smooth delivery of the news, and her plans for the future.  How many students say they enjoy every moment of reporting? Not many.  And who would think that a young African American female is "passionate about public policy"?  I wouldn't have. She reminds me of myself in college. My hearty congratulations to her and my sincere wish that she accomplishes her goal to be a political correspondent in a digital and global world.
 
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.


2014 Mike Reynolds Scholarship Winner - Jennifer Tintner, University of Florida
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Jennifer Tintner is a junior studying Telecommunications and a multimedia journalist for WUFT at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She is a one-man band writing, filming and editing her stories. Interning at the Jerusalem Post in Israel in the summer of 2014, Tintner experienced the change in a newsroom's atmosphere from peacetime to a war effort when Israel invaded Gaza after prolonged rocket fire and launched Operation Protective Edge. While at WUFT, Tintner has investigated the future of composting in Gainesville and highlighted candidates running for local elections.  She interned at San Diego local news station UTTV, the Union Tribune's start-up station, in the summer of 2013. At WUFT, Tintner got her start in radio covering stories for the NPR affiliate WUFT-FM. Her vulture story received the Florida Associated Press award for best long light feature. Her goal is to give a voice to the voiceless through her storytelling. She is an avid news junkie and aspires to work in the industry covering feature news, hard news, and breaking news.
 
"I was at a loss for words when I received the phone call telling me I had been awarded the Mike Reynolds RTDNA scholarship," said Tintner. "Mike Reynolds leaves behind an inspiring legacy and I am honored to have been chosen for this award. This scholarship will enable me to continue my reporting and expand my story telling abilities while at the University of Florida. I'm so grateful for this scholarship and look forward to participating more with RTDNA."
 
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.



2014 Michele Clark Fellowship Winner - Crystal Clark, WTOL-TV
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Crystal Clark is a television news anchor and multimedia journalist at WTOL in Toledo, Ohio. She has covered stories ranging from blizzards, to murder trials, to communities coming together to put a smile on a dying child's face. Prior to moving to the Midwest, Crystal helped pioneer the first weekend morning news program for WECT in Wilmington, North Carolina, working as the sole anchor, writer, producer and overnight desk manager. She graduated with honors from North Carolina State University with a degree in Media Communications.

"I am so grateful for this fellowship, and I am honored to have my name forever associated with a news pioneer and role model like Michele Clark," Crystal said. "Being a young reporter, there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing your work has the ability to touch others, even as you are still learning and growing as a journalist. I will work hard to honor Michele Clark’s legacy through intelligent and meaningful reporting."
 
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."

2014 George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship Winner - Alexandra Wilkins, University of Texas-Austin
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From Cedar Park, Texas, Alex Wilkins is currently a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin. She intends to graduate with the school’s Sports Journalism Certificate. In addition to her academic pursuits, Alex also works as an intern for ESPN’s Longhorn Network. Outside of her internship, she is involved with Texas Student Television, the only student-run, FCC-licensed television station in the nation. There she serves as an associate producer for the award-winning show, KVR News, produces the live sports segment for the show, and is a sports reporter for College Press Box. After graduation, Alex hopes to continue her passion for telling stories as a sports reporter.
 
"I am incredibly thankful to be a recipient of the George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship," Wilkins said. "I, too, share a deep respect for Johnson and his great improvements to our society and it is an honor to receive such a prestigious and generous scholarship. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to the Radio Television Digital News Foundation for this opportunity and allowing me to further my passion in journalism."
 
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.

2014 Abe Schechter Graduate Scholarship Winner - Emily Gibson, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
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Emily Gibson studied human rights and political science at Columbia University and worked on social justice issues at several nonprofits during her 10 years in New York City. She is currently studying documentary production at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and intends to focus on international and humanitarian stories. She recently produced a short video on women's safety in India and is currently working on a short documentary about Burma. Emily also works as a video production intern at Al Jazeera's Fault Lines.
 
"I have dedicated my life and career to reporting on critical humanitarian and human rights stories and I hope to use this award to continue that work," Gibson said. "I'm incredibly grateful to RTDNA for selecting me for the Abe Schechter scholarship and for believing in the work that I do."
 
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.




