Scholarships for Current COJO Students

Whalen Scholarship | Leyden Scholarship | Vachon Scholarship | Minnesota Journalists Abroad 

The annual awards range from approximately $600 to $3,000, and between 15 and 20 students each year receive the scholarships.

The scholarships are intended for current Department of Communication and Journalism majors at the University of St. Thomas who will have completed eight COJO credits by the end of the Spring 2019 semester.

The scholarships are for the 2019-20 academic year. 

Transfer students coming to UST as COJO majors with eight credits that fulfill COJO course requirements will also be considered. 

Students who received a scholarship may re-apply for one in subsequent years; these scholarships are not renewed annually without successful re-application. Students who applied for but were not awarded a scholarship are welcome to re-apply in subsequent years.

Students who receive 100 percent tuition remission are not eligible for COJO scholarships.  

Only UST degree-seeking students are eligible for COJO scholarships.  

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 15, 2019 

Scholarship materials may be dropped off at the Communication and Journalism Department office in room 119, O'Shaughnessy Education Center (OEC) by 4:00 p.m., or mailed to the mailing address below by Friday, February 15, 2019. 

Mailing Address:
Prof. Debra Petersen
Dept. of Communication and Journalism
2115 Summit Ave, Mail #5013
St. Paul, MN 55105 


1. Download the 2019 Scholarship Application Form, fill it out by typing in the highlighted fields and print out the completed application. 

2. Write a 400-word essay (approximately two typed pages). Please write on additional sheets and attach them to your other materials.

The topic of your essay: "As you know by now, the COJO experience entails coursework, co-curricular activities, study abroad, and many other things. As a department, we're committed to you being engaged in work for the common good professionally and personally. Given the currents in American political discourse, what is one key experience you've had in COJO that you feel has prepared you for effective communication that addresses these tensions? How can you apply that experience in a way that contributes to the common good?" If you previously applied for COJO scholarships you will need to describe a different key experience

The essay is weighted more heavily than any other aspect of your application so put effort into your thinking, writing and editing. You are working toward a degree in a discipline that places strong emphasis on skilled writing. Your skills should be evident in your essay.

3. Submit a copy of your most recent transcript. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. (available from Murphy Online).

4. Submit all materials together by 4 p.m., Friday, February 15, 2019.

2019 Scholarship Application Form

Offered Scholarships

Eligible, current students may apply for any or all of these scholarships:

Whalen Scholarships are named for the late Father James Whalen, long-time faculty member and department chairman who specialized in teaching Media Ethics. Whalen scholarships are given on the basis of academic merit, commitment to community service and career-related activities, and the promise of success in a media career. 

Leyden Scholarships are named for the late Donald Leyden, who was a founder of the original Department of Journalism.  He also directed UST's University Relations office for many years. Leyden scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, commitment to community service and career-related activities, and the promise of success in a media career.

Vachon Scholarships are named for John F. Vachon, a member of UST's class of 1935, and were established by his brother, Robert Vachon. John Vachon was one of America's outstanding photojournalists. Vachon scholarships are awarded to students who show promise as photojournalists. The awards are made on the basis of academic excellence and photojournalistic excellence as demonstrated by a portfolio of photographic work.  Demonstration of work experience as a photographer for or other publications is a plus.

Minnesota Journalists Abroad. This scholarship provides study abroad funds to a COJO major who is intending to work in journalism. The recipient must be a junior or senior during the year the scholarship is received and must be studying abroad that year. Preference is given to students who demonstrate financial need. For application materials, contact scholarship committee chair Prof. Debra Petersen at

COJO Scholarship Recipients for the 2018-19 Academic Year

Whalen Scholarship 

Marissa Abara
Bjorn Anderson
Elizabeth Barnes
Sophia Becker
Abby Bensen
Lauren Bixby
Mary Brickner
Noah Brown
Jacob Charbonneau
Miranda Chartrand
Airel Dorsey
Ella Dostal
Alyssa Erdman
Emilia Fredrickson
Emily Haugen
Mackenzie Hunter
Kayley Isaacson
Althea Larson
Lydia Lockwood
Samantha Miner
Peter Monahan
Carly Noble
Anne Petersen
Danette Reistad
Emily Reuvers
Maya Shelton-Davies
Abigail Sliva
Kathryn Smarjesse
Emily Sweeney
Anna Tillotson
Rachel Torralba
Mariah Wills

Leyden Scholarship 

Sophia Becker
Mackenzie Hunter 

Minnesota Journalists Abroad Scholarship 

Solveig Rennan 

John Vachon Photojournalism Scholarship   

Miranda (Randi) Chartrand 

Timothy Howe Memorial Scholarship

Matthew Curry