The Stony Brook University School of Journalism received a $25,000 pledge from Stony Brook Senior Vice President of Administration Barbara Chernow and her husband William Farber to establish The Carol Chernow Memorial Scholarship.
Barbara Chernow gave the money in her mother Carol Chernow’s name. Carol Chernow was a strong supporter of education and the development of young writers.
Carol Chernow was a New York City educator and author who believed that individuals with better language skills could open doors and promote equal opportunities.
“My mother believed that effective communication skills – whether through the spoken word or on paper – were the first, best tools for anyone wishing to be successful in today’s world,” Senior Vice President Chernow said.
Chernow felt that race, ethnic background, economic status, birth language and prior educational experiences shouldn’t be a learning barrier either.
In fact, she found that these differences were resources that educators could use to change the way language skills were being taught and how educators were reaching and engaging students.
“She [Carol Chernow] said that people judge you on how well you speak and how well you write,” Senior Vice President Chernow said. “This was the basis of her approach to teaching, and you could call it her affirmative action plan for her students.”
However, it was through literature, writing and teaching communication to a diverse group of children and adults, that Carol Chernow found her passion in life. Chernow’s family is continuing on her lifelong goal of enhancing writers’ skills, by providing a scholarship for novice journalists.
“What some people forget,” Dean Schneider said, “is that even in the age of YouTube, good writing is the key to good journalism, no matter how that journalism is delivered. The Chernow scholarship will be invaluable in helping us to nurture that idea.”
One recipient a year will be chosen by a selected committee, appointed by School of Journalism Dean Howard Schneider, to receive the Chernow scholarhship.
In order to qualify, one must be a full-time student in the School of Journalism. The recipient must also demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in journalism with a proven talent and interest in writing and language.
“I think scholarships like these encourage students to accomplish things that actually make them stand out against the crowd,” Nicky Ramdeholl, a freshman journalism major, said. “As a journalism major, I know that everyone is very motivated and determined to be the best of the best. It’s going to take that extra step to qualify for such a scholarship.”
The School of Journalism offers five other scholarships already, but only two of which any full-time journalism student, male or female, can apply.
“I only know of five scholarships that are offered by the school,” Ramdeholl said. “But I do believe that those are enough because journalism itself is extremely competitive. It’s going to take a lot of credentials and effort to earn a scholarship.”
No information has been released yet about when students can apply for scholarships, but by March 11 there should be more information to come, according to Maureen Robinson, staff assistant at the School of Journalism.