2014 Pete Wilson Undergraduate Scholarship Winner - Kevin Hume, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
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Kevin N. Hume is a second-year graduate student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he is pursuing a Masters in multimedia and photojournalism. Kevin has lived in the Bay Area for most of his life. He discovered his passion for journalism, photography and video in high school. After taking some time off to pursue music, he enrolled at San Jose State University, where he served as the multimedia editor on the student-run Spartan Daily newspaper before graduating in December 2010. He quickly found a job as a reporter/photographer at the Lake County Record-Bee, a small northern California newspaper. During his two years there, Kevin became the go-to breaking news reporter and also established a YouTube page for the paper, where he created and uploaded 17 videos of life in Lake County. After beginning his studies at UC Berkeley in 2013, Kevin most recently served as a summer photo intern at the San Francisco Chronicle. He is currently a Graduate Student Researcher at the journalism school, assisting students and teachers with projects and equipment both inside and outside the classroom.
 
“It’s a great honor for me to be awarded the Pete Wilson Scholarship,” Hume said.. “I grew up watching Pete on KRON-TV and ABC 7 News, so it’s an amazing feeling to be the recipient of the scholarship that bears his name. As a photojournalist, my job is to tell the reader visually what is going on quickly, clearly and without riddle or confusion. I believe this reflects the values and commitment to ethical, responsible journalism that Pete upheld in his work. My passion is to tell people’s stories and to document the world around me in a way that is creative and accurate, while also reflecting the beauty I see in everything. I am incredibly thankful that the Radio Television Digital News Foundation believes in the work I’ve done thus far. This scholarship will help me as I continue to pursue my passion. Thank you so much to the RTDNA for this opportunity. I greatly appreciate it and I will continue to uphold the values of this scholarship in my work.”
 
Jacque I. Minnotte Health Reporting Fellowship
This award was created to honor former news director and Medstar executive Jacque Minnotte, who died in 1993. This fellowship recognizes excellence in health or medical television and radio reporting. RTDNF will award a $2,000 cash fellowship to a journalist in radio and television with fewer than 10 years of experience..




2014 Jacque I. Minnotte Health Reporting Fellowship Winner - Erika Beras, WESA-FM
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Erika Beras is the Behavioral Health reporter at WESA, the public radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her voice and stories can be heard on NPR programs and she is a regular contributor to Scientific American’s 60-Second Podcasts. In 2013, she was a National Health Journalism Fellow where she reported on refugee issues and in 2012 she was a Fellow at The International Center for Journalists where she traveled to Poland to report on the Natural Gas Industry. Before going into broadcasting, Erika worked as a reporter at The Miami Herald and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She has won awards for her work including the Rolling Stone Award for College Journalism and awards from The Associated Press. Originally from New York City, Erika is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and a graduate of Purchase College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
 
"I am so honored and excited to receive the Minnotte Award! I became a journalist to report on under-covered communities and issues and I’ve found that health care is an ideal vehicle in which to do that," Beras said. "This award will allow me to continue doing this work."
 

Presidents Scholarship
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.


2014 Presidents Scholarship Winner - Brett Hall, University of Maryland
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Brett is a senior broadcast journalism major at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He presently serves as an anchor/reporter for the Capital News Service, the Merrill College of Journalism’s student run news service. In addition Brett is as an associate journalist at All News 99.1 WNEW-FM in their Baltimore Bureau and can also be heard on CBS Radio’s New Country on 106.1 FM. Brett is currently on the Society of Professional Journalist’s national board as a student representative. He is past president of the University of Maryland student SPJ Chapter. Brett has worked part-time and interned at a various other broadcast stations including WBAL-TV, WMAR-TV, WDEL-AM, WXCY-FM, WPOC-FM, WHFC-FM and the Harford Cable Network. He says he knew he wanted to go into broadcasting in elementary school and has tried to take every opportunity since that time to learn more about the craft. Brett enjoys covering politics, justice and an all around good story.
 
"Getting the call that I had won the RTDNA presidents scholarship may have been one of the most gratifying calls I've received," Hall said. "Gratifying in the sense that I had applied for the scholarship three years in a row and... I guess this is what they mean when they say the third time is the charm. I am blessed to have found two things that I enjoy... journalism and broadcasting. RTDNA believes strongly in these two things and I can't think of a better award for a broadcast journalism senior."