JAMS Scholarships Announced for 2019-2020

Thanks to our generous donors, the Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies program is proud to announce that we were able to award eighteen undergraduate scholarships and six graduate scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. Please join us in congratulating our recipients and we wish everyone a fun and fulfilling new school year!


Matthew Cade
Francie and Albert Silverman/Milwaukee Press Club Endowment Ltd. Scholarship

Matthew Cade is a 12-year United States Coast Guard Veteran who is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee pursuing his degree in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies with a focus in Journalism. Along with his studies at UWM, he serves as the Vice President in the universities chapter of Student Veterans of America. He has been published by the Milwaukee Press Club, UWM Research, UWM Report and Media Milwaukee. His work has also been shared by The United States Department of Veterans Affairs and Trout Unlimited. A few of his fishier tales can further be found on his personal webpage, Cultural Thoughts on the Outdoors. When he is not sharing the stories of others through journalism, he volunteers his time with Wisconsin Hero Outdoors as their Public Relations Coordinator assisting Veterans, First Responders and their family members. He lives in Waterford, Wisconsin with his beautiful wife and their two daughters.

Grecia Cerda
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Walter Jay and Clara Charlotte Damm Scholarship

Grecia Cerda is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is majoring in the JAMS department with a concentration in Advertising, minoring in English studies, and pursuing a certificate in Digital Arts and Culture. She is part of the Ad Club committee as a social media manager. She hopes that after graduation she can work at a Milwaukee ad agency or a non-profit as a copywriter or social media manager. Her goal is not only to be able to accurately and respectfully represent minorities in the workplace but in her writing as well.

Sydney Ewert
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Donald and Barbara Abert Fund Scholarship

Sydney Ewert will be graduating in May 2020 with a BA in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies and a minor in American Sign Language Studies. She originally is from Bemidji, Minnesota and was drawn to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee because of the distinguished ASL program. Once on campus, she decided to pursue journalism. Upon graduation, she hopes to land a job in broadcast journalism as reporter.

Jodie Filenius
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Ione Quinby Griggs Journalism Scholarship

Jodie Filenius is a current senior at UWM studying Journalism in the JAMS program and also minoring in Political Science while completing a Digital Arts and Culture Certificate. She is also a club officer for UWM’s Journalism Club and the editor-in-chief of the UWM Post, UWM’s student-run, online newspaper.

This summer, Jodie worked as an intern for Spectrum News 1 in Milwaukee as a digital content producer. She wants to be a television news producer after graduation, and she is grateful that Spectrum allowed her to practice producing their shows as well as managing their website.

Milwaukee is a big change for Jodie, as she comes from a town in northern Wisconsin with less than 700 people, but she adjusted quickly and loves it! She’s thankful for all of the journalism opportunities UWM has to offer and everything the JAMS program has done to prepare her for the home stretch, as she graduates in May 2020.

Derek Grant
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

For the longest time I was unsure I wanted to do with my life. I knew I didn’t want to work in call centers anymore, but also didn’t know how to get out of working a job I no longer wanted to do. After a medical situation that led to my release from a call center job around five years ago, I started to reconsider my career choices. In spring of 2016 I finally chose to complete college.

I had dabbled in college courses at a community college in Janesville, WI, but I was much younger, much healthier and I had a military career to fall back on. I didn’t take college seriously, but a series of medical conditions eventually led to my discharge. I could no longer fall back on my military career. Fast forward to 2016 and I reached a point where I wanted something more from my life. I applied to UWM and despite my poor record at the community college, I was admitted.

Since then I have been determined to perform to the best of my abilities. I’ve had to overcome incredible adversity during my tenure at UWM. In September of 2016 my son was born. He was born with an incredibly rare lung disease. In an effort to save his life, my wife and I chose to move to Philadelphia in hopes a lung transplant would save his life. Unfortunately, he passed away in July of 2017. We chose to move back to Milwaukee and I began college at UWM for the fall semester of 2018.

