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 2020 semester.

The scholarships are for the 2020-21 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 14, 2020 

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 14, 2020. 

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


1. Download the 2020 Scholarship Application for COJO Majors, 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 14, 2020.

2020 Scholarship Application for COJO Majors

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 2019-20 Academic Year

Father James Whalen Scholarship

Christina O’Malley

Emilia Fredrickson

Miranda Mead

Abby Bensen

Alyssa Erdman

Althea Larson

Sawyer Rutan

Emily Haugen

Rachel Torralba

Anne Petersen

Carly Noble

Sophia Becker

Mackenzie Hunter

Mark Voss

Kayley Isaacson

Emily Reuvers

Bjorn Anderson

Claire Rotherham

Maggie Martin

Maddie Harvey

Ahna-Jenae Clark 

Donald Leyden Scholarship

Christina O’Malley

Emilia Frederickson

Alyssa Erdman

Emily Haugen

Sophia Becker

Mackenzie Hunter

John F. Vachon Photojournalism Scholarship 

Ahna-Jenae Clark

Minnesota Journalists Abroad Scholarship

Sawyer Rutan

Samantha HoangLong