National Press Club

2 Grad Students Win NPC Scholarships

July 24, 2009 | By Mary Clare Jalonick |

A reporter with the Lubbock Avalanche Journal and an aspiring science journalist are this year's winners of the NPC Dennis Feldman Fellowship for Graduate Studies in Journalism and the Richard G. Zimmerman Journalism Graduate Scholarship.

Marlena Hartz, of Lubbock, Texas, is the winner of the Dennis Feldman Fellowship for Graduate Studies in Journalism, a $5,000 stipend for graduate school. She is headed to the University of Denver, where she plans to study print and digital journalism.

Joseph Calamia, of New Haven, Ct., is the winner of the Zimmerman Graduate Scholarship, also a $5,000 stipend for graduate school. Calamia is headed to the graduate program in science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will study science journalism for a general audience.

"The National Press Club is delighted to help two extraordinary people further their journalism education," President Donna Leinwand said. "We are certain that they will continue their commitment to excellence in journalism."

Hartz, a former Peace Corps volunteer and a reporter at the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, has won awards for stories in competition with much bigger papers.

The judges said she is a narrative writer who knows how to tell a good story, and she's found a lot of them in her corner of the world. Her articles include the story of a local soldier wounded in Iraq and the revelation that the president of Texas Tech's medical school spent thousands of dollars of university funds on travel for his wife.

As a volunteer in Nepal, she met people who she cannot forget and she says they inspire her to tell stories back home. "The recipe for successful journalism is good storytelling that taps into our shared humanity, regardless of where on the globe we call home," she said.

Calamia has worked at the Journal of Young Investigators as a features editor and science journalist and also the Yale University Press.

He has written on nanotechnology, deception in scientific review and the scientific study of homosexuality. He said his most interesting stories are about people, and he said he loves "reading about and writing on the study of humans."