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Published: Mon, December 9, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report


To attract and retain the strongest journalism and mass communication students in the nation, Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication is introducing a financial award program specifically designed for first-time freshmen in fall 2014.

The Promising Scholar Awards will provide $2,000 a year, renewable for up to four years, to the 10 highest-achieving incoming freshmen in each of JMC’s undergraduate degree programs: advertising, electronic/digital media, journalism and public relations. The top two incoming freshmen will be awarded $3,000 a year, renewable for up to four years, as Ralph C. Darrow Promising Scholars. Darrow was a founding figure in JMC’s public relations program.

“Our school has made a commitment to provide scholarships to the highest-achieving incoming freshmen who are committed to an education in JMC,” said Thor Wasbotten, director of Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “This scholarship is intended to help throughout their four years in our school. Attracting top students has become more competitive than ever and the Promising Scholar program will help us and our students tremendously.”

With the Promising Scholar Award and other university financial assistance programs, Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication has become one of the most affordable schools in the nation. It is also one of the strongest. The undergraduate program at JMC has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for nearly 50 years. Kent State’s JMC is one of only 111 accredited journalism schools in the world and the only accredited school of journalism and mass communication in Northeast Ohio.

In 2013, JMC ranked in the top 10 of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program; ranked second in the nation in the Public Relations Student Society of America 2013 Bateman Case Study Competition; and won gold, silver and bronze medals in the international College Photographer of the Year competition. For the past two years, Kent State’s TV2, part of JMC’s independent student media program, has been named “TV Station of the Year” by the College Media Association.

The first Promising Scholar Award winners will be announced in spring 2014. The award is renewable if students remain in good standing in JMC with a 3.0 GPA overall and a 3.3 GPA in their JMC courses.

Kent State’s Promising Scholar Awards are being funded through the generosity of private donors, including alumni, media and communication industry leaders and members of JMC’s Professional Advisory Board. Matching gifts from the university’s College of Communication and Information also help fund the program.

“I am tremendously grateful for the generous support of our alumni and friends in creating these scholarships,” said Stan Wearden, dean of the College of Communication and Information at Kent State. “These are gifts that make an enormous and immediate difference. They are life-changing. I want to offer a huge thank you on behalf of the students, the faculty and the leadership of this college to those who have made a financial sacrifice to improve the lives and the education of our students.”

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