RTDNF is proud to announce its 2015 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.

2015 Ed Bradley Scholarship Winner - Daion Morton, Indiana University
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"There’s no dream too big to conquer,” has always been Daion Morton’s motto in life. He decided to follow a career in television after receiving a Regional Student Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2012. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Indiana University in May 2016. Daion is dedicated to being the best multimedia journalist that he can be. He has had the opportunity to intern with various companies including being the first multimedia reporter for 812 Magazine, a News Intern for WTHR-Indianapolis, and an Editorial/Production Intern at Inside Indiana Business. Over the summer he lived in New York City, where he completed an internship with VH1's Production & Development Team and was selected to be a 2016 IRTS Summer Fellow. He enjoys traveling the world to learn about diverse cultures and has recently journeyed through India, Europe and Dubai. Following graduation, he plans to spend four weeks in Africa reporting on HIV/AIDS. Daion hopes to combine both his skills and experiences to pursue a career in television production.

"Daion was an innovator in the class from the first day," said Indiana University Lecturer Nancy Comiskey. "He decided he wanted to do a broadcast feature instead of a traditional magazine story. He did extensive background research, found the descendants of the Lick Creek families, wrote a grant proposal and flew to California to interview them. I was so impressed with his drive and his professionalism.”

"I am beyond honored to receive the RTDNF Ed Bradley Scholarship​ in honor of such a pioneer journalist," said Morton. "Mr. Bradley paved the way for young aspiring journalists, like myself, and taught me the power of journalism. His life story and legacy inspires me to be great."
 


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.

2015 Carole Simpson Scholarship Winner- Ruben Garcia, University of Oregon
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Ruben Garcia Jr. is a senior pursing degrees in journalism and advertising at the University of Oregon. Garcia possesses a multitude of skills and considers himself a jack of all trades. Although writing and reporting are his main fortes, he is also passionate about film production, fashion, and literature. Garcia has interned for ABC-affiliate KEZI 9 News and TrackTown USA. His work has been published in BBC, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and the Register Guard. After graduation Garcia hopes to work as a multimedia producer in Chicago or Los Angeles.
 
“I would like to thank Carole Simpson and the Radio Television Digital News Foundation for awarding me this scholarship. I am honored to be in the same company as Simpson and the other scholarship winners. Throughout my entire life, I’ve experienced many hardships, but knowing that people believe in me reassures me that I am capable of accomplishing my dreams. Carole Simpson paved the way for minorities in this industry. I hope to follow in her footsteps and set an example for future generations.”

Upon announcing the award, Carole Simpson said, "It is my sincere pleasure to award my scholarship to Ruben Garcia. He is a remarkable student who overcame a number of personal obstacles to pursue his dream of becoming 'a voice for the voiceless.'"
 
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.

2015 Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship Winner- Nicole Barros, Penn State University
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Nicole Barros is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State University. The New York native grew up surrounded by sports and knew she wanted to pursue a career in the sports industry upon graduating college. She was selected to be a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State, through which she’s taken sports writing and broadcasting classes. However, Nicole says she her experiences outside the classroom have greatly enhanced her sports reporting skills, as well. She served as a host and analyst on Penn State’s student-run sports talk show before becoming the Executive Producer. Nicole interned with the Big Ten Network Student U and WPSU-TV’s sports department during her sophomore year, covering Penn State division I athletics. In the summer of 2015, she was able to intern at a local station, News 12 The Bronx, covering high school sports, as well as the Yankees and Mets two days a week. The other four days, she was a newsroom intern at CBS New York.  Nicole hopes to one day work in the sports industry, as either a writer, producer or broadcaster. 
 
"Words cannot express how grateful and honored I am to have received the Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship.  Mr. Prato is such an important person in the Penn State community and the passion that we both share for our university makes receiving this scholarship that much more special. I am so thankful to the Prato family and RTDNF for selecting me for this prestigious scholarship that will help to further my education in the field of sports journalism and allow me to become more deeply involved in RTDNF. I will continue to work hard to accomplish my goals of becoming a successful sports reporter."
 
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.