Despite the situation I knew I had to bounce back. For my mental health. For my son’s memory. I made the Dean’s list that first semester back. It was an incredible feeling to come back to UWM so strong. Sometimes I wonder how I continue to press forward through my medical issues and the loss of my son. Something inside me continues to say I need to keep pushing forward. That I need to try my best at everything I do. So far, it’s paid off in a huge way. I’ll graduate this December with a degree in journalism and it’s completely surreal. That everything that’s happened in my life has come to this moment.

Kaitlyn Herzog
Francie and Albert Silverman/Milwaukee Press Club Endowment Ltd. Scholarship

Kaitlyn Herzog is a senior in the broadcast journalism program at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She is minoring in psychology, the degree she intended on completing before she took some time off to find her passion.

Kaitlyn is a natural writer, which landed her in advertising working as a senior social media strategist and copywriter for agencies in Milwaukee and Denver. While she was grateful to have the experience of writing for Fortune 500 companies, something was always missing. She knew she needed to follow that dream of working in television news and finish the degree she started years prior.

She returned to school in the spring of 2018 and has been given numerous opportunities through the JAMS program to help her succeed in her new field. She was the host of MATC Now, a live, 30-minute variety show produced weekly by MATC television production students and took part in mock-anchoring opportunities at TODAY’S TMJ4, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee. That led to an internship with the station where she now hosts two different online interviews each week, as well as writes breaking news for the web.

Kaitlyn is on UWM’s Dean’s List, earned a first place Wisconsin Broadcasters Award and was a nationwide finalist for a National Association of Television Arts & Sciences scholarship. She’s hoping her past experience working in digital will help propel her as a reporter/anchor in a major news market after she graduates.

Jena Kleindl
Keith Spore Journal Communications Scholarship

Jena Kleindl is a junior Honors student in the Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies program with a dual focus in Journalism and Media Studies. Originally, Jena is from Freeport, IL, home of the Freeport Pretzels.

Jena serves at the News Editor for the UWM Post, the only student-run newspaper on campus since 1956. As the News Editor, Jena formed meaningful and cherished relationships with JAMS professors, Milwaukee professionals, and fellow students.”

Outside of class, Jena works as a Senior Resident Assistant in University Housing where she has worked in some capacity for the last three years. In her role, she mentors first-year students and advises a governmental organization of student leaders.

After graduation in 2020, Jena plans to work for a non-profit or attend graduate school. Either way, the experiences she has received through the JAMS program will continue to guide her long after graduation.

Karly Knaus
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Ione Quinby Griggs Journalism Scholarship

My name is Karly Knaus. I am originally from Plymouth, Wisconsin. I am currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I am pursuing a degree in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in communication. I currently commute to school and work at an elementary school with special needs children. In my free time, I enjoy working out and baking.

Hugo Ljungbäck
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Hugo Ljungbäck is a video artist, film curator, and media scholar, pursuing a double-major in Film and Media Studies. His films and videos regularly explore queer subjectivities, oversexed bodies, sexual abuse, and coercion, and have screened at national and international film festivals and galleries, from London to New York and Beijing to Buenos Aires. His research focuses on the intersection of video art, surveillance, labor, and queer cinema, and he has presented his work at national conferences in Berkeley, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Madison, and Seattle, and published his writing in international journals. He was awarded Best Student LGBTIQQ Film from Splice Film Fest in 2018 and received a 2018-19 Senior Excellence in Research Award from the UWM Office of Undergraduate Research. He is an Undergraduate Research Fellow in the Department of English/Film Studies, Chair of the UWM Moving Image Society, Director and Chief Curator of the UWM Film Studies Archive and Save the Archives Film Festival, and a programmer for the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival.

Lillian Maxwell
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Hi! I’m Lillian Maxwell, a senior journalism student at UWM.

I received an Associates Degree in Multi-media from Illinois Central College in 2018.

I love working with cameras. I enjoy cinematography the most, but I’m not afraid to put myself in front of the camera. I feature myself in many of my projects.

My goal in anything I create is to inspire people. After graduating, I hope to work in the media and have a positive influence on others.

