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Photo: Paul J. Spetrini

Former Independent Managing Editor Liz Boardman, right, stands with 2015 Rhode Island Press Association scholarship winner Allison Farrelly, Editor in Chief of the Good Five Cent Cigar, the student-run newspaper at the University of Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Press Association's Annual Scholarship Fund

    The Rhode Island Press Association is seeking applications for its annual $1,000 scholarship, which is awarded to an outstanding Rhode Island high school senior or college student preparing for a career in journalism.

    Students need not be majoring in journalism to be eligible. Instead, judges are looking for academic achievement and a demonstrated interest in journalism, such as work on school or community newspapers.

    Nominees must be residents of Rhode Island, attending or accepted to any Rhode Island college or university who are entering the 2022-23 academic year, or full-time graduate students. The scholarship money is paid directly to the student.

    Interested students should send a letter of nomination from a high school or college official or instructor detailing the student’s accomplishments, cover letter, resumé and samples of work via links or attachments, including newspaper stories, classroom assignments or any other supporting material, to Elyse Major, editor in chief, Providence Media, via email at by Friday, April 29, 2022.

    A panel of editors and journalists will judge the nominations. The Rhode Island Press Association will award the scholarship at its annual banquet on June 3, 2022.

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Meet our 2016 scholarship winner: URI student Pia Charlotta Peterson

     Pia Charlotta Peterson graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2009 with majors in History and Spanish Language and Literature.

     She will attend Columbia University School of Journalism for a master’s degree in the fall, where she hopes to concentrate on writing about social and environmental issues.

     She has written for Newport Mercury,, Farm Fresh RI blog, Nowhere Magazine and others.

     She is currently an ESL teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Yamagata, Japan.

Submiitted Photos

Rhode Island Press Association scholarship winner Pia Charlotta Peterson is shown here with the female members of the high school mountaineering club, Yamagata, Japan. Peterson graduated from URI in 2009 and will attend Columbia University for a master's degree.

Meet our 2015 scholarship winner: URI student Allison Farrelly

Photos: Paul J. Spetrini

South County Independent Managing Editor Liz Boardman, right, presents Allison Farrelly, Editor in Chief of the Good Five Cent Cigar, the student-run newspaper at URI, with a check as the recipient of the 2015 Rhode Island Press Association scholarship. 

Allison Farrelly is a journalism major at the University of Rhode Island. She is the editor- in-chief of The Good 5 Cent Cigar. Under her leadership, the struggling daily campus newspaper has been transformed into a digital-first media outlet with a weekly print edition, with the focus primarily on campus news, events and lifestyle. “I pursue stories that give voice to unusual and underrepresented communities,” she wrote in her application. “I hold institutions of power accountable and most importantly, I have an itching passion for learning - the reason I am working to become a professional journalist.” She plans to use the scholarship to study foreign correspondence in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Meet our 2014 scholarship winner: URI student Patrick O'Brien

     Patrick O’Brien attends the University of Rhode Island where he is a dual major in journalism and English. He has been a contributing writer to the South County Independent, and a staff writer for The Unfiltered Lens, the Community College of Rhode Island student newspaper. In addition, he is the co-founder and member of the board of directors of Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund, a non-profit that supports Vietnamese children and families in need. Patrick volunteered in Vietnam in 2011-12. Following his graduation in 2015, he hopes to earn a master’s degree in journalism and become an international news correspondent.

Photos: Blueflash Photography

URI student Patrick O'Brien, right, was the recipient of the 2014 Rhode Island Press Association Scholarship. Patrick has written for the South County Independent as well as CCRI's student newspaper.

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