RTDNA Foundation Announces 2024 Scholarship, Fellowship Recipients

Awards, RTDNA News,

2024 Scholarship and Fellowship Recipients

The RTDNA Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 scholarship and fellowship program. This year, the Foundation is awarding more than $35,000 to 13 talented students and early career journalists.

Scholarship and fellowship winners will attend RTDNA24, June 12-14 in Milwaukee.

Since its establishment in 1970, the RTDNA Foundation has provided more than $1 million in scholarships and fellowships to about 600 aspiring journalists, fulfilling its role as the educational and charitable wing of the Radio Television Digital News Association. Thanks to this support, numerous past awardees have achieved remarkable success in the field of journalism, taking on roles as accomplished reporters, anchors, and news directors. 

Some have ventured into related professions, such as becoming White House speechwriters, media regulatory attorneys, and journalism educators. Additionally, several former recipients have actively contributed to RTDNA's leadership by serving as board members, while many others have been honored with prestigious Murrow Awards. 

Below are this year’s recipients: 

David Louie Scholarship, presented by David Louie, the recipient of the RTDNA Foundation’s very first scholarship in 1970 while a student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. This $2,000 scholarship is given to full-time Northwestern/Medill students with a preference for applicants of Asian American descent.

Lance Wilhelm is a sophomore studying journalism, history and political science at Northwestern University. He reports, anchors and produces for Northwestern News Network (NNN), Northwestern’s student-run broadcast station. He is also part of the executive board for Northwestern’s Asian American Journalists Association.

Lou & Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship, presented by Lou and Carole Prato, honors Lou’s more than 30 years of service to RTDNA and the RTDNA Foundation. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a journalism student who brings Lou's journalism values to covering sports.

Edward Segal is a broadcast journalism major at California State University, Northridge. He wrote for the Valley Star, joining as a writer before becoming the campus life editor. At CSUN, he joined the Daily Sundial, where he became the sports editor for two semesters. He then became the managing editor and is now the editor-in-chief. On the broadcasting side of things, Edward wrote, produced, anchored and reported at KCSN, the radio station at CSUN, and is now taking Valley View, the TV newscast class. He also does play-by-play commentary for football, basketball and baseball/softball games at LAVC, his true passion. At CSUN's games, he also does camerawork for ESPN+.

Mike Reynolds Scholarship, in memory of the late KCCI-TV editor, this $1,000 award recognizes a student’s writing and dedication to news.

Delilah Brumer is a student at Los Angeles Pierce College majoring in journalism and political science, with plans to transfer to a local four-year university in the fall. She currently serves as the news editor at the Pierce Roundup and an intern at EdSource, a statewide education journalism nonprofit. Her writing, photography and multimedia reporting have been published by the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Getty Museum and Ms. Magazine, among others. She is grateful to have received this year’s Mike Reynolds Scholarship, which will support her journey to becoming a professional journalist and help her amplify community voices through local journalism. 

Carole Simpson Scholarship, presented by barrier-breaking journalist Carole Simpson, this $2,000 award is given annually to a student of color and supports media diversity.

Katerina Portela is a driven and creative student currently studying journalism at San Diego State University. She works at local public media station KPBS as an investigative assistant, is a staff writer at her school newspaper The Daily Aztec, and hosts a weekly college radio show. When she's not reporting, Katerina spends her free time painting and seeing live music.

Pete Wilson Scholarship, honoring the late San Francisco broadcast journalist, this $2,000 grant is awarded to a Bay Area journalism student.

Neenma Ebeledike is a multi-talented broadcast journalist, voiceover artist, video spokesperson and content writer. She attended Redeemer's University in Nigeria and graduated as the valedictorian of her class. She has collaborated with a number of notable media organizations, including HipTV, Silverbird Television, Beat FM, PlusTVAfrica, Inspiration FM, igaming Africa, and Today's Woman Magazine. She is currently a first year graduate student at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Lee Thornton Scholarship, a $2,000 scholarship awarded to an undergraduate student in honor of Lee Thornton, the first African American woman to cover the White House for a major news network and the first African American host of All Things Considered on NPR.

Esha Bhatti is a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park graduating in Spring 2025. She is dedicated to bringing a voice to minorities who are misrepresented by the media through a career in either radio or digital reporting.

Bob Horner Scholarship, presented by veteran broadcast executive Robert Horner, this $2,500 scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student studying journalism or communications with aspirations of a career in broadcast or video journalism.

