2020 NPPF Scholarship Winners

Twelve College students have been selected by the National Press Photographers Foundation to receive $2,000 scholarships, professor emeritus Dr. James W. Brown of Indiana University announced. Brown is the NPPF scholarship chair.

New this year – Fujifilm provides a new scholarship and a camera to the Fujifilm winner. A new scholarship was funded by James Brown and Frank Folwell.

Rebecca Slezak, an undergraduate from Ball State University, won the C. Thomas Hardin and Mary C. Hardin Documentary Photojournalism scholarship.

Hadley Chittum, an undergraduate from George Washington University, won the James Brown and Frank Folwell scholarship.

Jamie Araki, an undergraduate from College of the Canyons, won the Rich Clarkson Founders scholarship.

Nic Antaya, an undergraduate from Michigan State University, won the Reid Blackburn scholarship.

Madeleine Hordinski, an undergraduate from Ohio University, won the Jimi Lott scholarship.

Michele Abercrombie and Maranie Staab, graduate students both from Syracuse University, won the NPPF Still & Multimedia and the Kit King Scholarships, respectively.

Hope Davison, undergraduate from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, won the NPPF TV scholarship.

Michaela Vatcheva, graduate student from University of California Berkeley, won the Bob Baxter Scholarship.

Kara Dry, undergraduate from University of North Texas, won the Sony’s Photojournalism Scholarship.

Michael Blackshire and Gabriel Scarlett, undergraduates from Western Kentucky University, won the Fujifilm and Bob East scholarships, respectively.

The Bob East, Reid Blackburn, Bob Baxter, Kit C. King, and Jimi Lott Scholarships are endowed by donations from friends, family, and news organizations, while the Foundation funds the Still & Multimedia Scholarship and the TV News Scholarship.

Many of the Foundation’s scholarships are named after people who played an important role in visual journalism or NPPA’s history, and their memories live on but supporting undergraduate and graduate students’ educational goals.

Bob East was a colorful and widely known veteran photographer for the Miami Herald who died in 1985 after more than 45 years in the profession. He was NPPA’s national secretary, and he mentored many interns.

Reid Blackburn was only 27 when he died on assignment while covering the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. The scholarship was established in his memory by his newspaper, The Columbian of Vancouver, WA.

Bob Baxter was director of photography for the Suburban Publishing Co. in Union, NJ. He was a U.S. Navy veteran who served during World War II. In 1971, a swimming accident left Baxter a paraplegic. He spent the last eleven years of his life in East Orange Veterans Hospital where he became the hospital’s photography instructor and commentator on the in-house radio station. He died in 1982. The scholarship was established in 1979 with Baxter’s own savings along with contributions from his family, friends and professional colleagues.

Kit C. King was chief photographer for The Spokesman Review and Chronicle. A compassionate photographer who cared about the people he covered, gritty documentary photojournalism was his trademark. He died in a Snake River fishing accident in 1991.

Jimi Lott was a Seattle Times staff photographer for more than 20 years. Known for his keen eye, compassion, and boundless energy, his work focused on the less fortunate in the Seattle community, including the homeless and those with mental illness. He died in 2005 at age 52.

The NPPF Booster Club, made up of NPPA Life members, has provided significant funding over the years.