by Ann Riggs, Secretary and Scholarship Coordinator
The Ohio Newspaper Association is proud to announce the Ohio Newspapers Foundation scholarship winners for 2015. Five scholarships of $1,500 each were awarded to college and high school students for their work in newspaper-related fields.
Samantha firmly believes few other jobs can offer the same satisfaction as one in journalism. To see that byline and to smell the freshly printed ink makes every 3 a.m. deadline worth it — and almost addictive. A second-year scholarship winner, Samantha serves as managing editor for the Independent Collegian and has assisted in training new writers and editors for the past two years. Samantha is a natural leader and helped the paper to right itself during an extraordinary year of transition. She interned for Emerald Coast Magazine and is submitting freelance work to be published in online magazines.
She balances extensive hours at the paper with maintaining a near-4.0 average, fulfilling Honors College requirements and serving as the marketing director for a new student organization that coordinates volunteer opportunities in the community. She also participates in Phi Eta Sigma, a communication national honor society.
Since shedding fantasies of becoming a better hockey player than Wayne Gretzky, Reis’s primary focus has been on journalism and becoming a foreign correspondent. Currently the news editor for The Miami Student, Reis will be the editor-in-chief next year. He served as an editorial intern at dBusiness, a business magazine in Detroit, and this summer will intern for the Columbus Dispatch as a reporter.
In 2014, Reis worked as a YMCA volunteer in South Africa and Lesotho, running a blog dedicated to social, economic and political commentary about the country, its people and systems. He helped build new facilities, ran activities, taught classes and wrote about it in an observant and sensitive series of blog entries.
Following a summer internship at The Chronicle Telegram his senior year in high school, LaQuann was intrigued. During orientation week at Kent State, he contacted the school newspaper and became The Daily Kent Stater’s first-ever illustrator. As a graphic designer and illustrator, he builds the newspaper from scratch five days a week, placing advertisements online and in print. He creates effective visuals to aid in communicating assigned stories. Newspaper, print and student media and journalism are major parts of his college career.
LaQuann has a wealth of software knowledge. He plans to take all of his skills and apply them to a career in the newspaper industry. He wants to be the newspaper industry’s go-to guy for unique illustrations, layouts and graphics one day.
Samantha, fascinated with writing at age 8, began writing short stories modeled after books read to her by her grandmother. Even though there was no opportunity to write for a high school newspaper, she became involved with a newspaper distributed throughout Ohio high schools called Student Paths, where she wrote about her college decisions as a senior and later experiences as a college freshman. A journalism major at Kent State, she is the Kent Stater assigning editor, supervising five new reporters.
Samantha also writes for The Burr magazine and The Suburbanite newspaper. Besides her journalism activities, she is involved in two honors organizations, is part of the Honors College and is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and The National Society of Leadership and Success.
Brook, as Biruktawit likes to be called, moved to the United States from Ethiopia at the age of six. Even though it was a difficult transition, she caught on very quickly to the English language and excelled in grammar and writing. She currently holds a 3.8 GPA and is involved in numerous activities at one of the best high schools in the country. Brook is most proud to have brought the program Amnesty International to Walnut Hills, serving as president.
Upon entering Ohio University, Brook plans on majoring in journalism and international studies. Through her internships at The Cincinnati Herald and WCPO-TV, as well as her work on photojournalism projects, she experienced the positive impact journalists have in people’s lives. Along with writing many human interest and political pieces for The Cincinnati Herald, Brook is a member of the debate team, treasurer of Film Club and is a tutor.