Victoria Anderson is a Houston native and current Junior studying Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. Victoria has a background in reporting, anchoring, and producing through working on her college's student newscast. She has also developed skills outside of school working as an On-Air Fellow at KSWO 7 News in Lawton, Oklahoma, and interning at KOCO 5 News in Oklahoma City. In her time as a student journalist, Victoria has had the opportunity to report on everything from Tornado Damage to the 2024 Iowa Caucus. 

Presidents Scholarship, a $2,500 award in memory of past RTDNA presidents in recognition of two broadcast journalism students’ excellence.

TJ Dysart is a junior journalism student at Marquette University with a focus on broadcast television news. Dysart’s journey began at the Marquette Wire, Marquette’s independent student media organization where he spent two years working for the university television station as an anchor, reporter, and producer. From there, Dysart departed student media to gain more real world experience where he held internships at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WISN-12 News, a Milwaukee ABC affiliate. In addition, Dysart currently serves as the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation Foley Fellow which advocates for journalism safety and hostage reduction strategies in honor of Marquette graduate, James Foley. Dysart is grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of the Presidents Scholarship and hopes to one day help fund scholarships in the future to support the next generation of journalists.

Lorenzo Vasquez is a fourth-year student at the University of Florida pursuing a combined degree in marketing and international business with a minor in mass communications. He specializes in photojournalism and digital media. He has worked as a staff photographer for the Independent Florida Alligator and as a digital media intern for Florida Athletics. His work has been featured in competitions such as College Photographer of the Year and the Hearst Photojournalism Awards. Through his work, he hopes to make a difference in underrepresented communities and issues. As a student who works 3 jobs to pursue his education, he is extremely appreciative of the RTDNA for supporting emerging journalists such as himself.

George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship, presented to a student at the University of Texas at Austin, this $6,000 award established by the boxing champion honors his inspirations, President Johnson and RTDNA Foundation Founder Barney Oldfield.

Logan Dubel knew he wanted to become a broadcast journalist by the age of 10, with his eyes glued to marathon evening newscasts on his hometown station, WJZ-TV in Baltimore — the place where Oprah Winfrey got her start. A rising junior at the University of Texas at Austin, Logan has served as an anchor and producer for Texas Student Television, an editor and reporter at The Daily Texan, editor-in-chief of his college’s magazine, and an intern at the Texas State Capitol and KMFA 89.5. In the not too distant future, Logan hopes to become a correspondent for programs such as CBS Sunday Morning or 60 Minutes, painting a picture for audiences to feel moved and inspired by journalism. He is grateful to the RTDNA Foundation for their gracious support through this meaningful award to continue making his undergraduate education possible. 

Ed Bradley Scholarship, a $10,000 award presented to an outstanding student of color in memory of the late CBS News’ 60 Minutes correspondent and groundbreaking journalist.

Paul C. Fisher is a bright, bold, and creative young journalist. He serves as the President of the Student Government Association for his college, and this enables him to be active and vocal about civic engagement, social justice, and public crisis communication. Paul believes in the importance of a well-informed and engaged public. Through writing, video packages, and speeches on public platforms, Paul advocates for those who cannot advocate for themselves. He views his job as a way of humanizing situations that are often brushed over and not taken seriously. Through journalism, Paul seeks truth and reports it. 

N.S. Bienstock Fellowship, established by Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper of the talent firm now known as Bienstock, a UTA Company, this $2,500 award supports a new professional broadcast journalist of color.

Ashley Moss is a reporter and anchor, most recently covering a wide range of stories for KFOR — Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate. Ashley has been recognized for reporting around local and state accountability, including Oklahoma’s criminal justice system, chronic issues with the state’s public health lab and widespread opposition to a statewide highway infrastructure project. Some of her most impactful stories in OKC fostered healthy dialogue on race and reconciliation.

Michele Clark Fellowship, named for the CBS News correspondent tragically killed in a plane crash while on assignment, this $1,000 award supports a new professional broadcast journalist of color.

Tiana Woodard is the Boston Globe's inaugural Report for America corps member, covering the city’s Black neighborhoods. Through her storytelling, she aims to push against the monolithic perception of Black Boston by amplifying its joys and its struggles. Tiana’s reporting on Black Bostonians relocating to the South and inequitable ticketing policies around the city’s mosques earned her two awards in Report for America's 2023 Local News Awards. She grew up in Tennessee and Texas and in 2021 graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, where she co-founded the school’s sole Black-interest publication.