l-r; Chapter President Hayley Mason, Scholarship Committee Chair Getahn Ward, Sandra Long Weaver and Poynter Institute President Emeritus Dr. Karen Dunlap, a TSU professor.

NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists has awarded six scholarships totaling $4,000 to students from Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee State Universities.

The scholarships were presented during a ceremony on June 11 at Fisk University. MTSU senior Marissa Gaston and TSU junior Shayla Simmons were each presented a $1000 Sandra Long Weaver scholarship.

The scholarship was created by the chapter last year in honor of one of the founders of NABJ who is now an active member of the Nashville chapter. The chapter last year raised over $10,000 and seeded the Sandra Long Weaver scholarship with $3,000.

Students had to be journalism or communications majors and write essays about leadership in the media to qualify for the Sandra Long Weaver scholarship. Gaston is currently interning at The Tennessean. Simmons is also doing an internship in her home state of Maryland.

Jayla Jackson of MTSU received the $500 Scripps Howard scholarship. Janita Hendricks and Stephen Barnum, also of MTSU and Leona Dunn of TSU each received scholarships of $500 from the Nashville chapter.  Dunn is interning at The Tennessee Tribune.

Chapter president Hayley Mason led the ceremony. She gave a brief history of the chapter and scholarship. Scholarship chair Getahn Ward said he has been active in the chapter for more than 20 years. Until the Sunday event, Ward said he had been most proud of the chapter hosting the national convention in 1996. “But I am feeling even more proud today,” he told the audience.

“I am very proud of all our scholarship winners,” said Long Weaver. “I know they will all go on to do great things in journalism. “