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The Sacramento Press Club’s 2014 Journalism Scholarships

Since 1974, the Sacramento Press Club has offered scholarships to students who are preparing for a journalism career. For 2014, we awarded seven scholarships totaling $34,000. If you would like to make a donation to the SPC Scholarship Fund, please click on the red Donate box on this page.


2014 Journalism Scholarships

The Sacramento Press Club works hard throughout the year not only to create events that our members can enjoy – but also to raise the funds that support our scholarship program. Each year, the May lunch is our favorite – because that’s when we get to give away all of that hard-earned money to support the next generation of journalists.

Our scholarship program began in 1974 with a single $1,000 scholarship in honor of Earl “Squire” Behrens. Today, offer seven scholarships worth $34,000. In the past 40 years, we have given away more than $300,000 – a significant amount of assistance that has helped many young students on their way to successful journalism careers.

For the $4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship, the winner is Andrew Erickson. A junior at UCLA, Andrew is an aspiring sports writer, he is the Daily Bruin’s lead writer for football and basketball coverage and already is a frequent contributor to Los Angeles Magazine. This summer, Andrew was offered three newspaper internships – he chose the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

For the $4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship, the winner is Jennifer Parsons. Jennifer is a senior at Sac State, where she has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. Her goal is a career in broadcast journalism – and she is already on her way. When she applied for an internship at Fox40 News, they turned her down – because they wanted to hire her as a production assistant instead!

For the $4,000 KW Lee scholarship, the winner is Paayal Zaveri. A senior at UC Davis, Paayal has worked for the California Aggie and free-lanced for the Pleasanton Patch. She also interned last summer for CalWatchdog, covering the Assembly and Senate health committees. In his recommendation letter, Sacramento Bee writer Steve Magagnini wrote that she is “brimming with intelligence, compassion and dedication, combined with strong story-telling skills.”

For the $4,000 Kathleen Beasley scholarship, the winner is Kaitlin Bane. Kaitlin will soon be a graduate of Sac State and in the fall plans to attend the University of Illinois-Champagne/Urbana for a Broadcast/Digital Journalism master’s degree. While at Sac State, she has been busy interning at California Public Radio, the Sacramento County communications department and KCRA – but has not been too busy to maintain a 3.95 GPA. She has her sights set on a television career, coupled with teaching part-time at a university so she can help develop the next generation of journalists.

For the $4,000 Dan Walters scholarship, the winner is Gregory Allen. Gregory will be graduating from Sacramento State at the end of this year. While his ultimate goal is to be a news reporter for a Sacramento television station, he is also interested in print journalism – which is a good thing because Professor Molly Dugan noted in her recommendation letter for him that he has a natural gift for writing. She wrote that his writing “possesses detail, clarity and flair, a rarity among students” at his level.

For the $6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship, the winner is Lynne Shallcross. Lynne has a different back story compared to our other winners. A 2004 graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she worked for eight years for a number of magazines before determining that she needed to retool her skills as the journalism industry moved increasingly to digital formats. That required her to quit her job, uproot her family and move across the United States to attend the UC Berkeley graduate program. Since then, she has covered stories in the Capitol and in the Bay Area using print, radio and TV skills. As she wrote in her application, “Almost one year into my program at Berkeley, I’m confident I’m making an investment in my future as a journalist.”

And finally, the $8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship goes to Quinn Western. Quinn was the unanimous choice of our judges for this top award. A Chico State junior, she gave up a golf scholarship to dedicate herself full-time to her journalism aspirations. She has already won statewide awards at the Orion for news writing, completed an internship last summer at the Fresno, and secured an internship this summer at the Sacramento Bee. All of us see a bright future for Quinn and we are delighted to help her on her way with this scholarship.



About our 2014 Scholarships:

$8,000 in honor of the late Earl “Squire” Behrens, a former political editor of the San Francisco Chronicle who covered the state Capitol for a half-century. His “Political Notes” column was considered groundbreaking.

$6,000 in honor of the late Jean Stephens, the long-time Secretary-Treasurer of the Sacramento Press Club and a retired Sacramento City College journalism instructor who helped thousands of journalism students become professional journalists over a 30-year career.

$4,000 in honor of Dan Walters, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee who has worked as a journalist for more than a half-century. He has written more than 7,500 columns about California and its politics and his column now appears in more than 50 California newspapers. In addition to writing and contributing to political books, he serves as a frequent guest on national television news shows. Dan has generously supported the Sacramento Press Club scholarship program and helped many students realize their dreams of becoming reporters.

$4,000 in honor of Kathleen Beasley, a member of the Sacramento Press Club for more than 35 years. She was a reporter and editor at six California newspapers and a wire service early in her career. As a reporter for the Associated Press in Los Angeles, she covered the Chowchilla school bus kidnapping and Gov. George Wallace’s presidential campaign. Following stints as a political press secretary and government report writer, she has successfully run a communications consulting business for the past 17 years. Throughout, she has been an ardent supporter of the Press Club, serving on the Board and as Treasurer for more than a decade.

$4,000 in honor of K.W. Lee, a trailblazing Korean-American journalist who became the first Asian immigrant to work for mainstream daily publications in the continental United States. Lee is also the founding president of the Korean American Journalists Association. Much of his career was spent at the Sacramento Union, where he headed up the investigative reporting unit and ran an internship program. He is widely respected for his work covering social issues. In 2003 he helped create  the KW Lee Center for Leadership. The non-profit organization provides youth with the tools and opportunities necessary to become future leaders.

$4,000 in honor of the late Jerry Gillam, a 35-year veteran of the Capitol press corps. He is remembered for his knowledgeable political reporting in the Los Angeles Times’ Sacramento bureau, his friendly mentoring of new Capitol reporters and his larger-than-life sense of humor. Gillam started covering government for the Copley News Service, and for much of his Capitol career, he covered the California State Assembly including the Legislature’s transition to a full-time body.

$4,000 for the Nereida Skelton Journalism Scholarship. Nereida was a beloved journalism teacher for more than four decades. She was the advisor to the McClatchy High School student newspaper, where she often worked long hours and served as a mentor to outstanding students. Her straightforward approach to news and politics also had influence across the nation, as her husband George called her his “secret editor” for his L.A. Times political column. Community college students who are transferring to a four-year college will be given special consideration.


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