College Communications Scholarship

CPW is not planning to award a college scholarship in 2014. Please check back in early 2015 for further details.



Lee RidleyCPW has awarded a $1,000 scholarship in 2013 to Lee Ridley, a senior at Metropolitan State University in Denver. She carries a straight-A average with a major of social and mobile media journalism. As a nontraditional student, she has returned to college to pursue a second bachelor's degree and seek a career in her passion, journalism.

In her scholarship essay she wrote, "I am an older student, returning to college to make this dream a reality. I value the opportunity to learn from my professors and assignments more so than I did when I was a young college student. I approach assignments with an attitude of exploration instead of drudgery."

Lee writes for The Metropolitan, MSU Denver's student newspaper, and publishes stories online on an MSU Denver website. Her expected graduation date is May 2014.






2012 CPW Scholarships

With 13 outstanding applicants for college scholarships in 2012, CPW decided to grant two awards. First-place winner, Avalon Jacka, received $1,000, and second-place winner, Kaitlyn Schlicht, received $500.

Avalon Jacka

Avalon Jacka, a Colorado native, has completed her junior year at the University of Colorado. She is majoring in news-editorial journalism with a minor in Russian studies. She is a Dean's Scholar in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and member of the CU chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Avalon has worked as entertainment editor and reporter for the CU Independent and as a DJ for CU's radio station, Radio 1190, where she has a weekly broadcast.

After graduation, Avalon hopes to work for a major U.S. newspaper. This summer, she and her mom are planning a trip to Iceland and Norway, where her great-grandparents lived.






Kaitlyn Schlicht

Kaitlyn Schlicht is a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has worked for Snowboard Magazine, first as an editorial intern and then as seasonal editor. Some of her responsibilities have included contacting over 200 snow sports companies to produce an elaborate print and digital Buyer's Guide and writing over 50 blog posts for Snowboardmag.com about the happenings in the snowboarding world.

Kaitlyn is in the process of applying for the Peace Corps. After volunteering, she hopes to continue working in the magazine industry, starting a career at an advertising agency, working as a reporter for a newspaper, or even starting her own freelance media company.

This summer, Kaitlyn is visiting family in Wisconsin before returning to Boulder to serve as a nanny, take a Fundamentals of Marketing class and enjoy outdoor activities.




2011 CPW Scholarship


Aliese Willard, entering her junior year in 2011 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, has been awarded Colorado Press Women’s 2011 scholarship.

Barbara Gigone, scholarship chair, said CPW board members chose Aliese for the $500 award for her educational background in journalism, high grades and her impressive community service record and financial needs. She also will receive a student membership to CPW and NFPW.

The scholarship winner is a CSU journalism honors student (with a 3.93-point grade average) and campus magazine reporter and editor. She also was a reporter and photographer for her Rocky Mountain High School “Highlighter” where she graduated with highest honors and a 4.0 grade average. Aliese has been a Poudre Valley Hospital volunteer for four years and has volunteered at Elderhaus Adult Daycare, Northern Colorado Catholic Charities Mission, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Food Bank of Larimer County.

She received the CSU Creative Arts Scholarship for creative writing and the CSU Journalism Faculty Scholarship for both 2010 and 2011. She and her family are residents of Fort Collins.

Aliese says she hopes to “write, edit and design for a publication, as well as explore other creative media in the field, like photography and videography.”


2010 CPW Scholarships

Colorado Press Women has awarded two scholarships to deserving young journalists.

Recipients for 2010 are Leah Millis, photo editor at The Metropolitan, the student newspaper for Metro State College in Denver, and Katherine Schultz, Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Undergraduate students majoring in journalism or mass communications at a Colorado university or college are eligible for the $500 awards. The applicants must complete an application form, provide a letter of recommendation from a mass communications/journalism faculty member at the college the student is attending, and provide a 300-to 500-word essay introducing the candidate and summarizing the candidate's college and community involvement.




Friends/family of Leah Flanders with scholarship recipient

Family meets scholarship awardee
In late October CPW member Barbara Gigone hosted a small gathering at her Louisville home to bring together friends and family of the late Leah Flanders and the recipient of a scholarship awarded in the memory of the longtime Longmont journalist. Pictured here, left to right, are Eleanor Flanders, Leah's sister-in-law (and lifelong friend from college), scholarship recipient Maggie Schoonmaker (see more below), and Fred Flanders and Francea Flanders, son and daughter of Leah Flanders. Leah died in September 2007 at age 91, after a career at the Longmont Times-Call that spanned from the 1950s to 2003. Eleanor Flanders, now 93, earned a journalism degree in 1938 from the University of Colorado.

CPW awards three scholarships in 2009

CPW has awarded a $2,000 one-time scholarship in memory of longtime member Leah Flanders and two $500 scholarships.


Maggie Schoonmaker, a junior in the University of Colorado's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has won the Leah Flanders Scholarship by Colorado Press Women.

