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scholarships 2008


The White House Correspondents' Association has long supported local students. But many of us don't come from here, and most of our journalism has an impact far beyond this city. So in 2008 we expanded our scholarship program dramatically. Now, we commit five times more cash to scholarships than ever before. We started very generous new scholarships at three of the nation's most prestigious journalism schools -- Columbia, Northwestern, and the University of Missouri. And we expanded our existing programs at Howard University and the University of Maryland. In all, the White House Correspondents' Association donated $132,000 again in 2009, as we did in 2008.

These new scholarships are targeted in different ways. The one at Columbia helps a student from the Middle East, who intends to return home to share the best standards of American journalism in that crucial region. At Northwestern, our scholars must demonstrate interest in reporting on government affairs. And at Missouri, your money enables up to 10 students to attend its semester-long program in Washington.

All our scholars must demonstrate financial need, as we believe diversity and disadvantage should be no barrier to talent. And at a time of immense turmoil in our industry, we also believe that the next generation of political journalists -- wherever and however they work -- should maintain the highest standards. These scholarships are our, and your, commitment to those goals.


The White House Correspondents' Association funds a $38,000 scholarship at the Medill School of Journalism, covering half the full cost (tuition and fees plus room and board) of a one-year post graduate degree for a student in the Government and Public Affairs reporting track.

Photo/ Brendan Smialowski

2008-2009 recipient (pictured above, with President and Mrs. Obama): Walter Morris, an aspiring broadcast journalist from Los Angeles, who wants to cover politics and urban issues. Walter has interned at ABC's Good Morning America.

2009-2010 recipient: Grant Slater, now a correspondent in Moscow for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, covering the 15 countries for a global news agency targeting a niche audience.


The Association funds a $31,000 grant covering half the full cost (tuition and fees plus room and board) of a one-year postgraduate degree at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism for a student who comes from the Middle East and intends to return there.

2008-2009 recipient: Lina Al-Ejeilat, a young journalist, writer and blogger from Amman, Jordan. She is returning to Jordan this year to work on independent websites, including her own,

2009-2010 recipient: Yoav Sivan, an aspiring journalist from Tel Aviv, Israel, who created a program to help bridge the differences between secular and Orthodox Jewish citizens. He intends to return to the Middle East to report on discrimination against the Arab community in Israel and against the gay community in the Palestinian territories.


Photo/ Brendan Smialowski

The Association provides $25,000 to fund as many as 10 WHCA-Missouri fellowships each year at the Missouri School of Journalism, which enables graduate students to come to Washington for the university's semester-long Washington program. The $2,500 fellowship from the WHCA allows the school to waive full tuition costs and applicable on-campus fees for each student, in effect matching our grant by as much as $66,460.

Fall 2008 recipients (pictured above, with President and Mrs. Obama): Ferdous Al-Faruque, from Chittagong, Bangladesh, who interned at the political and digital units of ABC News, and Liz Langton, of St. Louis, Mo., who worked on video projects at

Spring 2009 recipients (pictured above, with President and Mrs. Obama): Fan Bu, of Beijing, who also worked in multimedia at the Washington Post website; Mu Li, of Hunan, China, who interned as an economics reporter for Marketplace; Jessica Nunez, of Detroit, a reporting intern at Scripps Howard; and Hui Wang of Changsha, China, and Yang Wang, of Inner Mongolia, China, who both worked with the investigative unit at NBC News in Washington.

Fall 2009 recipients: Mark Stanley, from Kansas City, Mo., who will be interning in Washington for the Center for Democracy and Technology, doing multimedia reporting, particularly in the area of Internet audience interest
in investigative v. opinion journalism; and Rose Raymond, from Chicago, who hopes to intern at Slate magazine.

Spring 2010 recipients: TBD


The Association funds three $7,000 scholarships for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in journalism at Howard's John H. Johnson School of Communications.

Photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan

2008-2009 recipients (pictured above, at the 2008 WHCA dinner): Crystal Cranmore, Phillip Lucas, Christina Wright. Crystal has interned at the Washington Post; Phillip has interned at the Seattle Times; and Christina has secured a job at the AP in Chicago. (READ MORE ABOUT THE 2008 SCHOLARSHIPS)

Photo/ Brendan Smialowski

2009-2010 recipients (pictured above, with President and Mrs. Obama): Curtis McCloud, Melissa Noel, and Erica Robinson. Curtis is from Columbus, Ga., and has interned WRC-TV 4, WHUT-TV 32 PBS, Cox Communications and WRVL-TV 3. Melissa is from Newark, NJ, and has interned with BBC World, WJLA-TV 7, WHUR-FM 96.3, NBC Universal, PBS, Afro-American and The Hilltop Newspapers, and Erica is from Hampton, Va., and has interned with SRB Communications, WHUT-TV 32 PBS, Afro-American and The Hilltop Newspapers,


The Frank R. Cormier Scholarship Award was established in 1991 by the White House Correspondents' Association. The award was renamed in February, 1994 to honor the memory of Frank R. Cormier, who for two decades exemplified the
best qualities of White House correspondents with a blend of gentleness, humor and professionalism that endeared him to the readers who were so well served by his crisp dispatches for The Associated Press. The scholarship is
now a $17,000 award for each of four years, covering the full cost (tuition and fees plus room and board) of an in-state student's four-year education at Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Graduated in 2009: Douglas Jackson-Quzack, who started out with a full-time job at Starbucks to support his family, and has since interned at NBC 4 in Washington and freelanced for the Prince George's County Gazette. He also works part-time for Vocus, a media research firm in Lanham, MD. He plans to work full-time with Vocus following graduation.

Starting as a freshman for 2009-2010: TBD

The Deborah Orin-Eilbeck Scholarship

In 2007, the White House press corps lost a fiercely independent and dedicated journalist: Deborah Orin. For nearly 20 years as the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for the New York Post, Deborah epitomized the very best in journalism. Always there with a tough question, an insightful quote and a hard-hitting story, she also brought to her craft the highest standards of excellence.

Deborah Orin began covering New York politics in 1977, and a decade later moved to the nation's capital where shereported on four U. S. presidents. She firmly believed that the media needed a wider political perspective, that a diverse country needs a diverse press. Deb lost her valiant battle with cancer, leaving behind her many friends, her husband Neville and colleagues on the White House beat. When she died on January 28, 2007, the New York Post wrote: "readers will miss her honesty and wisdom."

Thanks to an anonymous gift, the WHCA has established the Deborah Orin scholarship to benefit qualified students at her alma mater, Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Two students will each receive a $5,000 scholarship, allowing them to pursue the craft Deborah Orin practiced every day. We will miss her voice. But this scholarship will allow a new generation of journalists to strive for Deb's very high standards.

Photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan

2008-2009 recipients (pictured above, with President Bush, at the 2008 dinner): Melissa Schmidt and David Rivelli

2009-2010 recipients: Caitlin Holtzman and Christopher Paicely



For additional information about past winners, please visit the SCHOLARSHIP ARCHIVE page.


Photo/ Brendan Smialowski


c-span link

C-SPAN is hosting STREAMING VIDEO OF THE WHCA AWARDS DINNERS.These are available in both Flash and Real video formats. Watch the awards presentations online.



President Bush climbs up on a chair to equalize the height differential between himself and 6' 8" David Rivelli. Photo/The Associated Press


2007 scholarships


For a list of WHCA scholarship recipients since 1991, visit the SCHOLARSHIP ARCHIVE page, which also features links to videos of past dinners and scholarship presentations.





Our 2009 SLIDESHOW features The President and Mrs. Obama, WHCA members, journalism award winners, scholarship recipients, and some familiar faces from Washington and Hollywood. Flash player and a javascript-enabled browser are required to view the slideshow.

slideshow link

slideshow link 2008 SLIDESHOW

link to dinner page2007 SLIDESHOW


Watch WHCA dinner videos dating back to 1993 on C-SPAN.ORG. Footage includes award presentations, scholarships, historical retrospectives, political humor,and some great "people watching" at the annual dinner.



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