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Emerson Students Awarded Digital Journalism Scholarships


Two Emerson senior Journalism majors have won competitive scholarships from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the world’s largest professional organization devoted to digital journalism.

Shaynah Ferreira won the Ed Bradley Scholarship, created by the late CBS News and 60 Minutes correspondent. Lauren Holt won a Presidents Scholarship, given in memory of several former RTDNA presidents.

“Receiving a scholarship in the name of one of the pioneers of American journalism is such an overwhelming honor,” Ferreira said in a statement on RTDNA’s website. “I am grateful to accept such an award from RTDNA and am excited to continue his legacy as a person of color in the field.”

Ferreira is a reporter for WEBN News, Emerson’s award-winning news station, where she covers breaking news, politics, and the Boston community, according to her bio on the website. Last year, she covered the Oscars for the station, and this year she will be co-executive producer of WEBN’s 2017 Oscars Special. Recently, through Emerson’s Global Pathways program, she traveled to Cuba, where she was co-executive producer of Afro Cuba Libre, a mini documentary on race relations in the country.

During the Fall 2015 semester, she interned for the CBS Evening News in Washington, DC, where she covered the Pope’s first visit to the United States, the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, and local security measures in response to the Paris terrorist attacks. Last summer, she interned at WJAR-TV in Providence, RI, which hired her as its weekend associate producer.

In addition to the RTDNA, of which she is co-treasurer of Emerson’s chapter, she is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.

“Shaynah has been one of the most impressive students I have ever taught in my 40 years at Emerson College and I do not say that lightly,” said Marsha Della-Giustina, associate professor of Journalism and RTDNA chapter and WEBN advisor, in a statement to RTDNA. “She embodies what the late Ed Bradley stands for as a journalist and a person. She will make a great difference in our field.”

The Ed Bradley Scholarship, founded in 1994, awards $10,000.

Holt is studying both Journalism and Political Science at Emerson, and told RTDNA she “considers herself a storyteller first and foremost.” She is interested in the intersection of human rights, the environment, and politics.

Holt also reports and produces for WEBN, and has held internships at ABC News and CNN.

“RTDNA has already presented me with great opportunities to listen, learn from, and connect with people in the journalism industry,” Holt wrote of the $1,000 award. “This scholarship will allow me to take time and explore stories that I am interested [in].”

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