Schoonmaker, a graduate of Chatfield High School in south Jefferson County, is working toward a degree in news-editorial, with a certificate/minor in leadership and in technology, arts and media. She plans a career in journalism. Her work has been published in "Young Authors of Tomorrow" and she was one of 50 CU freshmen chosen for the President's Leadership Class.

She is an assistant editor in the CU Department of Publications and Creative Services, assistant director for PLC Publications, and an intern at the Boulder County YWCA, where she mentors in the Bolder (sic) Girls writing program.

The $2,000 scholarship honors Leah Flanders, a 1941 graduate of CU, who served as a leader and mentor for countless women journalists during her career. She was a staff writer, section editor and columnist for the Longmont Daily Times-Call for nearly 50 years. She lived in Longmont from 1945 until her death in 2007 and was involved in many civic and cultural endeavors in the community. She traveled to countries around the world, and in 1995 organized a delegation of 15 U.S. women journalists to attend the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

Flanders was a longtime member and past president of CPW, and served as an adviser and member of several committees for NFPW. She was the first woman president of the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition to CPW and SPJ, contributors to the scholarship fund include Lehman Communications and the Flanders family.

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Colorado Press Women has awarded two $500 scholarships to Colorado college seniors majoring in journalism/communications.

Rebecca Howard of Englewood begins her senior year at Colorado State University this fall as a journalism and technical communications major. Howard will be features editor of College Avenue, CSU's student-run magazine. She and other staff members will expand the publication to incorporate new media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to reach readers.

Howard, who maintains a 3.85 grade point average, was also selected to participate in an independent study project to create and online resource that promotes diversity in the media. The group is building an interactive site that will enable CSU professors to upload and share articles, videos and other materials on the website.




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Karolyn Pearson of Louisville has focused on broadcast journalism at Colorado State University, where she is news producer, news director and anchor of Campus Television station.

Pearson, a senior at CSU, is a self-supporting student with a 3.8 grade point average. She has worked full time in the summer and part time during the school year to help fund her college education. Last year, Pearson received the Rowene C. Danbom Scholarship from the CSU Department of Technical Journalism and a scholarship from the CSU honors program. Upon graduating from high school, she was chosen as one of 100 students who were awarded the Al Neuharth Scholarship.







CPW awards three scholarships in 2008

Colorado Press Women awarded three scholarships in 2008 —

to Donnae Wahl, a student at the University of Northern Colorado; Taylor Stonehouse, a new graduate of Mesa State College; and Zeljka Borovic from the University of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Donnae is a senior political science major, with a minor in women's studies and media studies. Currently she is a reporter for the UNC student newspaper, The Mirror, and formerly served as its arts and entertainment editor.

She came to UNC from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling where she majored in general studies and served on the newspaper staff for the college monthly, Plainsmen Pathways.

Upon graduation from UNC in May 2009, she intends to work for the Peace Corps. She is a staunch believer in service to country and believes "the Peace Corps is the best way for me to serve my country by promoting peace," she wrote in her scholarship essay.

After the Peace Corps, she wants to attend graduate school; her goal is to attend Columbia University and enroll in its joint JD/MS program to attain both her law degree and master's in new media journalism. Her ultimate goal is to start her own online news Web site and work as a civil rights attorney specializing in media law. She explained: "It is my belief that a free press is essential for the preservation of our great democracy, the pursuit of peace and the education of the citizens, and I intend on having a career and life that honors this deeply held belief."

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Taylor, originally from Cody, Wyo., recently earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication with an emphasis in public relations from Mesa State College. She intends to pursue a master's in journalism and technical communication from Colorado State University.

While at Mesa State Taylor was editor in chief for the college newspaper, the Criterion. The staff won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award for the first time in the Criterion's existence, and she represented the college in accepting the award in Washington, D.C.

Taylor also completed internships with the Mesa County Valley School District 51 and the Grand Junction Symphony. She plans to complete another internship with School District 51, assisting the public relations director in promotional pieces and other communication efforts with the community. She also will assist the diversity and advocacy manager in creating and implementing a program to help students become successful.

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Croatian photojournalism student Zeljka Borovic will be in Greeley as the host of the University of Northern Colorado to study U.S. journalism this summer. To help with Zeljka's costs, CPW donated a $900 scholarship.

CPW membership co-chair Lee Anne Peck met Zeljka last year when Lee Anne was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Zeljka will graduate from the university in June 2008 and will arrive in Colorado in late June to attend UNC's second summer session as a "short-term scholar" at UNC.

She also will observe and research U.S. community journalism as a photojournalism intern at the Greeley Tribune. She will be here through Aug. 15, living with Lee Anne's sister and brother-in-law, who are Greeley residents. CPW members plan to host a summer social in mid-July to meet Zeljka and the other scholarship recipients.



Each year CPW awards a scholarship (or several) to a Colorado college communications student(s) to recognize and encourage a student who achieves excellence. The scholarship winner is chosen based on:

Details about the scholarships and application process will be posted in early 2010.



ARCHIVES: Past Scholarship Winners > >