Newman University students Emily Larkin and Courtney Klaus have been chosen to receive Gridiron scholarships, presented by the Kansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
Gridiron is an annual stage show fundraiser with the purpose of raising money for journalism scholarships for Kansas college students.
According to its website, “SPJ will award at least $11,000 in scholarships” for the 2019-20 academic year. To receive one of these scholarships, the student must have and maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and must be seriously considering a career in journalism.
Larkin received the $1,000 Chris Schull Scholarship. This is the second year in a row she has been awarded this scholarship.
The scholarship, named for former Wichita Eagle arts and music reporter Chris Shull, is designed to support students who are passionate about coverage of the arts and music. To be awarded the scholarship, the student must demonstrate an interest about the coverage of arts and music, have and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
Larkin will graduate with a double major in communication and theater and a minor in journalism. Larkin is involved in many activities at Newman, including music and theater, all while working as an editor for Newman University student-run newspaper The Vantage.
“I was overwhelmed with gratitude,” said Larkin. “I thought I wouldn’t receive the scholarship because I had received it once before so I was shocked when I received the award email.”
Larkin said she is not sure what her next step will be, but whatever she decides to pursue, “I want to continue pursuing it with a fiery passion in order to give a voice to the voiceless.”
Klaus, editor-in-chief and writer for The Vantage, was awarded the $2,000 Bill Warren scholarship.
To receive this scholarship, the student must have a passion for First Amendment rights and an interest in investigative journalism. The Bill Warren Scholarship is created from donations by Wichita businessman Bill Warren to promote the importance of general and investigative journalism.
“I was really excited and proud when I got the email from the Society of Professional Journalists telling me I got the scholarship,” said Klaus. “My immediate reaction was to share the good news with my journalism and communication professors.”
Klaus added that she is honored to be a recipient of the scholarship and credits her experience with The Vantage as a big stepping stone to receiving the award.
“As a student journalist, it is my joy to shine a light on the inspiring stories on campus. It is also my responsibility to hold people accountable and ask tough questions,” Klaus said.