Kynnah Neal
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Walter Jay and Clara Charlotte Damm Scholarship

My name is Kynnah Neal and I’m a senior at UWM. I’m majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a certificate in Cultures & Communities. I’m originally from North Chicago, IL and graduated from Warren Township High School in Gurnee, IL. In my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to make it to the Dean’s Honor List, and received an academic achievement award the following year. In the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to be DPI Title I Team’s first hired Intern for the Department of Public Instruction in Madison,WI. While interning, I collaborated with their Communication Director on social media and public relations campaign outreach, we also reviewed the department’s website to help with updating web content, and making website navigation user friendly.

In my sophomore year, I became heavily engulfed into the African Student Association (ASA) here on campus. I became an active member, and took on many responsibilities throughout the year. I also joined ASA’s dance team, Afro Fusion that consisted of UWM and Marquette Students. Although, I wasn’t able to obtain a summer internship, I worked a great summer job as a program assistant at my local Boy and Girls Club. In that role, I learned a lot about non-profit agencies, worked with at-risk children, while helping to create some programs and taught the programming provided for school age kids. In my Junior year, I continued with ASA, and was elected Event Coordinator for the Fall semester, and then elected to Vice President for the Spring Semester. It was one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences yet in my college life at UWM. It allowed me to take on leadership roles and grow in leadership development, as well as travel for more enrichment development training. This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a two-day black women empowerment summit. Summit 21 was a very exhilarating and enlightening experience, allowing me to grow my network while embracing some powerful messaging from some exemplary and seasoned Black women leaders.

Lastly, this summer I interned at ISSA, a global membership association. ISSA is global trade association for the cleaning industry, providing resources and information, and host of the industry’s annual Largest North American Trade show held in Las Vegas, NV. ISSA’s midwest hub is located in Northbrook, IL, where I interned as their Multimedia Intern, conducting market research, editing video content, and content writing for monthly newsletters while collaborating with members of multiple departments in the company to reach their year end goals. The experience gained this past summer was extremely fulfilling on every level as an aspiring student, a developing professional and personally enriching to greatness.

Claire Neville
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Claire Neville is a Senior double-majoring in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies with a focus on Public Relations and Digital Arts and Culture. She is also currently a part of the Honors College here at UW-Milwaukee. Claire is a member of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and PASA (Panthers Against Sexual Assault) on campus. Claire currently has an internship as the Communication and Events Intern at NEWaukee and works in the Student Success Center on UWM’s Campus as a Communications Specialist.

Emma Pergolski
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Donald and Barbara Abert Fund Scholarship

Emma is a senior at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee studying for a BA in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies with a minor in Digital Arts and Culture. She is expecting to graduate in December of 2019. She works as a Marketing Intern at Innovia Consulting where she works closely with the marketing department to create and execute marketing strategies aimed at building awareness of the Innovia Consulting Brand, identifying and nurturing leads, and providing valuable content that is useful for clients and prospects in every phase of the buyer’s journey. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, shopping and going to concerts with her friends and family.

Terese Radke
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Terese Radke is an advertising and public relations major entering her senior year at UW-Milwaukee. She enjoys learning about creating digital media and event planning as well as furthering her interests in video and audio production through her classes. Terese is a Pantherfest Entertainment and Outreach Member and a Campus Connections Member of the UWM Campus Activities Board. She has published multi-media works through Media Milwaukee and the UWM Post. The UWM Digital Commons also chose her to create a research presentation, which she titled “Milwaukee’s Theater Scene: The Evolution of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.” The UWM English Department awarded her a “Creative Thinking” Virginia Burke Award for this research. Terese aims to work for a theater one day, either in their arts administration or production staff. In her free time, she loves to bake and explore downtown Milwaukee.

Madeline Redell
Michael J. Petrick Journalism Scholarship

Madeline Redell is a senior at UWM, majoring in JAMS with a focus on Public Relations, as well as a minor in business. On-campus, Madeline is a journalist and Arts & Culture editor for the UWM Post where she primarily focuses on music-based articles and photography. She was also invited to become a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society last fall.
In her spare time, Madeline holds several positions within the industry including being the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Brady Street BID, an editorial assistant for UWM’s University Relations, and an event staffer for the Pabst Theater Group.
After graduation, Madeline hopes to combine her life-long love for the music industry with the skills taught to her within the JAMS program in a position focused in live event production.

