Scholarships and Awards
School of Journalism & Mass Communication Scholarships
More than $175,000 in scholarships and awards is disbursed to journalism and mass communication students each year.
SJMC General Scholarship Application
All additional Undergraduate Awards and Scholarships described below are distributed annually. ***Please note that a separate application is NOT required for each award, just complete the one application.
All SJMC students are encouraged to APPLY. For more information about the scholarships included in this application, please see SJMC General Scholarship Award Descriptions below.
Apply at the University of Iowa’s Iowa Scholarship Portal
Once signed in with your Hawk ID and password, the system will walk you through the application process.
Students who were born, raised and educated in Iowa (K-12) are eligible to apply for the Fairall Scholarship. Submission Deadline is Friday, October 4, 2019. Apply here
Pulitzer Center Global Health Fellowship
Every other year, the SJMC sponsors an upper-level undergraduate majoring in journalism to produce a report using various media (articles, video, photography, etc.) on a global health topic of their choice. This experience will include significant on-site fieldwork in an international location.
For more information and to apply for the Pulitzer Center Fellowship, click here.
SJMC Study Abroad Scholarship
Each semester SJMC students can apply for the School's Study Abroad Scholarship. Apply here.
Due date for Winter 2019 & Spring 2020 programs is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019.
Due date for Summer 2020 & Fall 2020 programs is MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2020.
Due date for Fall 2020-Spring 2021 Full academic year programs is MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2020.
Lauren A. Wretman Phelps Study Abroad Fund
Used to award one or more annual scholarships to students who intend to study abroad
Other Scholarships and Awards
SJMC General Scholarship Award Descriptions (listed in alphabetical order, by last name)
Philip D. Adler Journalist Scholarship
Awarded to a junior journalism and mass communication major who shows great potential for leadership and editorial achievement in newspaper or broadcast journalism. The scholarship was endowed with a gift from the Lee Foundation to honor Philip D. Adler, a 1926 graduate of the School and longtime president of Lee Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Adler also was publisher of the Davenport Times-Democrat.
Leon Barnes Community Journalism Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication student. Leon Barnes was the publisher of the Northwood (Iowa) Anchor for 30 years.
Ruth Baty and Maurice Barnett Jones Scholarship
Awarded to a worthy journalism and mass communication student in the newspaper field of journalism. Maurice Barnett Jones was a longtime publisher of the Cresco Times-Plain Dealer and endowed this scholarship in honor of his spouse, Ruth Baty Jones, a newspaperwoman known for her editorials and her news writing.
Lester Benz Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a needy and deserving student who demonstrates outstanding potential in the field of journalism and mass communication. Mr. Benz was publisher of The Daily Iowan from 1953-1958 and was executive secretary for Quill and Scroll Society from 1957–1972. He was on the journalism and mass communication faculty from 1956 until his retirement in 1972.
Toni Berry Memorial Scholarship
The scholarship supports individuals who serve as the supervising editors of NURU, the newspaper published by the UI’s student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. This scholarship was established by Toni Berry’s family, which includes Associate Professor Venise Berry.
James W. Blackburn Scholarship
Awarded to a freshman journalism and mass communication major based on overall level of academic standing with an emphasis on thorough and responsible work and accomplishments in extracurricular activities. Mr. Blackburn, who died in 1981, was an alumnus of The University of Iowa and founder of Blackburn & Company, a media brokerage firm. In 1991, Mr. Blackburn was elected to the Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame for lifetime contributions to the “Fifth Estate.”
Nan Borreson Scholarship Fund
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication student who understand and will practice journalism as a means to assure free press and democracy.
Dean and Gerrie Buresh Excellence in Strategic Communication Scholarship
Awarded to undergraduate students who plan careers in strategic communications/public relations and/or marketing communications.
Harry S. Bunker Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to deserving journalism and mass communication students. Mr. Bunker was the former president of Speidel Newspapers. Following his death in September 1966, this scholarship was established in his honor.
Burrows Family Scholarship
Awarded to undergraduate major student(s) in the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communications who also work at The Daily Iowan. The student(s) should be a junior or senior and show working knowledge of strong journalistic principles and ethics and evidence of use of such knowledge to defend and advocate for the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and show professional promise such as an intent to work professionally in such areas. Preference should be given to student(s) who graduate from a high school in Iowa.
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication students. Mr. Reynolds, who taught some of the early journalism courses at the University of Iowa, was for 26 years director of public relations for the Standard Oil Company of Indiana. A number of his friends established this fund in his honor.
Paul Conrad Scholarship
Awarded annually to a deserving journalism and mass communication student. Established in honor of Mr. Conrad's 80th birthday. Mr. Conrad is a distinguished political cartoonist and a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He was chief editorial cartoonist of the Los Angeles Times from 1964 to 1993.
Phil Currie Scholarship
Awarded to a journalism and mass communication major who plans to pursue a career in journalism. Preference given to students who are United States citizens and are members of traditionally underrepresented ethnic minority groups.
Laurence Fairall Scholarship in Journalism
The Laurence Fairall Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate and master's professional students who were born and raised in Iowa, have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average and intend to have active careers in journalism.
