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2011 jrn scholarship thank you and merit essay

I am extremely proud to be apart of such a remarkable and award-winning Journalism program at Central Michigan University. The professors in the journalism department are unlike most program instructors at CMU, you can see their commitment and astonishing support that each professor has in propelling their students to be the best quality and creative journalists of the future.

I am very thankful for being awarded scholarships this year. I was fortunate enough to be awarded, not one, but two scholarships: Friends of Journalism and the Outstanding Senior scholarship. Last year I was awarded the Study Abroad scholarship through the journalism department. I used the scholarship to support my 10 weeks of travel from London to Istanbul earning 12 credits in European and art history. It was an amazing learning and growing experience that I am grateful I was able to participate in.

As a senior I can honestly say that these two scholarships are going to be very influential in my future in photojournalism. As we know, it takes a lot of money and support to start a career, let alone one in journalism. Many see this uncertain era of journalism as a less than promising time to jump into the career. However, I know from my education at CMU that this may just be the best time to transition from student journalist into the professional world. My peers and I have this great opportunity to truly shape the future of journalism.


Here is my merit essay i wrote to be awarded my scholarships:


“If I could tell the story in words,
I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”
– Lewis Hine

Photojournalism extends the boundaries of what journalism can do. Just within my four years at Central Michigan University the face of journalism has changed dramatically. The introduction of multimedia, like video, soundslides, mobile technology and social networking, I mean, Twitter didn’t exist my freshman year and look at how it has shaped the face of journalism today.

This is my senior year at CMU, when I graduate I know that I have gained the skills to confidently jump into this ever-changing world of journalism. Now, more than ever, there are a growing number of ways to present information to a broad audience. A complete story is not just laid out with words and still photography anymore. Video, multimedia, interactive maps, polls, comments, tweets, links etc… make for an ever-progressing form of journalism where anyone can have a say. I see the era of uncertainty in journalism as an exciting time to enter this field to help shape its future.

I have not only gained the skills to successfully tell stories through still photography and multimedia from my photojournalism classes, but also gained an education on the realm of online journalism and how to succeed in its fast paced world.

Photography is something I am so passionate about that I’ve managed to take every photography class offered at CMU. My freshman year, first semester I began my collegiate photography experience in fine art photography. However, I wanted to use my visual eye to explore the world around me. I see photography as a tool to express human connection, important current issues and things that I feel are personally important; issues that I want to make an audience stop and take an long look at. This is why I have a double major in Photojournalism and 2-D Art: Fine Art Photographing, I balance my education between the two to bring my own creative eye to photojournalism.

Ever since I can remember I had begged my parents for a camera, I loved seeing things in a different way. I just wanted to capture that moment and light. I remember I would often hang upside down off our living room couch and imagine what it would be like if the ceiling was the floor and visa verse. I tried to see that way because it was a different perspective, a concept I have always been intrigued by. When I was young I would always be closing one eye, changing my focus, getting really close to things then backing away, and even framing a scene with my hands.

I will be graduating in December 2011 or May 2012, pertaining when my photojournalism internship takes place. This scholarship will help me produce the quality of photojournalism, CMU has taught me to uphold. Photography equipment is not cheap, especially on a student’s budget. This scholarship will help me fund the equipment I need for my schoolwork and my future in journalism. As a senior, I am applying for internships and will need support to be able to work at the best internship I can receive. I have also been exploring participating in different photojournalism workshops around the country to further my skills. This scholarship will help propel me from a student journalist, into the world of professional photojournalism that my classes at CMU have prepared me for.

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