SPJ/LA Announces 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Four exceptional journalism students have each been awarded a scholarship of $1,000 from the Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The scholarships are based on the applicant’s potential to succeed in a news media career.

And the winners are…

Ethan Lauren, 22, of Santa Monica College who will be transferring to California State University, Long Beach in the fall, was awarded the Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship. He will be majoring in journalism and is interested in a career involving writing and photojournalism.

Lauren was awarded “Most Prolific Journalist” for the Spring 2018 semester at SMC and has worked as a writer/photographer for The Corsair student newspaper since August 2017. He was selected as the President’s Ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year and serves as the college’s student representative, photographing official events for the college and assisting with public relations and student service programs. Since August 2017, he has worked as a freelance writer/photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Press as a published journalist of work relevant to the Santa Monica community.

“Writing and photographing go together for me. Wherever I go, I bring my camera and a notebook. I’ve captured smiles and tears that will now exist forever,” Lauren stated in his application. “The feeling is incredible because it’s real and will never happen again.”

Jason Rochlin, 21, of California State University, Fullerton, whose interests are journalism and editing, was awarded the Carl Greenberg Memorial Scholarship. Majoring in communications journalism and minoring in psychology, Rochlin’s goal is to work for a local newspaper.

Although Rochlin lives in Redondo Beach while attending CSUF, he was still motivated to do a reporting internship at the non-profit Gladeo League in Santa Monica, far from his home and school. His other work experience includes news editor at CSUF’s Daily Titan since 2016 and CSUF’s Inaugural Editor for California Connection since 2017. Rochlin’s awards, which cover an entire page, include SPJ Region 11 Mark of Excellence Award for Breaking News Reporting and an Excellence in Newswriting Award received at the Journalism Education Association’s National Write-Off Competition in April 2014.

“Two of the biggest problems facing journalism as an industry today is the dwindling print-centric market and an increasing lack of trust in the media brought about by figures like the president,” Rochlin wrote in his application. “I’d like to be able to address both issues through my work as a journalist, both at a local and national level.”

Imani Stephens, 21, of Arizona State University, whose interest is multimedia journalism, was awarded the Ken Inouye Memorial Scinouholarship. Majoring in journalism and mass communication, with a minor in justice studies, her goal is to work as an investigative reporter and attend law school.

Stephens’ achievements and vast experience in journalism include working as a CBS News investigative intern this summer in New York City, a reporter and weather anchor for Cronkite News from January to May 2018, Columbia Journalism School Investigative Reporters & Editors Fellowship recipient last summer and program coordinator for KAET 8 / Arizona PBS in Phoenix from January to May 2017.

“Developing skills as a journalist and growing up in the inner-city of Los Angeles, I became concerned about the problems affecting residents,” Stephens wrote in her application. “From city officials misappropriating funds to businesses committing fraud, I cultivated a desire to bring awareness as a journalist.”

Natalia Vivino, 21, of California State University, Northridge, whose interest is broadcast journalism, was awarded the Helen Johnson Memorial Scholarship. Majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in gender and women’s studies, Vivino is exploring how she can merge her budding journalism skills into the performing arts field.

Vivino anchored the CSUN television station twice a week at the same time she created and produced two television news packages,“The Miracle Project” and “Transgender Representation” even before she was part of the class that produces the show. While working on the second piece, she was in rehearsal for a musical in which she played the lead role. Nevertheless, both television packages met their deadline and were selected to air on CSUN’s Valley View News.

“If I could say one thing my experience studying broadcast journalism has taught me,” Vivino stated in her application, “it’s that I have the power to achieve my goals through hard work, determination and an unwavering love for what I do.”

Below is the brief history of the four scholarships:

Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors or college students who demonstrate a strong intent to pursue a career in journalism. Farr, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, sat in county jail for 46 days for refusing to tell a judge which lawyers had violated a gag order during the Charles Manson murder trial. ($500-$1,000)

Carl Greenberg Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to a college student pursuing investigative or political reporting. Greenberg was a political reporter at the Los Angeles Times, famed for being singled out by President Richard Nixon as the only reporter who covered him “fairly.” ($1,000)

Ken Inouye Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to a college journalist of color and is aimed at increasing ethnic diversity in newsrooms. Inouye was a 22-year-old cameraman for the International News Service and was covering the Korean War when he was killed aboard an Army aircraft. ($500-$1,000)

Helen Johnson Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is awarded to a college student pursuing broadcast journalism. Johnson was a producer of “Channel 4 News Conference” and an associate producer of “Meet the Press.” ($500-$1,000)

Financial need is considered if all other qualifications of competing applicants are equal.

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