Awards Announced at the June 1 NPC Meeting

The Press Club of Southwest Florida presented two new awards this year:

Outstanding Young Journalists — in the field for five years or less
Outstanding NPC Scholarship Students

A committee of Bob Orr and Cary Barbor chose the two Outstanding Young Journalists, Kim Powell, WINK News and Evan Williams, Florida Weekly. Orr and NPC President Soni Dimond presented the awards, and both recipients accepted the $500 awards and spoke a few words of thanks. WINK-TV taped the awards presentation for the evening news shows.

L-R: Tom Doerr, Kim Powell, Soni Dimond, Bob Orr ~ Photo by Ted Epstein

A committee of Mike Sheffield and David Mink chose the two Outstanding Scholarship Students: Melissa Gomez (UF) and Ellie Rushing (Rollins College). Scholarship Chairman Connie Kindsvater presented the $250 awards. Rushing accepted her award with a few words of thanks; Melissa Gomez was not able to attend because she was at the NYTimes Institute for Journalism Students. Gomez’ award was mailed to her.

Eight students were recognized for receiving 2017-18 NPC Terrence J. Miller Journalism Scholarships. Scholarship Chair Connie Kindsvater introduced the students who attended the luncheon.

Continuing recipients are:

    • Melissa Gomez (a senior at UF)
    • Ellie Rushing (a junior at Rollins College)
    • Jaynie Tice (a senior at FGCU)

New students are:

    • Lauren Anderson (a freshman at FGCU)
    • Maria Munguia-Cortes (a sophomore at Wartburg College, in Iowa)
    • Kala Parkinson (a freshman at UF)
    • Sarah Stauffer (a senior at FGCU)
    • Shelly Westervelt (a freshman at UF)

The 2017-18 NPC Endowed Journalism FGCU Scholarship was awarded to Aiden Strawhun (a senior at FGCU), making her the ninth scholarship recipient for the 2017-18 school year. Tamica Jean-Charles, a 2016-17 recipient, was also at the luncheon, and is currently finishing her freshman year before she can reapply for a 2017-18 NPC scholarship. She would be number 10—completing our largest ever group of recipients in a single school year. NPC members should take pride in this investment in the future of journalism.

Lauren Schoepfer, UCF, 2017

Lauren Schoepfer, a NPC Scholarship Student during her entire college career, recently graduated from UCF. She was not able to attend the luncheon, but a Scholarship Committee group met with her on June 15 and gave her our traditional graduation gift, a spiral-bound AP Stylebook from the year of the student’s graduation (2017).



The seven NPC mentors for the scholarship recipients are:

  • Gina Edwards (Aiden Strawhun)
  • Carole Greene (Melissa Gomez and Sarah Stauffer)
  • Connie Kindsvater (Lauren Anderson, Ellie Rushing and Jaynie Tice)
  • Debbie Meade (Shelly Westervelt)
  • Oscar Santiago (Tamica Jean-Charles)
  • Rhona Saunders (Maria Munguia-Cortes)
  • Karla Wheeler (Kala Parkinson)

Donations of any amount may be made to the NPC Scholarship Fund at any time. Write checks payable to “Champions for Learning” (with NPC Scholarship Fund in the memo line), and either send to Scholarship Chairman Connie Kindsvater, 1345 Remington Way #4202, Naples, FL 34110, or to Drew Attanasio c/o Champions for Learning, 3606 Enterprise Avenue #150, Naples, FL 34104. Donors will receive a tax deduction letter from Champions for Learning.

L-R: Maria Munguia-Cortes, Sarah Stauffer, Kala Parkinson, Jaynie Tice, Lauren Anderson and Ellie Rushing ~ Photo by Ted Epstein


L-R Jeff Cull, Evan Williams, Soni Dimond, Bob Orr ~ Photo by Ted Epstein, NPC Photographer



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