The Washington News Council awarded two $2,000 scholarships to students planning careers in communications. The scholarships are named after the late Dick Larsen and Herb Robinson, both longtime editors at The Seattle Times.
WNC President John Hamer, who worked with Larsen and Robinson for many years on The Times’ editorial board, presented the scholarships during a June 24 reception at the WNC office, located above the Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle.
The 2010 WNC Dick Larsen Scholarship winner is:
Peter Sessum, 38, a junior at the University of Washington who is studying journalism. He is a staff writer for The Daily. He was formerly a student at Edmonds Community College and editor-in-chief of the Triton Review campus newspaper.
Before that, Peter was a liaison officer with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and an international advisor in the poppy-eradication program there.
He is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In an essay accompanying his scholarship application, Peter wrote:
“Media is the watchdog of the government, but someone needs to watch the watchdog. That is the purpose of the people. As journalists, we should be transparent, accountable and open. And the people should be able to expect that of us. It is the duty of the reporter to inform the people of the issues at hand. Then, the people can make informed decisions.”
The 2010 Herb Robinson Scholarship winner is:
Alexander Herbig, 18, who is graduating from Mountlake Terrace High School and will attend Seattle Pacific University in the fall. He plans to study communications, global development and psychology.
During high school, Alex was a Young Life leader and camp counselor. His senior project was Simply Haiti, which launched two days before the Haitian earthquake and raised $30,000 for a feeding program and earthquake relief. He also was a photojournalist and editorial writer for The Hawkeye school newspaper, and MVP on the junior varsity soccer team.
In an essay accompanying his application, Alex wrote:
“I feel as though trust is a journalist’s best friend. Journalists have the ability to twist a story just about any way they want, making the good guy look like the villain or the other way around. Not only that but their stories can create some serious consequences for the person or company in the story. With this power comes the responsibility of the journalist to be trustworthy.”
Scholarships are funded by donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Since 2000, the WNC has awarded 22 scholarships with a total value of nearly $30,000.
CONTACT: John Hamer, President, WNC – 206.262.9793 (firstname.lastname@example.org)