Emmy Statue

Meet the Scholarship Recipients

The 2013 Scholarship Recipients are pictured with Mid-America’s Governor’s Award Scholarship sponsor Michael Kupinski at the 37th Mid-America EMMY® Gala in October.

Governor’s Award Scholarship Recipient:

Ashley Seering of Mascoutah, Illinoisis the recipient of the 2013 NATAS Mid-America Governor’s Award Scholarship presented by Michael Kupinski.  It is the top scholarship presented to a college student by the Mid-America chapter.

Ashley is a senior at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville majoring in Mass Communications/Television and Radio.   She has been quite active in television production projects on the SIUE campus, most frequently acting as a producer/director/videographer/editor.

“As a producer, it is important to understand that every person on the cast and crew serves an important role that must not be ignored,” she said in her scholarship application letter.

In 2012, Ashley won a national award of merit for her production about disability issues at SIUE.  The video was designed to promote disability awareness on campus for the speech communication department.  She earned a big endorsement from the professor who oversaw the project.

“Ideas that she developed and incorporated into this video were so clever that they inspired my colleagues and I to use them as the basis for a new form of video-based analysis” said Speech Comm professor E. Duff Wrobbel.  “She has talent, professionalism, and a genuine commitment to the industry.”

SIUE Mass Comm instructor Cory Byers said, “Her video projects are always a notch above the others; not just because she has a solid grasp on the techniques of production, but she invests the time required to produce a quality piece of work.

Among the other videos Ashley has produced or co-produced: “Handle with Care,” a 48 hour film project that won a best editing award in 2012.  She won an ADDY in 2012 for her PSA called “Gift of Hope” and she even produced, shot and edited a report about the “Tour de Donut” bike race in Staunton, Illinois.

In addition to working on the student TV show, Ashley has been a reporter and lifestyles editor at the Alestle student newspaper at SIUE.  She’s active in the Advertising Club, Global Village and Web radio.

Ashley received a $3,000 scholarship from the specially designated Governor’s Award Scholarship- Mid-America NATAS.

Walter Cronkite Scholarship Recipients:

1) Amanda Honigfort of St. Louis is one of two recipients of the 2013 NATAS Mid-America Walter Cronkite Scholarship.   Amanda is a senior at Saint Louis University majoring in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism and Media Studies. She will graduate in December, 2013. She has been President of SLU-TV with the overall responsibility for the campus television station.  Amanda was also the SLU News 22 news director and producer of some programs.

“Our station may be small and obscure,” she wrote in her scholarship essay, “but we have grown since 2003 and we’ll continue to grow because SLU-TV isn’t run by a desire for recognition.  It’s run by heart.”

As SLU-TV’s president, Amanda managed a budget of about $14,000, supervised and motivated a staff of 18 and oversaw station’s operations, productions and maintenance of equipment.  In her role as news director, she made sure the weekly, live newscast on Mondays was filled with strong stories, presented accurately and cleanly.

Amanda credits her involvement at SLU-TV for providing her professional passion.  “I discovered just how much I love broadcast journalism, whether it is writing the script, conducting an interview, running tech while filming, putting together a package, or anchoring.”

SLU Communication professor Avis Meyer wrote of Amanda, “(she) is a godsend as a student, a person and a writer.  Despite the multiple demands of her classes, academia and extracurricular activities, she somehow manages to balance the entire energetic mix with grace, good humor, admirable wit and character, to the amazement of her peers and professors.”

Ms. Honigfort also earned high praise from SLU Communication professor Amber Hinsley.  “She is the epitome of a student who sets high standards for herself and others, and engages in self-directed learning because she understands the value of continually expanding and improving her skills.”

Amanda has had internships with Washington Week with Gwen Ifill at PBS in Washington, DC; the Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis; and has worked at SLU’s Communications Media Center.

Amanda receives a $1,500 scholarship from NATAS.

2) Mihir Bhagat of Fremont, California is one of two recipients of the 2013 NATAS Mid-America Walter Cronkite Scholarship.  Mihir is a junior at the University of Missouri in Columbia majoring in Journalism-Radio and Television. He expects to graduate in May, 2015. He has worked as a sports reporter and sports producer at KOMU-TV, the university run TV station in Columbia, since August of 2011.

In his scholarship application, Mr. Bhagat detailed his passion for sports broadcasting.  “Through my (sports) stories, I try to teach others that there is a lot to learn from sports such as overcoming obstacles and teamwork.  And that sports journalism is what makes me come alive.”

In addition to his work at KOMU, Mihir has also produced sports reports about the Missouri Tigers for MUTV, the student run campus media outlet, and for ESPNU Campus Connection.

A former colleague at KOMU, Eric Blumberg, gave Mihir high praise.  “When someone needs to step up at the last second for an assignment, Mihir can be counted on to get it done.  He is one of the few students looking to constantly have his work critiqued which shows he is eager to improve.”

Mr. Bhagat wrote in his application letter that journalism had helped him turn his life around.“I want to prove that no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, if you are passionate, work hard and never give up then you will be successful.”

KOMU’s sports director Chris Gervino said, “He is willing to do whatever it takes to help and has been a real team player.”

Mihir received a $1,500 scholarship from NATAS.