SPJ awards two fall scholarships

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is awarding $500 scholarships this fall to two students at universities in the state to help offset the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scholarships are in addition to two $1,000 scholarships the chapter traditionally awards each spring.

“Our chapter decided to provide the scholarships using some of the funds we typically allot for in-person programming,” said Sarah DeClerk, chapter president. “We are committed to assisting up-and-coming communications professionals, and providing these emergency scholarships is a great opportunity to do so.”

The students are Gabriel Grant Huff of West Memphis, a sophomore multimedia journalism major at Harding University in Searcy, and Mary Katherine Shapiro of McKinney, Texas, a senior English and journalism major at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

“College students are definitely feeling the financial effects of the pandemic,” said Sonny Rhodes, chair of the chapter’s scholarship committee. “We had the most scholarship applications we have had in a long time – possibly ever – in my 20-odd years of working with the scholarship committee.”

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is an organization that promotes journalism and advocates for journalists throughout the state. For more information, visit arkansasspj.org.

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