2015 Pete Wilson Graduate Scholarship Winner - Max Darrow, Syracuse University
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Max is a senior Broadcast and Digital Journalism major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Born and raised in Menlo Park, California, he never quite realized how cold upstate New York would be! He graduated from Pinewood High School in 2012, where he was the editor-in-chief of the school's paper, "The Panther Prints," for two years. At Syracuse, he is a member of the all-male a cappella group, "Otto Tunes," a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and a news reporter and anchor at the student-run TV station, CitrusTV. Since his freshman year, Max has interned at KPIX-TV in San Francisco, WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, and KION-TV in Salinas. Working with both young and veteran journalists in three very different markets taught him so much about the craft. But his favorite part? Hearing their stories. Looking ahead, Max can't wait to begin this next chapter of his story. 

"I am extremely honored to be this year's recipient of the Pete Wilson Scholarship. As an aspiring storyteller, this further fuels my passion for journalism. I hope that my journey will bring honor to Pete's name. A huge thank you to the RTDNF for this opportunity, it means so much!"
 
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..


2015 Jacque I. Minnotte Health Reporting Fellowship Winner - Veronica Zaragovia, KUT Radio, Columbia University
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Veronica Zaragovia is a freelance public radio reporter who most recently covered state government and health care for KUT, the NPR member station in Austin, Texas. She's reported as a legislative relief newsperson with the Associated Press in South Dakota and has contributed reporting to NPR, PRI's The World, Here & Now, Latino USA, The Takeaway, the Agence France Presse, TIME in Hong Kong and PBS NewsHour, among others. She has two degrees from Columbia University, and a passion for learning languages and traveling.
 
"As the public radio community makes concerted efforts to diversify the voices on air, I feel so motivated and determined to continue my work as a Latina covering health care because of the Jacque I. Minnotte Health Reporting Fellowship, whose aims are so important to me. This recognition of my work enables me to continue seeking compelling public radio stories to tell about health care policy and innovation in medicine, while making sure to also include diverse voices in my own stories."
 
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.

2015 Mike Reynolds Scholarship Winner - Zack Newman, University of Missouri
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Zack Newman is a junior at the University of Missouri majoring in convergence journalism with an emphasis in TV and radio. Zack considers himself to be a “multimedia storyteller,” and loves learning new mediums to produce content. He has used traditional equipment and an iPad Mini to tell stories. The Ellicott City, Maryland native is in the process of learning how to create and edit 3D videos for StoryUp Studios. Zack has extensive journalism experience. This includes work at Fox News in New York, ESPNU Campus Connection and KOMU-TV. While at Fox News, Zack helped provide national coverage of the events surrounding the November protests at the University of Missouri campus. The Eagle Scout also enjoys improv, nature, food and fitness. For samples of his work and more information about him, go to his online portfolio at www.zackrnewman.com.

"Thank you a hundred times over. I’m honored to be mentioned in the same breath as him and that his family and the selection committee thought so highly of me to put me in the same category as Reynolds. This scholarship increases my drive to succeed even more because I know I have the Reynolds legacy associated with my name. I do not want to disappoint his family. Besides journalism, one of my major passions is facilitating cancer awareness by working with various organizations, including the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation and MizzouThon. I’m ecstatic that I can help keep the memory of Mike Reynolds alive and bring more attention to the fight against the horrific disease. This is a tremendous opportunity that I’m humbled to be chosen for. Thank you."
 
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.


2015 Presidents Scholarship Winner - Jenna Middaugh, University of Missouri
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I am a Broadcast Journalism major with an emphasis in Radio/TV Reporter/Anchor and will graduate from the University of Missouri in May 2016 after finishing college in three years. I have worked at Columbia's NBC-affiliate television station KOMU 8 since my freshman year of college. I worked my way up the ranks at the station. I started out answering the phones and checking the email as a desk assistant, along with writing stories for the website, KOMU.com, and managing the station’s social media pages as a digital producer. After my first year of school, I started producing full newscasts and currently report for KOMU 8. As a reporter, I’m a one-man-band: coming up with story ideas, interviewing sources, shooting b-roll, editing everything together and then fronting it live for the 5 and 6 o’clock news. I’ve also anchored various shows for the station’s morning, noon, 5, 6, 9 and 10 o’clock newscasts. Outside of KOMU 8, I reported for Columbia's NPR-affiliate radio station KBIA during the fall of 2014 and interned at KMBC, a television station in my hometown of Kansas City, during the winter of 2014.

