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Student Awards & Scholarships
The Communication Program at UMD offers six different awards to recognize and reward exemplary students in the Department. Below are descriptions of these awards and the minimum criteria for applying to each.
Apply for 2019-2020 Communication Department Scholarships here!
2018-2019 MNA Award Winners
Photo taken by Jennifer Moore
Several journalism and communication students working for The Bark received 9 awards for reporting, photojournalism, and design excellence at the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association meeting on January 24, 2019.
- Website (Second Place)
- Local Breaking News Coverage (Third Place): Samantha Church and Natalie Grant
- Government/Public Affairs Reporting (Second Place): Zack Benz and Idun Rasmussen
- Human Interest Story (Third Place): Mika Colson
- Social Issue Story (Third Place): Tyler Schendel
- Arts and Entertainment Story (Third Place): Cate Tanner
- Use of Information Graphics & Graphic Design (First Place): Will Madison
- News Photo (Third Place): Zack Benz
- Sports Photo (Second Place): Krista Mathes
Formerly The Statesman, The Bark is UMD's digital-first, student-led media organization.
The John Ness Memorial Award
The Ness Award is given in honor of our friend and colleague, John Ness, who died in 1987 after 23 years of service to UMD. The Ness Award honors the graduating senior who best combines a solid academic performance with both a broad commitment to service and quality research/scholarship.
Applicants for the Ness Award must be a graduating senior AND a Communication major with at least 90 credits completed before the spring semester when they apply for the award. Ness applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA overall.
The Virginia T. Katz Scholarship ($1000 for one year)
The Katz Award is given in honor of our friend and colleague, Ginny Katz, who retired from UMD in 2003 after 36 years of service. The Katz Award honors the returning junior who best combines a solid academic performance with both a broad commitment to service and quality research/scholarship.
Applicants for the Katz Scholarship must be a returning junior AND a Communication major with at least 60 credits completed before the spring semester when they apply for the scholarship. Katz applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA overall.
Greg & Sheila Fox Family Award
Greg and Sheila Fox, both 1971 UMD grads, believe that without UMD, going to college would have been very difficult. Both worked while going to school and were active in campus activities including debate. Sheila was a Head Start Teacher with the Duluth Public Schools and Greg spent his career at UMD. They have seen the impact that access to a quality education can have on individuals and communities. This scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated academic merit and are studying Communication.
UMD Communication Service Award
The UMD Communication Service Award honors the graduating senior who best meets the Department's mission of improving the Department, the University, and the surrounding Duluth community through paid and unpaid service opportunities.
Applicants for the Service Award must be Communication majors.
UMD Communication Research/Scholarship Award
The UMD Communication Research/Scholarship Award honors the graduating senior who best meets the Department's mission of conducting and facilitating high quality research/scholarship.
Applicants for the Research/Scholarship Award must be Communication majors.
UMD Communication Academic Achievement Award
The UMD Communication Academic Achievement Award honors the graduating senior who best meets the Department's mission of high academic achievement by attaining the highest GPA across all of his/her UMD classes.
***Note: There is no need to apply for this award. The student with the highest GPA will be honored with this award.
Westmoreland/Flint College of Liberal Arts Excellence Scholarship ($1000 for one year)
WestmorelandFlint offers this scholarship in recognition of the quality education the University of Minnesota Duluth offers students. This scholarship is intended to help support Communication students pursue their dreams of higher education. These students use their knowledge in incredible ways, and WestmorelandFlint is proud to have hired several graduates throughout the years. It is the agency's hope to continue this tradition.
Applicants for the Westmoreland/Flint Scholarship must be full-time students in good academic standing, have completed 60 credits of course work before the spring semester of their junior year, be returning next year, have a 3.3 GPA or better in their respective major, be majoring or minoring in Communication, identify interest in fields related to marketing, and be able to identify financial need.
**Note: Depending on fund availability and the applicant pool. The Communication Department may choose to not provide an award on a given year.
If you wish to graduate with department honors in Communication you must be a Communication or Journalism Major at UMD with a minimum 3.30 GPA in all major courses and a 3.30 GPA overall.
If you are interested in graduating with Communication Department Honors, you must write an honors-quality thesis sponsored by a tenured/tenure track Communication Department faculty member and approved by two additional Communication Department faculty. Candidates should anticipate proposing an Honors thesis during the semester before they intend to graduate and completing the project by Midterm of the semester in which they graduate.
Please contact the department chair or your academic adviser for more information.