Jess Gorkin Magazine Scholarship
Awarded to a junior journalism and mass communication student who shows potential for a successful career in the magazine field. Mr. Gorkin, a 1936 graduate of the School, was editor of Parade magazine and a magazine consultant.
W. Earl Hall and Reeves E. Hall Scholarship
Awarded to a journalism and mass communication major who has achieved distinction in editorial or interpretive news writing in the year preceding the award. W. Earl Hall was editor of the Mason City Globe-Gazette. Reeves E. Hall was associated with the Manchester Publishing Co.
Bruce and Jean Harrison Scholarship
Awarded to a sophomore or junior at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The recipient of this scholarship will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of quality community journalism and the necessity of a free press at every level of a healthy society. Bruce and Jean Harrison both received degrees in journalism from the University of Iowa. Bruce earned a master’s degree in 1967, and Jean was the managing editor of The Daily Iowan. Together, they purchased The Star-Herald, a county-seat weekly newspaper in southwest Minnesota. With Jean as editor and Bruce as publisher, they produced vibrant and relevant community journalism that garnered state and national awards for reporting, editorial writing, and photography.
John & Shirley Harrison Prize in Journalism
Awarded to a deserving student majoring in journalism. Preference will be given to a student who: is a third or fourth-year undergraduate; has demonstrated a passion for journalism through work of high quality on student or professional news outlets and a deep interest in international affairs: has had the equivalent of at least two college years of study of a foreign language and an interest in developing proficiency in one or more foreign languages, and proposes to use the prize money to help finance study or other experiences abroad that will help increase the student's understanding of another language and culture.
Bernard and Ethel Adler Hurwitz Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication student. A 1940 graduate, Mr. Hurwitz worked with the Associated Press in Omaha, Nebraska and in 1975 he married Ethel Adler and relocated to the San Francisco Bureau. He covered such stories as the Patty Hearst kidnapping and trial and Vietnam War protests. He died in 1999.
Harriet E. Janes Journalism Scholarship
Established by Jon S. and Lynda Janes to award students majoring in journalism and mass communication who demonstrate potential for career achievement in writing or broadcast journalism. Preference is given to students from Vinton, Iowa or from neighboring communities.
John F. Kennedy Truth-in-Journalism Scholarship
Awarded to a junior or senior journalism and mass communication student who has achieved distinction in interpretive or investigative reporting. The award was established in 1964 by Roy Bazire, a 1939 SJMC graduate.
Tom King Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a junior or senior journalism and mass communication student demonstrating potential for career achievement in writing or broadcast journalism. Tom King, a Cedar Rapids native and a 1986 SJMC graduate, was a 16-year veteran of the Wall Street Journal, creator of the paper’s "Hollywood Journal" column and author of the best-selling biography of media mogul David Geffen, The Operator. Tom also appeared regularly on CNBC until his untimely death in April 2003. The scholarship was established by family, friends and professional associates.
Judy Klemesrud Writing Scholarship
Awarded to an undergraduate student with at least a 2.75 GPA who displays great promise in news-editorial writing. Klemesrud was a 1961 graduate of the School and a reporter for The New York Times. The scholarship was established by family and friends upon her death in 1985.
Kotok Family Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving student with a double major in Journalism and Mass Communication and Informatics.
A.W. Lee Scholarship
Awarded to juniors, seniors or master's professional students who show potential for a successful career, academic achievement, demonstrated competence and participation in extracurricular activities. Scholarships are awarded in four areas: newspaper, editorial page and/or commentary, broadcast/electronic journalism and advertising/public relations. The scholarship honors A.W. Lee, who founded what later became Lee Enterprises Inc., owner and operator of newspapers and broadcast stations.
E. Jack and Ailene Liechty Scholarship
Award to deserving full-time journalism and mass communication junior or senior students who demonstrates sound academic ability and a desire to pursue a journalism career. This scholarship was established in 1995 by Mrs. Ailene Liechty in memory of her husband, E. Jack Liechty.
William S. Maulsby Memorial Scholarship
Established in 1993 by Professor Maulsby's granddaughter, Susan Redfern. Awarded to a student with financial need who plans to teach high school journalism. Beginning in 1919, William S. Maulsby was the first person to teach journalism courses exclusively at the University of Iowa.
Roger and Delores McLain Scholarship
Awarded to a student studying audio or visual digital storytelling and is a graduate of an Iowa high school.
Gordon L. McKenzie Scholarship
Awarded to an undergraduate journalism and mass communication student pursuing a news journalism or public relations career based on their academic achievement and professional potential. Gordon L. McKenzie received his BA degree in news-editorial journalism from the School in 1979. His career has included stints as a political party press secretary, a college PR director and, since 1986, in corporate and technical communications for Wells Fargo Financial.
Dorothy Wilson Moeller Writing Scholarship
Established by Mrs. Moeller's daughter and son, Margaret Nelson and Dr. Kent Moeller, on her 90th birthday to honor her commitment to the art and craft of writing. Awarded to students who plan mass communication careers and demonstrate outstanding sensitivity to language and skill in its use in the mass media.
