Lower Great Lakes Chapter Scholarships

Applications No Longer Being Accepted
The deadline for applying was February 15, 2014. Student Scholarship Applications are no longer being accepted for this year. Check back in January 2015 for the next offering.

The Lower Great Lakes Chapter of NATAS offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors, and to college juniors or seniors. Students must plan to attend or currently attend a four-year college to pursue a career in the television industry. Recipients and their parents are guests at the 45th Annual NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter Regional Emmy® Awards ceremony where they will receive on-stage recognition. The gala is planned for Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Cleveland Convention Center.

The deadline to apply was February 15, 2014. The application process is the same for all scholarships and is completed online through this website, nataslgl.org. Applications will be screened by our scholarship committee, and finalists will be notified by mail. In March, finalists will be invited to an interview by members of the NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter scholarship selection committee.

If you have questions, feel free to contact Education Committee Chair Susan Batt at [email protected]. To view a letter submitted to student advisors with more details on our scholarships: high school students click here :: college students click here. Please note, DO NOT SEND ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTIONS. We do not accept DVD’s, Tapes, etc., however you are welcome to include a URL if the project is available online.

This year, the chapter is offering three scholarchips-two for collegte students and one for a high school student.

NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter Collegiate Scholarship
The $3,500 scholarship funded directly by our NATAS chapter members is offered to students who attend school anywhere in the membership area of our organization which includes Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Bowling Green, Toledo, Lima and Mansfield, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Lafayette, and Muncie, Indiana. Students must be attending college in our region to qualify.

This scholarship goes to a student who will be a college junior or senior in the 2014-15 academic year and who intends to pursue a career in television or television related field.

Wilma Smith Scholarship
This is a new scholarship created to honor longtime WJW anchor Wilma Smith who retired in May 2013, after a 35 year career in Cleveland broadcasting. The $2,500 award is funded by WJW Fox 8. It is designated for a female college student from the Cleveland market who is currently a second or third year student majoring in a television-related field.

NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter High School Scholarship
The $2,000 scholarship funded directly by our NATAS chapter members. It will be awarded to a current high schoool senior who plans to attend a four-year college and pursue a career in the television industry.

This is open to high school students attending a school anywhere in the memebrship area of our organization which includes Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Bowling Green, Toledo, Lima and Mansfield, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Lafayette, and Muncie, Indiana.

Separate scholarship opportunities are also available through NATAS. Visit the national site for details on the Jim McKay and Mike Wallace Memorial Scholarships.


2013 Lower Great Lakes Scholarship Winners


Toledo, OH - Toledo Christian High School GPA: 4.32 Going to: University of Cincinnati

Growing up, I have always had an interest in the entertainment business, whether that is television, film, theater, photography, music or videography and the process in creativity behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera or playing a character on stage. I have been involved in theater productions, whether with school or community theater since the seventh grade. As a young girl, my spark for photography was ignited when I was on a spring class field trip to a Metro park and I brought along a disposable camera. Once the film was developed, I was fairly impressed with my work and how I captured the budding wildflowers. I began taking the money I had saved in my small allowance to purchase nature photography books. I knew from that moment on that I really loved to be behind a camera.

On multiple occasions, I have been responsible for filming and editing class video projects, and I realize how much more I enjoy being behind a video camera, and putting videos together. My love of photography transposed over to being behind a video camera. When watching a film, I bring in an analytical aspect and interest in the backstory of how that shot came into being.

Luckily my school offers a TV production class that most years was offered within the regular day schedule. This year, however, the class is only offered one hour before the normal school day begins. With my growing interest in the production industry, I knew I had to take this class, even if it meant coming into school an hour earlier with a small handful of students. I have been learning more about video editing, sound boards, switch boards, and putting on daily news video announcements to the school, and loving it.

I had the opportunity to job shadow a news anchor at the local ABC news network. This was a great learning experience because I got to talk with some of the anchors, the producers, the director, video editors, and I had the chance to watch the filming of a cooking show. I loved being in the high energy atmosphere of a work place where creative ideas are encouraged and are then portrayed on screen. Being behind the scenes on the news network really heightened my interest for visual production.

My godfather is a producer in New York with an electronic media degree. Seeing his work in TV and film, and hearing him talk about his profession, really heightens my interest in the television and film industry as a profession. The more I talked to my godfather about the technical as well as creative aspects of his job, the more I realized how the profession of production suited me.

