Lower Great Lakes Chapter Scholarships

Applications No Longer Being Accepted
The deadline for applying was February 16, 2016. Student Scholarship Applications are no longer being accepted for this year. Check back in January 2016 for the next offering.

The Lower Great Lakes Chapter of NATAS offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors, and to college juniors or seniors. Students must plan to attend or currently attend a four-year college to pursue a career in the television industry. Recipients and their parents are guests at the 47th Annual NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter Regional Emmy® Awards ceremony where they will receive on-stage recognition. The gala is planned for Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

The deadline to apply was February 16, 2016. The application process is the same for all scholarships and is completed online through this website, nataslgl.org. Applications will be screened by our scholarship committee, and finalists will be notified by mail. In March, finalists will be invited to an interview by members of the NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter scholarship selection committee.

If you have questions, feel free to contact Education Committee Chair Mark Lynch at mediateacher@mac.com. To view a letter submitted to student advisors with more details on our scholarships: high school students click here :: college students click here. Please note, DO NOT SEND ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTIONS. We do not accept DVD’s, Tapes, etc., however you are welcome to include a URL if the project is available online.

This year, the chapter is offering three scholarchips-two for collegte students and one for a high school student.

NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter Collegiate Scholarship
The $3,500 scholarship funded directly by our NATAS chapter members is offered to students who attend school anywhere in the membership area of our organization which includes Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Bowling Green, Toledo, Lima and Mansfield, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Lafayette, and Muncie, Indiana. Students must be attending college in our region to qualify.

This scholarship goes to a student who will be a college junior or senior in the 2016-17 academic year and who intends to pursue a career in television or television related field.

Wilma Smith Scholarship
This is a new scholarship created to honor longtime WJW anchor Wilma Smith who retired in May 2013, after a 35 year career in Cleveland broadcasting. The $2,500 award is funded by WJW Fox 8. It is designated for a female college student from the Cleveland market who is currently a second or third year student majoring in a television-related field.

NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter High School Scholarship
The $2,000 scholarship funded directly by our NATAS chapter members. It will be awarded to a current high schoool senior who plans to attend a four-year college and pursue a career in the television industry.

This is open to high school students attending a school anywhere in the memebrship area of our organization which includes Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Bowling Green, Toledo, Lima and Mansfield, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Lafayette, and Muncie, Indiana.

Separate scholarship opportunities are also available through NATAS. Visit the national site for details on the Jim McKay and Mike Wallace Memorial Scholarships.


2014 Lower Great Lakes Scholarship Winners


Sartaj AujlaSartaj Aujla plans to combine his love of sports and broadcasting as a sports reporter and anchor. A journalism class at Cleveland State University turned his interest in the field into a “great passion,” and soon Sartaj transferred to University of Akron to become deeply involved in both the radio and television programs.

He serves as sports director/host at WZIP-FM and as sports reporter/host at ZTV. If you called into several of the sports programs on ESPN Cleveland 850 WKNR last year, Sartaj might have been the person who screened your call. His internship there further confirmed his interest in broadcasting as a career. Sartaj also has experience in the professional world, working as a high school basketball reporter for WMFD-TV in Mansfield, Ohio.

Sartaj will use the $3500 NATAS-LGL College Scholarship during his senior year at University of Akron.


Mina HoffmanMina Hoffman already has a long list of awards for her collection of short films and documentaries, many of which you can see on YouTube. She recalls how evenings watching black and white television programs with her grandmother ignited her love of television, and now Mina is creating films of her own with advanced technology and posting them online.

During her time at Wadsworth High School, Mina has been very involved with the city’s local station, which has aired many of her videos. She holds a number of speech, debate and theatre awards, has worked with a couple of production companies and regularly volunteers to help middle school students develop leadership skills.

As a high school student, Mina has already taken several college communication courses. Ultimately, she says, “I hope to direct and write stories that have honesty to them.”

The $2000 scholarship from NATAS-LGL will go toward Mina’s freshman year at Point Park University.


Katie LairdWhen Robert Sherman’s high school didn’t offer the opportunity to do sports play-by-play, Robert created one. He built an internet television station to stream University School athletic events live and then keep them available for replay. He purchased the equipment with a grant, assembled a team of people, organized pre-game shows and now provides commentary and analysis for several sports.

He loves studying other broadcasters and how they’ve created successful careers in broadcasting. Robert also writes for the school newspaper and creates videos for a variety of school events. He still has time to serve in student government, as an award-winning member of the debate team and perform in the US theatre programs.

Robert spent last summer as an intern at ideastream, the Cleveland NPR affiliate.

He will use the $2000 NATAS-LGL High School Scholarship as he beings classes at DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) this fall.


Mina HoffmanKara Riccardi does it all at ZTV, the University of Akron television station. She co-hosts the “Lights, Camera, Akron!” show as well as produces, shoots, writes and edits. That work earned her a student nomination this year. Some of her favorite reports include compelling personal profiles.

Kara’s interest in broadcasting began early, and she spent much of her time at North Canton Hoover High School as executive producer of its HVTV news. She also worked as a sideline reporter for basketball games shown on the city’s television channel, and in the future she hopes to work as a reporter for a sports network.

Kara is on the executive council for her sorority and tutors children in Akron several times a month. This summer, she is interning at ideastream, the Cleveland NPR affiliate.

The $2500 Wilma Smith Scholarship will help support Kara’s junior year at University of Akron.