Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 23, 2004) — Two Missouri School of Journalism graduate students were the first to be designated as National Newspaper Association Foundation Alan Cruikshank Scholars during the organization’s 118th annual convention in Denver.
Kimberlee Belcher and Shannan Wheaton were on hand at the convention to meet the man in whose name the award was named.
The Denver-based Kenneth King Foundation presented a $10,000 grant to fund the two Alan Cruikshank/NNAF Scholars to help NNA’s mission to enhance the role of community newspapers.
The scholars’ program was created to honor Alan Cruikshank, publisher of the Fountain Hills Times in Arizona, for his commitment to his community and to the community newspaper profession.
Cruikshank was a regional director for NNA for six years, representing Arizona, Nevada and California.
The University of Missouri matched the stipend grant with tuition waivers for these two students.
Belcher and Wheaton will work about 10 hours a week on special assignments for NNA.
Belcher is working with NNA Membership and Marketing Director Lynn Edinger, researching the ownership of community newspapers to see how many belong to groups and how many are owned by individuals or families.
Wheaton is working with Executive Director Brian Steffens on the association’s Great Ideas Database. The database will provide access to revenue producing ideas, cost saving ideas and postal-circulation ideas for NNA members.
Belcher is from Columbia, Mo., where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in advertising. A member of the Honors College, she was also on the Dean’s list.
Wheaton is from Nashville, Tenn., and graduated cum laude from Western Kentucky University. Her grandfather is owner and publisher of The Nicholas Countian, an NNA newspaper.
Updated: March 17, 2020