"I was so excited when I received the call from RTDNF. I couldn’t believe I had won! I am thrilled RTDNF recognized all the hard work and dedication I have put into my journalism career, and I am honored to be chosen as a winner of the Presidents Scholarship."
 
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.

2015 N.S. Bienstock Fellowship Winner- Niha Masih, Columbia University
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Niha Masih is a television journalist and documentary photographer from India, specializing in reportage on human rights, conflict zones and investigations. She worked with India’s top English new broadcaster, New Delhi Television (NDTV), for four years. She spent three years reporting and producing the channel’s award winning ground reportage show, Truth vs. Hype and another year helming NDTV’s bureau in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh. With Truth vs Hype, she travelled extensively across the country, covering a range of ground breaking stories – from ethnic riots to extrajudicial killings, from financial scams to farmer suicides. She had the chance to cover major international stories like the earthquake in Nepal, 2014 Gaza war, the struggle for democracy in Myanmar and Egypt and post-war propaganda in Sri Lanka. She is also an award winning documentary photographer, specializing in long form projects. Niha is an English Literature graduate from Lady Shriram College, Delhi University and has a Journalism degree from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She is currently studying Politics and Global Affairs at the Columbia Journalism School, New York.
 
“I’m deeply humbled to receive the N.S. Bienstock Fellowship from RTDNF, which has been known to encourage work of journalists, from across the world, reporting on socially relevant issues often ignored by mainstream media. While being a part of the ‘developed’ India we know of, I am acutely aware of the gross disparities that exist in the country. This ultimately strengthens my resolve that I can try and make a difference through my work as a journalist.”
 
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."

2015 George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship Winner - Hector Perez, University of Texas at Austin
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Hector Ivan Perez is a bilingual Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin. He was born in Bogota, Colombia, but moved to Austin at the age of nine. While at school he's reported and produced for UT's Texas Newswatch, and has interned at several news stations in the Austin area, including KAKW Univision, KUT, KEYE TV, and KXAN. Hector takes pride on being able to report on a variety of subjects, and is excited to begin his career as a reporter and multimedia journalist after his graduation on December of 2015.
 
"I'm beyond thankful to the RTDNA for this award. It's an absolute honor to be recognized by this great foundation and to be associated with a scholarship named after two men who accomplished so much. For me it's the perfect culmination to four years of hard work, both in the classroom learning from our great professors, and out in the world talking to people and reporting on real issues."
 
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.

2015 Michele Clark Fellowship Winner - LaCrai Mitchell, Florida A&M University
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LaCrai Mitchell is a senior broadcast journalism student at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla. Throughout her four years at FAMU she has accomplished a lot: In 2013, Mitchell co-produced a nationally-acclaimed news magazine show that won an an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ student Emmy. In the summer of 2013, Mitchell studied abroad in Madrid where she completed her Spanish minor at the Universidad de Rey Juan Carlos. Last year, Mitchell interned with CNN in Atlanta, where she served as a CNN International Newsource intern. She also interned with CBS News in New York City for two consecutive summers as an Investigative Unit intern and a 48 Hours intern, respectively. This year, Mitchell was awarded two Knight Foundation Scholarships that enabled her to attend the 2015 Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference in Philadelphia and the 2015 Online News Association conference in Los Angeles. Upon graduation in December 2015, Mitchell will return to New York and work for CBS News as a News Associate.
 
"Young, beautiful, talented, and an amazing storyteller--Michele Clark embodied everything that I aspire to be. Receiving this prestigious award means that I get to take the first steps in being a part of a legacy that was created by an admirable reporter whose life was cut short too soon." 
 

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.


2015 Presidents Scholarship Winner - Emily Schweich, University of Maryland
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Emily Schweich is a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism.  She has worked as an anchor, reporter, producer and production crew volunteer for Maryland Capital News Service, the University of Maryland's student-run news wire.  Emily was the president of the Society of Professional Journalist's 2015 National Outstanding Campus Chapter and has worked as a multimedia reporter for The Diamondback, the University of Maryland's student newspaper.  She has interned at the NBC News Washington Bureau and at WUSA9, Washington, D.C.'s CBS affiliate, and hopes to return one day to the nation's capital to work as a television news producer.
 
"Receiving this scholarship encourages me to continue working hard in the broadcast journalism field.  I respect the work RTDNA has done to protect the rights of electronic journalists and promote ethics in the field, and I am honored to be recognized by this prestigious organization."