By Joe Sullivan
In this, the fifth year of the APSE Scholarships, there was one thing the committee could agree on: This was the best group of writers who have ever applied. It made the decision difficult and many of the candidates would have been winners in past years. The winners are an outstanding foursome who all have a big future in our business.
This year’s winners are Ryan Black of the University of Georgia, Vicente Fernandez of the University of Chicago, Sarah Moomaw of Northeastern University, and Kelly Parsons of the University of North Carolina. Black is receiving the Tim Wheatley Memorial Scholarship and Parsons is receiving the Roy Hewitt Scholarship.
Fernandez is part of a group that will soon launch a web site called sportsmanias.com. He sees it as an outlet for his own writing and much more. “People my age aren’t reading newspapers,’’ he said, “but I think the best source of information is newspaper writers. I see value in reading the best writers. For example, there are three writers who I think provide the best information on the Miami Heat, Ira Winderman, Ethan J. Skolnick, and Joseph Goodman. If you want the best information, you need to read these guys.’’
What sportsmanias.com will do is provide easy access to Twitter feeds of sports writers. Vicente sees it as making it easier to have access to the best information, and he’ll be doing that by driving traffic to newspaper web sites.
Black was influenced as a young boy by Pardon the Interruption and tells a story about meeting Tony Kornheiser at the ESPNZone in Washington. Now he says, “I think the pinnacle would be to be a columnist for a metro paper, have your own radio show and appear on TV. That’s something I aspire to.’’ Black is serving an internship at the Atlanta Journal Constitution this summer, and when reached about the scholarship, he was in Statesboro, Ga., gathering material for a preview of Georgia Southern.
Moomaw has had several jobs in the Boston Globe building, working for the sports department and also serving as a producer for boston.com. She learned some valuable, basic journalism lessons when she was assigned the difficult, tedious assignment to assemble a “this date in Fenway Park history’’ to be used as a daily item to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ballpark on the Globe’s Red Sox pages and online. She’ll return to the Globe in the fall, but she’s had an interesting summer, spending time in both France and Argentina.
Many members of APSE met Kelly Parsons at the June conference in Chicago, where she participated as the AWSM scholarship winner and made a great impression on everyone she came into contact with. She’s serving an internship at the Washington Times this summer.
The APSE Scholarship committee consists of John Bednarowski of the Marietta, Ga. Journal, Judy Connelly of the Middletown, N.Y. Times Herald-Record, Mike Harris of the Washington Times, Mike James of the Los Angeles Times, Joe Sullivan of the Boston Globe, and Paul Vigna of the Patriots-News in Mechanicsburg, Pa.