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.
The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded a $1,000 Dean Duncan Scholarship to Nathaly Moreno for the 2017-2018 academic year. The award honors the late, longtime journalism educator at the University of Central Arkansas.
Moreno is a junior at the University of Central Arkansas. A native of Honduras, she is majoring in digital filmmaking and minoring in journalism.
She worked as a writer for her high school newspaper, has worked as a writer and photographer for the UCA yearbook, and plans to work as a photographer for the The Echo, UCA’s student newspaper, during the 2017-18 academic year.
She enjoys collaborating with others and says she has helped and will continue helping classmates and friends with their film projects.
Her goals include becoming a successful filmmaker, making documentaries and short films, while also working as a photojournalist. She would like to work on the staffs of Time and National Geographic magazines, or work as an independent photojournalist.
“Coming from a third-world country,” she says, “I have seen various issues that affect the way people live and how a country develops. I would like to speak about those issues in an audiovisual manner. I also want to explore other countries’ cultures and depict those as well.”
She is a student staff resident assistant at UCA’s Stadium Park Apartments. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, playing guitar and singing.