By Ashley D. Gammon
Columbia, Mo. (May 1, 2006) — Missouri School of Journalism student Carolina Escalera has received a $70,000 fellowship award from the Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation.
The fellowship offers a complete graduate education in international public policy, study abroad opportunities, summer policy institutes, extensive language training, internships and career development.
“Even before she stepped onto the Missouri campus, I knew Carolina was special,” said Brian S. Brooks, associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration. “She told me she wanted to organize a student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and by the middle of her first semester here it was a reality.”
Now, Escalera is gearing up for her first summer as an IIPP fellow where she will study at Spelman College in Atlanta and take trips to New York City and Washington D.C. to visit the Department of State, C.I.A. and the United Nations. She is planning to spend a semester studying in South America. After graduation she will enter graduate school to study international affairs and journalism.
Part of the application required Escalera to write a five-page essay on an influential world leader and an important international event. Because of her Venezuelan heritage, the Tallahassee, Fla., native selected Venezuela President Hugo Chavéz and the crisis concerning the lack of checks and balances in the Venezuelan government for her essay.
Escalera hopes all of her rich and extensive training from the School and the fellowship will allow her to teach people to be more conscious of the world around them.
“I want to use my ability to write and communicate to make people more aware of the world,” said Escalera. “We all interconnect somehow — culturally, economically and politically — so I hope with all of this knowledge I am gaining that I’m able to share it with others and make people aware of how it affects them and others.”
Escalera is already starting to accomplish her goals. As founder and president of the new Missouri student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, she hopes to use her international public policy training to teach aspiring and current journalists about Hispanics in the media. Next semester, NAHJ will host a mini-convention on how to cover the new immigration laws that are now in the forefront of media coverage.
“We want to teach people the appropriate terminology to use and suitable ways to cover the new immigration laws,” said Escalera.
Ashley Gammon of St. Louis plans to use her advertising degree to pursue a career in public relations. She returned to her hometown to gain professional experience through internships at Cape Albeon Senior Living Community and Ladue Schools. Gammon has served as a teaching assistant for Principles of Strategic Communication for three semesters. She is the student coordinator of Diversity Peer Educators and has participated in National Association of Black Journalists and Ad Club.