Rutgers student is first Fran Burns scholarship winner

Congratulations to Sarah Doherty, an SPJ student member from Rutgers, who is the first-ever recipient of our Fran Burns scholarship fund.

Sarah will receive $500 from our chapter to help her attend Excellence in Journalism, SPJ’s national conference in Baltimore on Sept. 27-29.

The scholarship is named after Fran Burns, a former SPJ New Jersey president and cherished member of our chapter who died in September 2017.

Fran was a loyal member of SPJ who made a point of attending our conferences when she could. Our board felt this scholarship was a fitting way to honor her memory.

Sarah is from Cape May, where she has worked for the past three summers as a lifeguard for the Cape May Beach Patrol.

She attended Cape May Tech High School where she studied Communication Arts Technology for three years.

“I have always known that I wanted to be a news anchor, which is why I decided to major in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick,” she wrote.

“Furthermore, since I transferred into Rutgers in Spring 2018, I have been trying to get involved as much as I can,”  she added.

“For the 2018-2019 school year, which will be my sophomore year, I have an internship with RU Give Where You Live, a position on the Rutgers Big Ten Network, and the position of Secretary for the Society of Professional Journalists. I also plan on being involved with WRSU and possibly the Daily Targum.”

We look forward to seeing Sarah in Baltimore.

Are you considering going to Baltimore for EIJ 2018?

If so, you might want to register before the early bird deadline of July 25.

Doing so can save you up to $100 on the cost of registration.

You can find more information about the convention at

If you are planning to go, let us know. Our chapter has two delegates for the convention as well as an alternate. We will be happy to consider you for one of those roles.

Contact me at if you are interested.

Our summer retreat

Each summer our SPJ New Jersey board of directors holds an annual retreat to plan our goals and activities for the year ahead.

This year will we hold our retreat at the Princeton Library at 65 Witherspoon Street in Princeton from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. onSaturday, July 28.

Chapter members are welcome to attend all our part of the retreat. If you are interested, please let me know.

Our recent election affirmed the 11 candidates who ran for the SPJ New Jersey Board.

Here are our officers:

  • John Ensslin, President
  • Miriam Ascarelli, Vice President
  • Elizabeth Oguss, Treasurer
  • Emily Kratzer, Secretary

And here are our board members:

  • Robert Bugai
  • Nicholas Hirshon
  • David Levitt
  • Matt McGrath
  • Jane Primerano
  • Claire Regan
  • Bob Schapiro

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