What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
Beyond the fellowships and co-president role I just mentioned, I have volunteered this year through my church, bringing some of D.C.'s homeless people meals over the winter. I am collecting "genki," or good luck notes for Japanese tsunami victims, as a direct result of the time I spent there and how touched I was by the kindness I was shown as a visitor.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
My scholarship is the reason I was able to attend school, period. I'm so grateful that the Merrill family is so committed to helping journalism master's students follow their dreams and educate themselves.
I have a background in TV journalism but had gotten out of news. Once I realized I wanted back in, there were so many skills I needed to learn. Without the Ellie Merrill fellowship, I would not have been able to afford graduate school. Now, I'm about to graduate with a master's in multimedia journalism.
This year has brought so many changes for me and being at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism made my master's experience amazing. I ran for, and was voted, the co-president of our master's student association. I was fortunate enough to be nominated for a fellowship that allowed me to travel to Japan for two weeks and learn about the culture, as well as the work reporters there do. And I applied for and received a fellowship from News21, which I'll be reporting for this summer.
These extra experiences all contributed greatly to my experience as a master's student, but I wouldn't have had any of them with the fellowship. Because of it, I have really gotten a great education and opportunities. I'll be grateful to the Merrill family for the rest of my career.