Omaha Press Club Foundations awards scholarships to 8 CoJMC students

Omaha Press Club Foundations awards scholarships to 8 CoJMC students

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 7:00pm
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Omaha Press Club

Five University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications students will share in $12,000 in scholarships that the Omaha Press Club Foundation will award on April 29.

Three additional CoJMC students, selected by the faculty to represent the college competed for another $7,000 in foundation awards, which they were awarded. These students entered work that demonstrates their skills in writing features and hard news or they showcased their talent in a broadcast internship.

The scholarship recipients, chosen by the CoJMC faculty for their accomplishments and professional potential, will be honored at a dinner at the club in Omaha. They will be joined by longtime Omaha World-Herald reporter Jim Fogarty, whom the foundation will present with a Career Achievement Award, and Jeremy Lipschultz, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and winner of the foundation’s Journalism Educator Award.

Calla Kessler, sophomore journalism major, will be awarded a $2,500 John F. Davis Scholarship. Kessler has distinguished herself as a photographer, earning a College Photographer of the Year 2015 Award for Excellence for a feature photo, placing fourth in the 2015 Hearst Photo One Competition and placing third in the annual photo contest of the High Country News. Her work has appeared in the Daily Nebraskan, where Kessler has served as a staff photographer, as well as in The Atlantic’s American Dream photo contest. Kessler was a member of the photo team for the CoJMC Nicaragua multimedia project in May 2015, and she held an internship last summer at the Cedar County News. Since Fall 2014, she has been an intern for National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.

Her parents, Tom and Cathy Kessler, live in Omaha.

Sydni Rowen, junior advertising/public relations major, will receive the $2,500 Panko-Roberts/President’s Memorial Scholarship. Rowen, originally from Urbandale, Iowa, serves as chief operating officer of Jacht Ad Lab, CoJMC’s student-run advertising agency, and works as a communications coordinator on the student staff of University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s New Student Enrollment program. She earlier served as an orientation leader in the NSE program. Rowen in 2012-13 held an internship at the Waukee (Iowa) Area Chamber of Commerce. She’s active in Delta Gamma as vice president for communications and previously served as vice president for social standards and director of public relations at the sorority. In 2015, she co-chaired Homecoming for the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska.

Her parents, Jeff and Teresa Rowen, live in Omaha.

Benjamin Schoenkin, junior broadcasting and political science major, will receive the $2,500 Paul N. Williams Scholarship. He serves as one of two student governors on the national level for National Broadcasting Society-Alpha Epsilon Rho and is co-president of the group’s University of Nebraska–Lincoln chapter. From Fall 2014 to the following fall, he hosted state politics public affairs radio show “Cornhusker State Politics and Beyond” on KRNU2. He worked in 2015 as a reporter for the Daily Nebraskan, where he won a University of Nebraska–Lincoln Publications Board First Place Award for Outstanding Achievement in News Event Coverage for a piece on Sen. Deb Fischer and Iran. He has been an intern since January at 10/11 News in Lincoln and, last summer, at KLKN-TV, also in Lincoln.

His father, Charles K. Schoenkin, lives in Lincoln.

Mary Theresa Wahlmeier, sophomore broadcasting production major, will receive a $2,500 John F. Davis Scholarship. Originally from Hastings, Wahlmeier holds minors in music technology and English. A Regents Scholar at University of Nebraska–Lincoln, she’s a member of the university honors program and the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. She co-hosted a Sunday radio show on KRNU last year. She traveled to Philadelphia to help cover the World Meeting of Families and to Washington, D.C., to cover the National March for Life. She freelances for the Southern Nebraska Register, a weekly newspaper serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, and serves as video-media chair for the Newman Center.

Her parents, Patrick and Debbie Wahlmeier, live in Juniata, Nebraska. Her fiancé, Jeremy Sousek, lives in Lincoln.

Nora Williams, junior advertising/public relations and psychology major, will receive a $2,000 Stan Bond Scholarship. An account executive with Jacht Ad Lab, the CoJMC’s student-run advertising agency, Williams is a Regents Scholar and a member of the Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society. She served on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln National Student Advertising Competition Team in research and media planning. The NSAC team won gold ADDY Awards in television advertising and overall campaign, as well as a silver ADDY Award for print advertising and the Student Best of Show Award in 2015. Williams worked at the Lied Center for the Performing Arts as a campus engagement intern.

Her parents, Mike and Joni Williams, live in Papillion.

Three University of Nebraska–Lincoln students competed with peers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University were also awarded a total of $7,000 in scholarships by a subcommittee of the Omaha Press Club Foundation.

Chris Bowling, a sophomore originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, is competing for a $3,000 Jim Denney Good News Scholarship. His feature story, “A Signature Away: Lincoln Yazidi’s Long Struggle to America,” was published in the Daily Nebraskan in May 2015. Bowling served as an arts, sports and news writer at the student paper in 2014-15. He does the design work this year for University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s satirical paper, The DailyER. He held an internship at the Norfolk Daily News and Lincoln Journal Star and is currently working as news reporter/fellow at the Omaha World-Herald. This summer, he will intern at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

His mother, Beth Bowling, lives in Liberty Township, Ohio.

Natasha Rausch, a junior from West Chester, Ohio, is competing for a $2,500 Howard Silber Scholarship. She wrote her hard news entry, “‘We didn’t see the knife’: Bystanders who helped woman became targets themselves,” for the Omaha World-Herald in July 2015. After spending the 2015 spring semester as a fellow at the paper, she held an internship at the newspaper last summer and now works Saturdays as a police reporter. She also has been an intern at the Norfolk Daily News, served as a correspondent for USA Today and worked as senior sports and breaking news editor at the Daily Nebraskan. This summer, she will be an intern at The Oregonian.

Her parents, James and Jeaneen Rausch, live in West Chester, Ohio.

Morgan Rezac, a junior from Ceresco, is competing for the $1,500 Mark Gautier Broadcast Internship Award. Rezac, an advertising and public relations major who previously majored in broadcast journalism, was an intern at KMTV Action 3 News last summer. Since the Spring 2014, she worked as a freelance journalist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and published work in the Midwest Messenger, the Nebraska Farmer, the USDA blog and numerous newspapers. She’s also a student worker in University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication program. She’s a University of Nebraska–Lincoln David’s Distinguished Scholar and a University of Nebraska–Lincoln Legends Scholar, as well as a member of the Order of Omega Honor Society.

Her parents, Mark and Elizabeth Rezac, live in Ceresco.

The students will meet honorees Fogarty and Lipschultz for a private discussion before the celebratory dinner, at 5 p.m. on April 29. Cocktails follow at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at about 7 p.m.