Students apply for 2 awards with 1 application


The HSPA Foundation will partner with the Indiana High School Press Association to award its two $1,500 scholarships to graduating seniors planning to major in print journalism.

In past years, the Foundation conducted its own application and selection process to award scholarships.

After studying the IHSPA’s Indiana Student Journalist of the Year award and reviewing its procedures, the Foundation board of directors realized unnecessary replication existed in identifying high-achieving journalism students, HSPA Foundation Director Karen Braeckel said.

“IHSPA’s portfolio application requirements are far superior to what we required, and many of the same students applied for both awards,” she said. “It seemed to make a lot of sense to join forces. Both organizations want to encourage students with great potential to continue in journalism.”

Students must mail an application by Feb. 15 to be eligible. Applicants submit portfolios that include samples of their work, letters of recommendation and a self-analytical evaluation of their “journalist life.” A full list of requirements is available at

The Indiana Student Journalist of the Year award is part of the Journalism Education Association’s Student Journalist of the Year program.

The JEA contest recognizes some of the top high school journalists in the country. It begins at the state level, and winners of state Journalist of the Year competitions are sent to the national level. The top winner receives a $5,000 scholarship, and runners-up get $2,000.

Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale who have participated in high school journalism for at least two years. They also must be students of a JEA adviser.

Braeckel said an HSPA Foundation scholarship may not necessarily go to the Indiana Student Journalist of the Year winner. If the winner plans to major in something other than print journalism, for instance, he or she would be ineligible for the HSPA Foundation award.

“Our criteria may vary slightly, but we will have the advantage of a broader selection committee choosing the finalists,” she said. “We also have a great forum now to present the awards.”

The Indiana Student Journalist of the Year award and HSPA Foundation scholarship winners will be announced during IHSPA’s annual First Amendment Symposium at the Indiana Statehouse.

The event brings together students and adults to celebrate the freedoms the First Amendment guarantees. This year’s event on March 2 will feature Karen Crotchfelt, new president and publisher of Star Media, as the keynote speaker.

“We’re very excited to have HSPA Foundation on board,” said Diana Hadley, executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association. “It’s a wonderful connection for our students.”

Indiana Student Journalist of the Year winners have placed well in the national competition, Hadley said. Hoosier native George Edward Srour was named JEA Journalist of the Year in 2001.

“HSPA Foundation will have a high caliber of students to choose from for its scholarships,” Hadley said. “Our students are very competitive – many have GPA’s of 4.0 or higher and are editors of their school papers.”