At this moment in my life, I am not ultimately positive which direction I would like to take with my interest in broadcasting, only my passion for it as a profession. I know I would like to pursue some path to become a producer, or possibly even a cinematographer, which would parallel my love of visual media. In ten years I would love to see myself either in New York or LA working in some TV or film industry. Each and every day my interest for screen production grows stronger and I know somehow I want to incorporate my love for film and visual production into a lasting career.


Akron, OH, Going to: University of Akron, 3.96 GPA

Life has a funny way of igniting passions that a person never thought she ever had. If someone had told me five years ago that I would be filming sports events, hosting a TV show, and interning with CNBC, I would not have believed him. Fast forward five years later and I find myself in awe. I have always had an interest in TV, but I never imagined that interest would develop into more than just a career, but a passion.

I became interested in the field at a young age, but it never became a passion until I entered college. I was set to go into public relations and was sitting in class when my professor encouraged us to get involved with ZTV and WZIP, the university’s radio and television stations. It did not take much to convince me. I found myself ringing the station’s doorbell after class, asking for an application. Then I was swept away by the alluring tasks of filming and editing. I immediately became a member of the Sports Report, a show dedicated to anything related to Akron sports. That is when I knew I was home. I was filming sports games and clubs and editing those into highlights and packages to go on air. One semester later and I was hosting the show as well. ZTV gave me a passion that I am fortunate enough to now turn into a career.

Selecting a path to turn my passion into a career was a no brainer. There is only one place where I can see myself happy ten years from now, thirty years from now, or even fifty years from now. That place is in the action sports industry. Ten years from now, I can see myself as a videographer, capturing the thrill and excitement of BMX, motocross, skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. I also see myself as a producer of NBC Sports covering the winter Olympics or working for AlliSports covering the Dew Tour. I know that ten years down the road I will be covering action sports, regardless of what specific job. That is what is so great about having such a passion for a career. If I am doing what I am passionate about, I will be happy, no matter what. At the end of the day, it does not matter about money or a title, but how happy a person is with her life. I understand that it will not be easy. I will have to work my way up and endure stress and pressure. Anything worthwhile requires dedication, motivation, and hard work. I am prepared and willing to give it my all for my passion. By giving it my all for my passion, I will also be in the pursuit of happiness.



Keystone High School, LaGrange, OH Attending: The University of Akron GPA: 3.988

Ever since I was young, I have had an interest in communications, specifically the broadcasting field. As I began to consider options for my career, I started to think about the effect media has on society; it impacts virtually everyone’s life. This impact can be either positive or negative. Mass media, in some form, will always play a role in society. It will continue to evolve and new high-tech forms of media communication will be born. I want to be an active and positive part of this dynamic medium. This desire has prompted me to begin to explore the field of mass media and broadcasting. During my time at The University of Akron, I have only become more confident in my decision to enter the broadcasting world. I’ve been working at the campus television station, Z-TV, since my first semester in college, and in the past three years I’ve been able to write, report, produce, host, and direct. I can truly say I’m excited by every aspect of working in the television industry. Studies show that 70 percent of college students change their major at least once during their college careers. I have been confident from the beginning that I would not be part of this statistic. Moreover, I added a third major in the communication field as I pursued my degree. I have found my true passion and I can see myself working in this industry for the rest of my life.

I am most interested in working in the television news industry. In today’s media I believe that the line between what is newsworthy and appropriate and what isn’t is slowly being erased. Over the next decade, I would like to become involved in the news industry to help bring integrity and ethics back to today’s media. Television has an immeasurable effect on the public, and helping to improve this industry will surely help to benefit society as a whole.

It is my long-term goal to become a television producer. Through my research and experience, I have learned that television producers make their living using two of my favorite creative outlets: writing and editing. Producers develop ideas, guide the direction of the broadcast, and decide what stories will be featured. They bring together all the components of words, visuals, and music to convey a message to the public, which is what media is all about. It is my dream to be the voice behind this message, and to help shape the media in a positive way.

Specifically, my ultimate career goal is to be a successful television producer at an Ohio news station. This year I was selected to create and produce my own program that I titled “Lights, Camera, Akron!” Getting to step into this role while still in college has been a rewarding and enlightening experience. I have already been afforded the opportunity to create a program, manage a team, and think creatively to develop a television program from the ground up. This has genuinely solidified my future career choice, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make my dream a reality.

My personal experiences, especially the internship I completed this past summer at WJW-Fox 8 TV, have helped me reaffirm that I want to be a part of the technological, creative and influential world of broadcasting. The University of Akron has afforded me the educational foothold and hands-on training that I will need to step into a communications career. Winning this scholarship would not only be an honor, but would also be a great financial help during my career journey to being an Ohio broadcaster.