WNC Awards Annual Dick Larsen & Herb Robinson Scholarships

The Washington News Council has awarded two $2,000 scholarships to Washington State students planning careers in communications. The WNC scholarships are named after two former editors of The Seattle Times.

Washington News Council 2013 Scholars and John Hamer

WNC 2013 Scholars and John Hamer

The Dick Larsen Scholarship goes to a past graduate of a Washington high school currently enrolled in a public or private college/university in this state. The 2013 winner:

Devon Geary, 21, a University of Washington student and graduate of Shorewood High School.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Geary said. “Just to know that there are scholarships out there for young journalists is really great.”

Shortly after completing an ambitious study-abroad program in Peru, Geary found herself as a student reporter for TVW during the Legislative session. Geary was also the editor-in-chief for her high-school paper, The Kolus, and has written for The U.W. Daily.  “I love talking to people, helping them share information,” she said.

The Herb Robinson Scholarship goes to a graduating Washington high-school senior who is entering a public or private college/university in this state. The 2013 winner:

Rianna Ramirez, 18, a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Yakima, who will enter Washington State University this fall.

“I am very fortunate to have won this scholarship,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez played an integral role in reestablishing Eisenhower’s Five Star Journal newspaper, where she served as the paper’s arts and entertainment editor. She also volunteers her writing and design talent to a local arts organization called Allied Arts in Yakima and has contributed to the Yakima Review. Ramirez says what she likes most about journalism is just telling stories.

The two winners received scholarship certificates at the WNC’s Annual Board Retreat on June 22 at the Mercer Island Community Center. Parents John & Diane Geary, and Patricia and Jesse Ramirez, accompanied their daughters and joined the WNC Board for lunch.

The WNC’s scholarship program is open to students with a serious interest in communications – journalism, public relations, politics, or a related field. Awards are based on scholastic achievement, financial need, and the quality of a written essay. This year’s essay topic was: “Define the role of the journalist in today’s rapidly changing, high-tech world. Who exactly is a journalist, anyway?”

Dick Larsen, who died in April 2001, was one of the most respected political reporters in Washington State. He served for more than 20 years as political writer, editorial columnist and associate editor at The Seattle Times, and later wrote a column for the Eastside Journal. He also worked in politics and public relations, and was an accomplished illustrator/cartoonist.

Herb Robinson, who died in October 2003, was among the state’s most respected print and broadcast journalists. He was editorial-page editor at The Seattle Times for 12 years and a member of the editorial board for more than 20 years. He was previously news director at KOMO-TV, where he started and anchored its first news broadcast program. He began as a copy boy at The Times.

We offer these scholarships to honor the high standards of fairness, accuracy and balance in journalism and communications that Dick and Herb achieved throughout their careers. The WNC has now awarded 28 scholarships since the year 2000.

NOTE: WNC Scholarships are funded by individual contributions. Our Scholarship Fund is currently depleted. Donations are welcome and needed.


  1. Erin Flemming, University of Washington (2012)
  2. Ilona Idlis, University of Washington (2012)
  3. Elizabeth Sharrard, Seattle University (2012)
  4. Amy Meyer, Eastern Washington University (2011)
  5. Alexander Herbig, Seattle Pacific University (2010)
  6. Pete Sessum, University of Washington (2010)
  7. Chantal Anderson, University of Washington (2009)
  8. Sarah Reyes, Washington State University (2009)
  9. Maren Anderson, Pacific Lutheran University (2008)
  10. Jennifer Draper, Washington State University (2008)
  11. Olivia Hernandez, Seattle University (2008)
  12. Brittany Lewis, Pacific Lutheran University (2007)
  13. Nicole Peterson, WSU Vancouver (2007)
  14. Kacie McKinney, Western Washington University (2006)
  15. Byron Edelman, Washington State University (2006)
  16. Steffany Bell, University of Washington (2005)
  17. Sara Butler, Eastern Washington University (2005)
  18. Sarah McGuire, Washington State University (2004)
  19. Michelle de Beauchamp, Pacific Lutheran University (2004)
  20. Mary Andom, Western Washington University (2003)
  21. Hazen Hyland, Pacific Lutheran University (2003)
  22. Sarah McGuire, Washington State University (2002)
  23. Steven Friederich, University of Washington (2002)
  24. Chris Chancellor, Washington State University (2001)
  25. Adam Faber, University of Washington (2001)
  26. Cynthia Jones, University of Washington (2000)