NSU students earn Shreveport Journalism Foundation Scholarships


NATCHITOCHES – Two students from Northwestern State University’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts were awarded scholarships from the Shreveport Journalism Foundation. Leanna Coy and Brianna Corley each received $1,000

Coy, a junior mass communication major from Natchitoches, won the Kerry Garland Memorial Scholarship presented to a junior or senior in a journalism or public relations program. Coy has an overall GPA of 3.82 and a 3.88 in her major.

“When I was in high school thinking about what I wanted to study in college, all I knew what I wanted my major to involve writing,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for writing but I couldn’t see myself as an English teacher or author.  When I learned about the public relations concentration, it seemed perfect.  It’s a job with creative aspects. Between writing, speaking, event planning and marketing, I find the job more exciting than most 9-5s.”

Coy’s minor is in hospitality management and she hopes to incorporate skills learned in that curriculum into her career.

“As the national media gets increasingly tense, it is more important than ever for communication professionals to have integrity. Public relations can get a bad reputation, but I am dedicated to working honestly to give the field a good name, express my creativity and uphold the values I believe in.”

Corley, a junior mass communications major from Olla, won the Orland Dodson Memorial Scholarship given to a junior or senior in a journalism program. Corley’s overall and major GPA is 4.0.

“I chose journalism because I wanted to write, because sewing words together was all I knew and have ever wanted to do.  It was only after I became involved in student media that I understood what stories meant, that the work of journalism extends far beyond technical skill and descriptive profiling,” she said. “I want to write stories about the things I do understand and write to understand the things I do not,” she said. “I am pursuing journalism to chronicle human life in all its phases and be a small part of a larger whole working toward the betterment of people.”

While NSU students have won these awards in the past, they’ve never won both awards in the same year.  The department will keep the plaques containing past/present winners for one year until next year’s scholarships are awarded.

The Shreveport Journalism Foundation was chartered by the State of Louisiana and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 corporation in 1984.  The group presented our first Kerry Garland Memorial Scholarship in 1987 and the first Orland Dodson Memorial Scholarship in 1991.  To date, we have awarded SJF scholarships totaling $53,000.  Eight of the recipients have been Northwestern State University students.  This was the first time that both of our recipients were from NSU in the same year.