SMADies should submit those scholarship applications soon

Media Arts and Design

by Meirra McChristian, staff writer


The SMAD Scholarship Committee will award about $40,000 in scholarships this spring, and the application deadline for seven of them is Wednesday, March 1.

Students must apply on the Madison Scholarship Hub, which is also accessible on MyMadison. The scholarship applications may ask for an essay, resume or samples of media work, so students should check out the requirements before the application deadline.

In addition, the SMAD faculty will award seven scholarships that do not require an application. Faculty will select those students based on merit.

All the scholarships will be announced at the annual SMAD Awards Ceremony, which will be 7 p.m. Monday, May 1, in Anthony Seeger Auditorium.

Prof. Ryan Parkhurst, chair of the scholarship committee, said the faculty closely follow the scholarship criteria on academic achievement, such as a minimum GPA, in deciding who should get awards. Some scholarships also have a financial need requirement.

“The heaviest burden is making sure that students who deserve a scholarship for the work that they have done here receive it,” he said. 

Charlotte Matherly, a SMAD journalism concentrator with a political science and sociology double minor, has received scholarships and, because of that, is a little less worried about her student debt.

“Honestly, I applied for whatever I qualified for,” Matherly said. “I sought out journalism scholarships like the Byrd-Mims, which I got for the year 2021-22 year, specifically because they were looking for people to write something about their goals.”

Parkhurst said applying for scholarships gives students a chance to showcase their portfolios and tell the faculty what they plan to do when they leave JMU.

“The most important thing is to give out money to students who are deserving,” he said. “But one of the things we as a committee look forward to doing each year is going through the student applications, getting a sense of what our students are doing and who we think deserves the scholarships based on the student's body of work and also their GPA.”

Matherly encouraged students to apply for every scholarship they qualify for.

“I applied sort of on a whim and got like $4,000, which I never expected,” she said.

Following are the SMAD scholarships that require an application on Madison Scholarship Hub by March 1 and the approximate amount of the awards:

  • Byrd/Mims Daily News Record Scholarship, $3,400
  • Digital Video Group Scholarship: $1,500
  • Madison Cinema Studies Scholarship: $2,100
  • Madison Screenwriting Scholarship (shared by two students): $2,700
  • Neckowitz Study-Abroad Scholarship: $1,000
  • John Woody One Day/One University Scholarship: $1,400
  • SMAD Alumni/Professional Advisory Council Scholarship: $1,700

Here is a list of merit scholarships awarded by faculty, without an application, and the approximate awards:

  • Imre-Cruse Scholarship for Excellence (shared by two students): $4,650
  • Alison Bailey Parker (’12) Memorial Scholarship: $3,000
  • Blanche Garrett Memorial Scholarship: $1,500
  • Lindsay A. Czarniak (’00) Scholarship for Excellence: $2,000
  • James Acosta (’93) Scholarship: $5,000
  • Sean T. Harrington (’96) Scholarship: $2,000
  • Wendleken-DeLuca Scholarship: $1,000

In addition, high school students coming to JMU with experience in journalism and committing to involvement in journalism at JMU may apply on the Madison Scholarship Hub for two four-year scholarships. Those scholarships, which have March 3 deadlines are:

  • Alison Bailey Parker (‘12) Memorial Four-Year Journalism Scholarship
  • Byrd-Mims Journalism Scholarship for an Incoming first-year student

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Published: Sunday, February 26, 2023

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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