Congratulations are in order for Sarah Doherty, a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Media Studies at SC&I, because the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (NJSPJ) has named her the first recipient of its Fran Burns Scholarship fund.
Doherty, who is a Society of Professional Journalists student member, said, “I felt great about getting the $500 scholarship. Before applying I did not know this was the first ever Fran Burns scholarship, so I felt even more thankful being the first person to ever receive it.”
The scholarship award will enable Doherty to attend SPJ's national conference in Baltimore. This year’s conference theme is “Excellence in Journalism.”
“I am very happy that I will get to attend the conference in September,” Doherty said. Without the scholarship, I probably would not have been able to do so. I look forward to attending workshops and hearing the experiences of those who are and have been in the industry. I want to be able to keep up with what is happening in the real world.”
The NJSPJ website notes that Doherty has always known that she wanted to be a news anchor, which is why she decided to major in Journalism and Media Studies at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers.
The NJSPJ website also explains, “The scholarship is named after Fran Burns, a former SPJ New Jersey president and cherished member of the chapter who died in September 2017. Burns was a loyal member of SPJ who made a point of attending many conferences. The NJSPJ board created this scholarship as a way to honor her memory.”
This upcoming school year, Doherty will serve as the Secretary of the Rutgers Society of Professional Journalists. “I am very excited because it is a position of leadership and I will be doing what I love. I want to be an on-air news anchor after I graduate and I think that an organization like SPJ is a great experience to have. I hope that SPJ helps me to become more professional and gives me the ability to network with industry professionals,” she said.