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Dorgan Community Journalism Scholarship established

Thursday, 05 February 2009

A Journalism student at the University of Maine at Presque Isle will receive the first award from a newly created scholarship on campus.

Senior International Studies Major Dave Hamilton will receive the first-ever Darrell Dorgan Community Journalism Scholarship. The $600 scholarship was created through gifts from Darrell Dorgan, an award-winning journalist, and an anonymous donor.

Hamilton, of Mapleton, serves as the Editor of the University Times, the student newspaper.

"I'm honored to receive this scholarship and to be its first recipient," Hamilton said. "Working with the University Times has given me the opportunity to go out into the community and coordinate with people to get local stories into our newspaper and also help to build positive relationships that will last."

This scholarship will help Hamilton to take more journalism-focused classes.

"Dave has been the mainstay of the UTimes ever since I came on board as the paper's adviser. He does it all: reports, writes, does layout, goes with me to recruit staffers. He's a natural leader," Dr. Jacqui Lowman, who oversees the Journalism/Mass Communication/Professional Writing concentration within the English program, said. "He has some of the best innate journalism instincts I've seen."

Hamilton was able to receive the award because of a visit by a professional journalist last fall. In October 2008, Darrell Dorgan visited the University as its first Journalist-in-Residence, eager to be part of what one distinguished journalist has called "the most innovative journalism program in the country." Dorgan was so enthusiastic about the program that he chose to make several financial donations-and inspired others to do so, as well.

"It seemed only fitting to name our first journalism scholarship after Darrell," Dr. Lowman said.

She intends to build upon Dorgan's faith and enthusiasm by continuing to raise money for the scholarship fund and planned endowment. These funds will support such things as student scholarships, journalists in residence and the sorts of innovative, out-of-classroom partnerships and experiences that can make a program truly groundbreaking.

"I think it's especially important having a scholarship attached to the Journalism/Mass Communication concentration because of the community aspect. Journalism is about community," Dr. Raymond Rice, chair of the College of Arts and Sciences, said. "It's vital that journalism programs focus on community networks and forging connections between students and their communities, and we're pleased to be doing that through this new scholarship."

For more information about the Darrell Dorgan Community Journalism Scholarship, contact Dr. Lowman at 768-9745.