Frank Luther Mott Undergraduate Scholarship
Awarded to a junior or senior journalism and mass communication student interested in newspaper and magazine reporting. Special emphasis is given to honesty in reporting, investigative ability, purity of writing and absence of news editorializing. This scholarship memorializes Frank Luther Mott, director of the School from 1927 to 1943.
Jerry Parker Feature Writing Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a senior journalism and mass communication major on the basis of outstanding achievement in journalism-related assignments in feature writing, extra-curricular feature writing and overall academic excellence. Jerry Parker graduated from Iowa in 1961 and was a talented reporter and feature writer for Newsday until his death in 1985.
Wilbur C. Peterson Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication student. The award was established in 1966 by students and friends of Peterson, a faculty member in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1951 to 1966.
Linda Perrin Taber Pollack Scholarship
Awarded to a junior or senior journalism and mass communication major who demonstrates academic excellence and involvement in extracurricular activities at The University of Iowa. This fund was initiated with a bequest from Roy H. Pollack in memory of his wife.
Dorothy Pownall Scholarship
Awarded to a senior female who has shown great potential as a journalist of high competence. This scholarship was established in 1977 to honor Mrs. Pownall, a newspaper reporter and free-lance writer. She was the wife of Fred Pownall, a faculty member from 1935 to the mid-1950s and publisher of Student Publications Inc.
Fred Pownall Scholarship
Awarded to a senior male who has shown great potential as a journalist of high competence . Established in 1976 by students and friends of Mr. Pownall, a faculty member from 1935 to the mid-1950s and publisher of Student Publications Inc.
Florence Ruebush Scholarship
This award provides financial assistance to full-time journalism and mass communication juniors or seniors based on their academic achievement and their professional potential.
Hugh M. Schultz Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communciation student.
Howard A. Schumacher Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication student. Mr. Schumacher, a 1931 Iowa alumus, was a well-known manufacturing executive and management consultant. He passed away in 1975.
Timothy J. Severa Travel Award Fund
Provides a stipend for students to attend a student or professional conference.
Shafer Family Trust Scholarship
Awarded to Iowa resident junior, senior or post-graduate students with academic excellence focusing on the adaptation and use of electronic imaging and visualization technologies to report and disseminate news and news-related information to the general public. This scholarship was established in January 2005 in memory of Bob Shafer.
Ben Silver Broadcasting Journalism Scholarship
Awarded to a student who has demonstrated an interest in broadcast journalism by obtaining meaningful employment or an internship in the field. Established as a gift from Ben Silver, a 1955 graduate of the School who for many years was a CBS correspondent and is professor emeritus at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication at Arizona State University.
Gordon B. Strayer Scholarship
Awarded to an undergraduate student who has demonstrated leadership in the campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and achieved academic excellence. Gordon B. Strayer, a 1951 master’s graduate, worked for University Relations for over 40 years. A national leader in public relations, he retired in 1991.
Alan Waxenberg Scholarship
Awarded to a female master’s professional student interested in a career in the magazine field. This scholarship was started by Mr. Waxenberg’s family and friends in honor of his 60th birthday. A 1956 graduate, he was formerly the editor of Good Housekeeping magazine and vice president and publisher of Victoria magazine.
Mark Westerbeck Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a deserving journalism and mass communication student. Mr. Westerbeck, who graduated from the School in 1975, was a newspaper reporter. At the time of his death in 1988, at the age of 35, he was a highly successful trade publications editor. The award was established in his memory by friends and is supported by his parents.
Ruth A. Wilson Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a sophomore or junior female student with a desire to pursue a career in the print media and potential for achieving professional competence in the field. Ruth Wilson received her BA degree from the School in 1946. She was a part of The Daily Iowan’s all–woman editorial staff in 1944. Ms. Wilson joined The Milwaukee Journal as a copy editor in 1962 after stints at newspapers elsewhere. In 1982 she became reader contact editor, making her the first female ombudsperson of any major national daily. In 1988 she was inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club’s Hall of Fame.
Professor Donald K.Woolley Scholarship
Awarded to a student with an interest in photojournalism . Don Woolley, an alumnus of the School, was known for dedication to his students. He also was legendary for his unique delivery of photography final exams—for instance, floating the test on rubber ducks down the Iowa River.
Lauren A. Wretman Phelps Study Abroad Fund
Used to award one or more annual scholarships to students who intend to study abroad
Thomas Yoseloff Scholarship
Awarded to a worthy freshman journalism and mass communication student. This award was established with gifts from the children, grandchildren, family and friends in honor of Thomas Yoseloff, a 1934 graduate of the School.
Barbara Yost Memorial Fund for Young Journalists
Used for student support in the School of Journalism.
Jim Zabel Scholarship
Awarded to junior journalism and mass communication students who demonstrate professional promise and academic excellence and who are planning a career in broadcast journalism. The award was established in honor of Jim Zabel, longtime sports director of WHO radio in Des Moines and a 1944 graduate of the School.