Three more educators join the ranks of the Journalism Education Association’s Future Teacher Scholarship winners, bringing to 33 the number earning this award since it was first presented in 2000.
Each of the students will receive $1,000 this fall: Shelby Brunk, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.; Monique Zatcoff, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Ariz.; and John Dent, Kent (Ohio) State University.
Judges selected this year’s recipients from an impressive list of applicants. Each has worked with high school journalists already — through JEA conventions, class visits or classes and by advising award-winning student media. Each is an upperclassman or graduate student whose college grades and activities show their solid interest in becoming a journalism educator.
Shelby Brunk, a senior at Kansas State University, had plenty of journalism experience in her own high school as assistant editor and then co-editor of her yearbook, taking part in Kansas Scholastic Press Association and JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Conventions. While in college, she has been able to continue attending conventions as part of the K-State crew at San Antonio and San Francisco. As such, she has helped teach the “Team Storytelling” session.
Brunk’s former high school adviser, Cindy Horchem of Piper High School in Kansas City, Kan., in her recommendation letter, said, “Shelby’s passion has been evident since the first time she approached me about taking a class. Students will be lucky to have her inspire, educate, encourage and guide them.”
The other two award winners are both in master’s degree programs. Monique Zatcoff was inspired by her high school journalism experiences, including trips to two national journalism conventions, to earn a degree in journalism. While enrolled at Arizona State University, she took it upon herself to find a local yearbook adviser she could visit in the area, and get the teacher perspective on yearbook advising. She is now is enrolled at Grand Canyon University so she will have the credentials to become a teacher herself.
John Dent is already a teacher but is eligible for the award because he has gone back to school to get his master’s degree. He is taking classes online from the Kent State University Journalism Educator program. “My main goal is to continue to improve my teaching and learn as much as I can to give my students the best possible learning experience,” Dent wrote in his application. He started a broadcast program at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif., seven years ago and five years ago also took on the yearbook program, which earned a Gold Crown from Columbia Scholastic Press Association for 2012.