Spotlight on Journalism Scholarship Students

Introducing Our New and Continuing Scholarship Students

The Press Club of Southwest Florida is helping four students for the 2023-24 year through our journalism scholarships. Each spring, the Scholarship Committee interviews and chooses outstanding and committed students from Collier or Lee Counties who want to major in the overall journalism/media field. The students who were will receive Press Club Scholarships for 2023-24 include: 

Sophia Lowrie

Sophia Lowrie is a Marco Island Academy graduate who will be a freshman at University of South Florida (USF). She plans to major in Digital Media & Communications and to become involved with the USF student-run newspaper. You may have met Sophia when she attended our April luncheon at the Hilton and/or the Summer Media Mixer in downtown Fort Myers. She is already at USF-St. Petersburg for the summer session. (Connie Kindsvater is her mentor.)

Layza Pinero Resto

Layza Pinero Resto is a graduate of North Fort Myers High School who will be a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) majoring in Journalism. Layza has twice been chosen to be a Teaching Assistant for her Journalism professors, who highly recommended her to be a scholarship recipient. (Karla Wheeler is her mentor.)

Emma Rodriguez

Emma Rodriguez is a graduate of Gulf Coast High School who will be a sophomore at FGCU majoring in Journalism. She is in the Honors College, is a staff writer for the FGCU student newspaper Eagle News, and is a part-time Intern/Assignment Editor at Wink News. Emma was awarded our FGCU Endowed Journalism Scholarship. (Glenn Miller is her mentor.)

Maddie Laufer

Maddie Laufer is our continuing scholarship student. A graduate of Naples High School, she will be a junior at Florida State University (FSU) majoring in Journalism/Media Studies. Maddie has received one of our scholarships since she was a freshman. She is currently taking classes for the first session of summer school, is a research assistant, and is continuing her involvement with Her Campus and FSView. (Connie Kindsvater is her mentor.)

Congratulations to Our Scholarship Student Graduates

Please join us in congratulating three scholarship students who graduated in May 2023. These include:

Graduate Reese Holiday

Reese Holiday graduated from UCF with a Journalism degree. He reports that he did a lot of camera work/photojournalism and electronic news gathering in his final year at UCF. His mother has left Florida, so he may be leaving Florida as well. He’s not sure of his future plan, commenting that he’s “Still figuring that out,” although he is considering local reporting jobs. He asked me to thank the Press Club for our graduation gift of the online AP Stylebook, which he said is a fantastic gift!

Graduate Meghan Kennedy

Meghan Kennedy graduated from St. Leo University with a Journalism minor. She particularly liked the Desktop Publishing and Design class and the Professional Editing class. She was on the school newspaper staff, as well. She’s unsure of her future plans. She will be back in Naples for a bit, working to save up some money. She wants to do some traveling before she settles down. She also loves the online AP Stylebook gift, and thanks the Press Club. Meghan is interested in crime writing and reporting. She would love to get involved with that field. Any ideas for her? (Note: If we have any more mixers, she’d love to attend.)

Graduate Janie Morgan Palmer

Janie Morgan Palmer graduated summa cum laude from FSU with a BS in Digital Media and Communication. Her final GPA was 3.96! She sent us the following update: “Following my graduation… I sought employment that would allow me to grow in the communications field and express my creativity. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position with MarketPlace Interiors in Tampa as their Marketing and Social Media Manager. There I fill a variety of roles including photography, copywriting, website design, and social media management. I have greatly enjoyed my experience with MarketPlace and anticipate sustained growth within the company. I am extremely appreciative of the Press Club’s mentorship throughout my university education and credit their influence as a factor of my current success.” Janie also loves the online AP Stylebook gift, which she is already using.

Since creation of its Scholarship Fund in 2001, the club has awarded nearly $100,000 in scholarships to Southwest Florida area college students majoring in journalism or communications. It also provides mentors for each of the scholars. Scholarship Committee members include: Rhona Saunders, Carole Greene, Karla Wheeler, Phil Beuth, David Mink, Jeff Margolis, George Lehner, and Glenn Miller.

Donations to the Scholarship Fund in any amount are always welcome. Click here to learn more. Thank you!