Annual Scholarships and Awards

Journalism department's annual June banquet celebrates the end of the school year, congratulates our seniors and presents scholarships and awards to excellent students. The department awards scholarships to students for academic accomplishments as well as financial need.  

Outside scholarship information is shared via social media and in the department's weekly opportunity report newsletter throughout the year as it becomes available to the department.

Armistead B. Carter Award

Armistead B. Carter was a champion of California education for more than five decades. In 1940, as a member of the California State Board of Education, he made the motion that authorized Cal Poly to become a four-year university. He selected Cal Poly for the endowment trust that bears his name. The service awards are funded by the income from this trust, a gift to Cal Poly in 1977 to be used “for the good of the university.” This $500 cash award is given to two students for outstanding service in journalism, radio or related communication media.

Bette Betz Kempf Award

Bette Betz Kempf was killed in 1964 when the Coast Guard rescue helicopter she was riding in crashed in a terrible storm. Her husband, journalism major David Kempf, whom she met at Cal Poly, started this award in her honor. This $500 cash award is given to a journalism major for overall scholarship and participation in the department’s activities.  

Buck-Page Scholarship

The Buck-Page Scholarship is intended to assist Journalism or Graphic Communication students who demonstrate financial need. 2.5 GPA required. This is a $1500 scholarship available to Graphic Communication and Journalism students on alternating years. 

Cellular One Scholarship

The Cellular One Scholarship Endowment supports students with a demonstrated interest in the Journalism major and has a minimum Cal Poly GPA of 2.75. This scholarship is awarded $900 to two students on average each year. 

George Ramos Scholarship for Journalism Excellence 

The George Ramos Scholarship for Journalism Excellence Endowment was created to honor the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime Cal Poly professor. This $1000 scholarship supports junior and senior students with minimum Cal Poly GPA of 3.0, majoring in Journalism with a print specialization and interest in urban affairs reporting. 

Glen H. Smith Award

This award perpetuates the memory of Glen Smith, a Cal Poly faculty member who was an adviser to the yearbook in his first year at Cal Poly and taught journalism and English. This $500 cash award is given to an outstanding journalism major for  participation in the department’s activities. 

Herb Kamm Journalism Scholarship

The Herb Kamm Journalism Scholarship Endowment was established in honor of veteran journalist Herb Kamm. After retiring to the Central Coast, Kamm put his 50-year career as a writer and editor in New York and Cleveland to work at Cal Poly. At various times, he served as adviser to the student newspaper, taught journalism classes and organized journalism forums that drew hundreds of people to campus. The $1800 scholarship supports Journalism majors with financial need and who demonstrate academic excellence and have an interest in a career in the media industries. 

Jay Garner Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship was established in memory of Jay Garner, who was involved in the journalism department while attending Cal Poly. This $1000 scholarship supports students majoring in Journalism with a concentration in news editorial. The selected recipient will show excellence and future potential in print journalism. 

Jim Hayes Journalism Scholarship

The Jim Hayes Journalism Scholarship Endowment was created to pay tribute to Jim Hayes, a longtime journalism professor at Cal Poly. This $1000 scholarship supports upper division or graduate students with a minimum 2.7 Cal Poly GPA majoring in Journalism with preference to students concentrating in new-editorial or agricultural journalism.

Joe and Debbie Hannigan Scholarship

The Joe and Debbie Hannigan Scholarship Endowment was created to provide financial support to journalism students as they progress toward completing their degree. This $1000 scholarship supports sophomore or greater student who demonstrate financial need and have a minimum 2.75 Cal Poly GPA.

June Land Memorial Scholarship Endowment

This scholarship was created by two Cal Poly alumni who wished to honor the memory of June Land. A self-taught reporter who worked many years for newspapers in California and Texas, Land was an inspiration to all who knew her. Her outspoken nature and fearlessness as a reporter set an important example for journalists who can never forget their role of speaking truth to power.  The scholarship supports Journalism majors with leadership roles in student media with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Kathryn D. Weinrichter & Leonard C. Sundeen Full Journalism Scholarship

The Kathryn D. Weinrichter and Leonard C. Sundeen Full Journalism Scholarship is a one-year full-ride scholarship to be awarded to a journalism student. The scholarship recipient must be pursuing a major in journalism and working towards a minor within the STS Program, have a minimum Cal Poly GPA of 2.5 and demonstrate financial need. 

Lucas Clark and Aja Goare Scholarship – In Memory of Jordan Grant

The Lucas Clark and Aja Goare Scholarship was established by the family of Jordan Grant, a Cal Poly engineering student who was killed in an accident on Hwy 101 in October 2018. Expressing their support of local journalism that covers important local issues, like traffic safety, the family honored two local journalists in the award: Lucas Clark, formerly of the San Luis Obispo Tribune and Aja Goare, a reporter for KSBY-TV. The $5000 scholarship is awarded to a journalism student who has sophomore standing or higher, is an active participant in Mustang News, demonstrates excellence and commitment to journalism and demonstrates achievement — both academic and in the field of journalism.

Michelle Ann Jacobson Memorial Scholarship

The Michelle Ann Jacobson Memorial Scholarship Endowment was established in memory of Michelle who was tragically killed in an automobile accident during her first year at Cal Poly. The scholarship supports students who show an interest in the field of communications including journalism, television, public speaking, and radio with a preference for students with demonstrated financial need.This scholarship is awarded $2100 to two students on average each year. 

SAGE Publishing Award

A generous donation in 2017 from SAGE Publishing created an endowment that will support an annual cash award for sophomore or greater Journalism student whose published work addresses scientific, statistical, technical and/or social issues affecting the Cal Poly community. This $1100 (average) endowment is awarded to an individual or a team of students who published an informative, in-depth or investigative piece. 

Shein Hwei (Sarah) Niu Scholarship

This endowment was established by Grace Lee to honor her aunt, Shein Hwei (Sarah) Niu, a long-time employee in the Robert E. Kennedy Library.  This gift memorializes Ms. Niu’s commitment to the university and its students. The merit-based scholarship is available to journalism majors with at least a 3.0 GPA or first time freshmen. No application necessary. 

Stephen Donnellan Moss Scholarship in Journalism

Open to current full-time students in their sophomore year or higher at California Polytechnic State University majoring in journalism. Demonstrated financial need. This $1500 scholarship is awarded by the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation. Visit the SLO Community Foundation website to apply for this and a variety of other county scholarships. 

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