To be eligible for our Phillip McComb’s Scholarship Program, students must be enrolled in a Bay Area college or university in a public relations, journalism, communications, media studies, marketing or other related program, and they must have earned a GPA or 3.5 or higher. Both undergraduate and graduate students are considered.
We received 16 eligible applications this year, possibly a record for the program. We narrowed the field to 10 finalists who each underwent an hour-long interview. The scholarship committee traveled to four campuses to conduct the interviews. We selected five students as winners this year based on their applications, interviews, recommendations and writing samples. The students’ understanding of the public relations profession and commitment to the field also factored into our decisions. The winners come from four schools in the greater Bay Area: Golden Gate University, Dominican University of California, Sonoma State University and University of the Pacific.
This year, each of our five winners will receive scholarships in the amount of $3,000, to use as they wish. Most students use the funds to pay for their educational costs, to finance a relevant study abroad program, to repay loans, to cover living expenses while they take on an unpaid internship or to finance their job hunt. The bulk of financial support for the Scholarship Fund comes from a silent auction held during the Round Table’s annual holiday party.
And the winners are…
Megan Allen, University of the Pacific: A graduate student in Communications with an emphasis on Media and Public Relations, Megan will graduate this year in May. She also earned her undergraduate degree in communications and sport sciences from UOP while playing softball for the school on full scholarship. She works as a graduate assistant for the Communications Department and as a development intern for a homeless dining room, and is interested in pursuing event PR.
Emily Hill, Sonoma State University: Currently a junior with a Communications major and a Chicano Studies minor, Emily has worked on the editorial staff of the school’s STAR newspaper, where she has written a series of columns, and as a social media intern for the Me One Cancer Foundation and the Cheesecake Factory. On her own initiative, she conducted 40 informational interviews with PR professionals since beginning college, which has confirmed her commitment to the profession. The scholarship will help finance a semester abroad in Italy, at a program specializing in mass communications.
Lilly Fuhrman, Dominican University of California: Lilly is a sophomore in Communications and Media Studies as well as Art and Design, with a minor in Political Science. A student ambassador who mentors new students, she coordinated a campus-wide campaign to raise awareness about the California drought. Currently working 36 hours a week spread over three paid jobs, Lilly envisions a career in corporate PR in the lifestyle and fashion industries. The scholarship will allow her to consider a non-paid internship.
Carol Perez Asuaje, Golden Gate University: Carol is earning her MS in Integrated Marketing Communications, with an emphasis on Public Relations, and expects to graduate in May 2016. A native of Venezuela, she previously worked in public relations for Turner Broadcasting/CNN in South America and as an intern for the Leo Burnett agency and Fox Latin American Channels.
Dylan Sirdofsky, Sonoma State Unversity: Graduating this spring with a degree in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in English, Dylan has been editor-in- chief of the school’s weekly STAR newspaper for the past two years.
He is responsible for managing a staff of 35 writers and photographers, writing editorials and copy-editing every article in the paper. Additionally, he almost single-handedly rebuilt the paper’s website last fall and has been working as a TA in one of the school’s journalism classes. Dylan worked as an intern in the school’s University Affairs Division and currently works as a communications intern for the American Red Cross. The scholarship will help cover this year’s school costs and provide support while he takes a breather to consider his career options.
Special Thanks Goes To…
2015 Scholarship Committee Chair
2015 Scholarship Committee Members