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The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship

 


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Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship for Writing and Design 2014-2015

About the Scholarship

The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship for Writing and Design was founded to honor the life of James Madison University alumnus Whitten Maher, whose premature death on December 20, 2012, ended a promising future in writing and design. A double major in Political Science and Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication, Maher shared his gift for inspiring a sense of hope grounded in good reason through his work as the Design Editor and Senior Writer/Columnist for The Breeze. He won awards from the Virginia Press Association for his designs and writing, including an opinion column called “Gadfly” that was praised for “putting a local face on topics with national importance.” At the time of his death, Maher was employed as Communications Associate for Demos: Ideas & Action, a non-profit public policy organization in Manhattan.

The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship for Writing and Design was established to acknowledge and support undergraduate work that conveys the compassion, intensity, and well-informed reason of its namesake. Such text or design-based work aims to educate and respectfully engage audiences, promote empathy rather than derision, and encourage populations who feel unrecognized or misunderstood. The scholarship winner will be awarded $1,000 (applied to the following year’s tuition) and will be honored at an awards reception during the Spring semester.

Submission Requirements, Procedures, and Deadline

The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship for Writing and Design is open to all full- or part-time JMU undergraduate students across all academic disciplines.

Students must be currently enrolled in either full- or part-time undergraduate studies at James Madison University, and must continue to be enrolled at JMU the following Fall semester (when the scholarship will be applied to tuition). Writings and designs produced for non-academic purposes are eligible for consideration.

The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship invites outstanding written composition and/or design submissions that do at least one of the following:

· educate audiences through a civic purpose,

· promote empathy rather than derision, and

· seek to encourage populations who feel unrecognized or misunderstood

Each submission should be accompanied by a cover letter that provides contact information, a context for understanding how the submission meets the scholarship criteria, and a sense of how the submission has been shaped for a real public audience.

Students should send submissions (as PDF documents, videos, or links to online material) and cover letters (as PDFs) to Kevin Jefferson (jefferkx@jmu.edu) by March 2, 2015.

The Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship selection committee, coordinated by WRTC, is composed of faculty from a number of JMU disciplines. The scholarship winner will be announced in early April each year. The committee is not obligated to make an award in any given year. Past Whitten Maher Memorial Scholarship winners are not eligible for consideration. Please direct any inquiries to Kevin Jefferson.