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When Harold Gunn, a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, became president of the Texas Auto Writers Association, he was determined to create a scholarship fund that would help make paying for college easier for aspiring journalists.

Over the course of his multiple terms, he was instrumental in collecting enough money to ensure that future TAWA administrations could use the fund to benefit the writers of tomorrow.

TAWA works in conjunction with the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) to identify the best and brightest college journalism students in the State of Texas.

Applications are considered based on criteria listed and without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, age or religion. Members or relatives of members of the Scholarship Selection Committee are not eligible.

Below are the most recent scholarship recipients.

To get more information about either the scholarship program or applying for the journalism scholarship click the button below.

Texas Auto Writers Association board member Scott Tilley presents Megan Rodriguez of Texas A&M University and Juwan Lee of Stephen F. Austin State University with the 2018 Harold Gunn Journalism Scholarship Award at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) Spring Convention awards ceremony.

Source: Kylah Roach for Texas Intercollegiate Press Association | 5/4/18 | Dallas

Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) presented two $1,000 scholarships to students at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association's (TIPA) Spring Convention awards ceremony on March 24 in Dallas. The scholarships, the Texas Auto Writers Association's Harold Gunn Journalism Award, were presented for the second consecutive year to four-year college/university undergraduate students.

The 2018 recipients were Megan Rodriguez of Texas A&M University and Brielle Thomas of Stephen F. Austin State University.

Rodriguez, news editor for the student newspaper, The Battalion, said prior to college, she fell in love with storytelling after a simple writing assignment for Halloween, and knew then that she wanted to be a writer. During high school, she was a part of the yearbook committee and speech competitions. Keeping in mind her dream of working at a real publication led her to Texas A&M where she knew she was taking her first steps into [her] future career. Going from a reporter position her freshman year to an editor as a sophomore, she was able to hone her craft as a journalist. Her determination and hard work brought her an opportunity to work at Insite Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for the Brazos Valley, for a semester. She believes that her time at The Battalion, Insite, and various summer internships have helped her improve as a student, writer, editor, and person in only three short years.

Describing what the scholarship means to her, Rodriguez said, I can't describe how grateful I am to receive this scholarship for the second year in a row. It was so helpful last year and I'm extremely thankful to have this support from the Texas Auto Writers Association as I continue to pursue a career in journalism. This is a huge gift that will be an incredible blessing during my last year at [Texas] A&M.

Lee is the managing editor for the student newspaper, The Pine Log. She said she always wanted to know about things most people usually don't think about. So, during her senior year of high school, she read a newspaper article and realized it was a combination of the two things [she] loved: writing and asking questions. That's when [she] discovered journalism was for [her]. Her eagerness to learn and succeed brought her to The Pine Log.

She has gone from contributing writer to staff writer, news editor, and on to her current position. She said it has been a true blessing in giving her the opportunity to meet some interesting people, to find out things for [her]self but also share the information with as many people as [she] can and write it in a way that people can feel the way [she] felt when [she] met that person.

On receiving the scholarship, Thomas said, I feel honored that I was one of the people chosen to be awarded the Texas Auto Writers Scholarship. It really means a lot to me because I work while I'm in school on the newspaper and in the classroom and I feel all the hard work has finally paid off. The scholarship will also help me financially. Thomas hopes to work for a professional publication after graduation.

We have been very impressed with the quality of the journalism students this event attracts every year, so we feel it is a beneficial partnership for both TIPA and TAWA, Scott Tilley, TAWA board member, said. We look forward to providing scholarships again next year.

TIPA (TexasIPA.org) is the oldest and largest state collegiate press association in the nation and has grown into one of the largest and most respected collegiate groups in the country. Held annually in various cities around Texas, the TIPA convention attracts about 500 students and faculty advisers from across the state, features 30 on-site competitions, more than 50 workshops and panel discussions for its student participants, awards recognitions, scholarship presentations to students representing two-year and four-year institutions, and recognition of the faculty Adviser of the Year.

The TAWA scholarship application was opened in early 2017 to students who were pursuing a career in journalism. Requirements for applicants were: 1) be nominated by a member school in good standing with TIPA, 2) be classified as a junior at the member school at the time of application, 3) submit examples of their work, 4) be involved with their respective college/university student media, 5) and have at least a 3.0 Grade Point Average.

Applications also had to provide letters of recommendation and a letter from the applicant attesting his/her dedication to pursuing a career in journalism and to his/her services to college/university student media.


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