Columbia, Mo. (April 25, 2005) — Four outstanding minority Missouri School of Journalism students received a $2,500 scholarship from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. They are Heather Apodaca, Yolanda Coleman, Brenda Escobar and Patrick Nagle.
The Missouri School of Journalism is one of 10 select journalism programs nationwide to receive $50,000 from Wal-Mart for minority scholarships. The universities were selected based on the quality of their journalism programs and student demographics.
“Like all of us, journalists are shaped by their own culture and past experiences, and this helps determine how they see the world. Currently, there simply are not enough news reporters, editors and producers whose thinking reflects their experiences growing up as minorities in this country,” said Mona Williams, vice president of communication for Wal-Mart.
From Left: Catey Terry, director of development for the J-School, Oneil Clark from Wal-Mart, Yolanda Coleman, Patrick Nagle, Brenda Escobar and Linda Blakley of Wal-Mart presenting the check.
Wal-Mart’s three-year scholarship program is an effort to increase the level of diversity in newsrooms around the country. This initiative was designed to fill the gap identified in recent surveys by two news industry groups, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Radio and Television News Directors Association.
Each university with an undergraduate program selects four minority journalism students in their junior year. The scholarships are awarded based on financial need and grade point average. Recipients must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and the scholarships are renewable in their senior year if students maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
“The School of Journalism simply doesn’t have enough scholarship money to do this alone, so Wal-Mart’s generous donation is extremely helpful,” said Associate Dean Brian Brooks.
The scholarships were presented in the “Cross-cultural Journalism” course, a first-of-its-kind learning opportunity that helps students better understand how to relate to different cultures and races.
The other schools selected were Arizona State University, Columbia University, Hampton University, Howard University, Northwestern University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Southern California and University of Texas at Austin.