2014 NPPF-NPPA Career Expansion Scholarships Winners



DURHAM, NC (December 2, 2014) – The National Press Photographers Foundation’s board of directors have announced the five winners of this year’s NPPF-NPPA Career Expansion Scholarships.

The winners are Josh Bachman, Matt Eich, Brian Powers, Sabrina Schaeffer, and Shawn Weismiller.

Each winner received a $5,000 scholarship to assist with his or her university education.

The NPPF-NPPA Career Expansion Scholarships are funded by a grant from the Author’s Coalition of America. The grant was established to support photojournalists who have at least three years experience and who have returned to school to enhance their skills, or move in a different career direction while utilizing their photojournalism background.

Josh Bachman is a student at the University of Missouri at Columbia and he is expected to graduate in December 2015 with a master’s degree in photojournalism. His undergraduate degree is in journalism and mass communication and Latin American studies and with a minor in history at New Mexico State University. While at Missouri, Bachman wants to “strengthen shooting skills … in stills as well as new abilities to shoot video.” His experience at Missouri, he says, has broadened his “theoretical approach to photojournalism.”

Matt Eich is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication and a specialization in sociology. He has enrolled in the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford to earn an MFA in photography. As an undergraduate he interned for the Orange County Register, The Oregonian, and National Geographic magazine. After graduation he was an independent photographer shooting for many major publications in the States. He has had many solo exhibitions, awarded a number of grants, and has received many accolades for his work.

Brian Powers is one of those many people in the newspaper industry who have experienced a layoff. Applying for a number of newspaper staff openings, he was told that he had the skills but lacked an undergraduate degree. He returned to Western Kentucky University where he wants to add another “level of confidence and credibility” to his work. His professors say that Powers has “the passion for this business” and as a returning student, he often mentors younger students.

Sabrina Schaeffer began her newspaper career at a couple of smaller newspapers after graduating from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Several years later she enrolled at Ohio University to pursue a visual communication sequence master’s degree. At Ohio University she hopes to “develop her skills in long-term storytelling and multimedia journalism.” She expects to graduate in May of 2015.

Shawn Weismiller is a former military photojournalist who worked in Afghanistan and Iraq as a combat photographer. He was also assigned as a senior analyst with the Defense Media Agency. During his nine years of U.S. Air Force service, he attended Syracuse University and was enrolled in the military photojournalism sequence. Graduating from Syracuse in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in photography with additional studies in political science, he has returned to Syracuse in order to complete a master’s degree in photography and public diplomacy. He’s also working to enhance his multimedia skills.

The scholarship selection committee was comprised of C. Thomas Hardin, president of the Foundation, along with Bill Sanders, who recently retired from the Asheville Citizen-Times in North Carolina.  Both are members of the Foundation’s board of directors.

The Foundation congratulates these students for their demonstrated excellence and promise for the future.