Alex Scharpf
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Walter Jay and Clara Charlotte Damm Scholarship

I’m a last-semester JAMS student with concentrations in advertising/public relations and media studies. Although a career in media production is my main goal, I am also planning to graduate with a major in Sociology as well as a certificate in LGBT+ Studies.

My two favorite things are listening to music and watching cartoons, making the world of media perfect for me. I’m mostly into rock and metal, but I like all kinds of music and would never turn my nose up at something new. Going to concerts is one of my favorite things to do, and I can never get enough of them. As for cartoons, I love animation from every era and I’ve even been teaching myself how to animate just for fun. I absolutely love these two areas of media, and I hope to one day get a chance to work in these industries.

Zoe Smith Munson
Greater Milwaukee Foundation Journal Foundation
Walter Jay and Clara Charlotte Damm Scholarship

Hello! My name is Zoe Smith Munson and I’m a senior double majoring in journalism and sociology, minoring in communication, and pursuing the digital art and culture certificate.
I plan on working within the journalism industry making social commentary in creative and comprehensive ways; utilizing written, auditory, and visual techniques.
In my opinion, what the world needs the most is empathy. To be empathetic, one needs understanding. I strive to be the medium through which people can gain understanding and, ultimately, empathy.

Megan Weigold
Dave Edwards Scholarship

Megan Weigold is a senior majoring in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies with a concentration on public relations and media studies, while also majoring in Communication. Megan is a member of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) Honor Society. Back when Megan began her schooling at UW-Milwaukee in the fall of 2016, she was undecided on what she should major in. During her sophomore year, she took a JAMS class as an elective and knew it was the right fit for her. After Megan graduates in May of 2020, her goal is to achieve a social media manager position at an agency or an in-house team.



Briah Baker
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Briah Baker is a first year Master’s student in the Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Briah received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Media & Communication Studies from the Catholic University of America in May 2019. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Briah has research interests in race, gender, and television sitcoms. With a particular interest in black female comedians and representation in television. She also looks forward to her research interests expanding during her time in the JAMS graduate program.

Yasemin Beykont
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Yasemin Beykont is a graduate student in UWM Media Studies program. She has graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with a double major in European Studies and Public Relations. During her undergraduate study, she spent one semester in Malmö, Sweden with an exchange program and used the chance to explore new places and perspectives. Before she entered into UWM, she worked in UX research area in Turkey. Her interest areas include digital media, meme culture, and marketing. She also loves her teaching assistant job and enjoys helping JAMS students through their journey in learning Advertising and Public Relations. Yasemin hopes to pursue her journey in digital media and explore more about new marketing and meme culture.

Lexi Brunson
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Alexia Samira Brunson is a JAMS Graduate Student at UW-Milwaukee. She has a BFA in Interior Architecture Design, which has led her to pursue the research of Urban spaces and how society dwells within those spaces. She is quite interested in not only physical space but the way digital spaces/media has manifested communities of its own. She is the owner and active Editor-in-Chief of CopyWrite Magazine Media & Design, LLC. Starting as an undergrad writing project CopyWrite has grown into a printed/digital publication and blog that serves as grassroots press and narrator of the Urban local creative movement based in Milwaukee, WI. With her role at CopyWrite, Alexia has built a creative network that not only showcases the creative community but serves as advocates and mentors for young writers, designers, and creatives. Her work has granted her the opportunity to interview Grammy award winners, music execs, professional recording artist, government officials, revolutionary artist and more. Her interest in media is not to focus on media text but how it may impact society, culture, and the human condition. Her goal is to break the systemic standards of media making and offer alternative ways to approach “what is”.

Ati Gürçay
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Atinç Gürçay is a 2018 graduate of Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey), where he earned his BA (with high honors) in Public Relations and Media and Communication. He also participated in an exchange program at the University of Helsinki, Finland, for a semester. He is now a second year graduate student in the Media Studies MA program in the Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies program. His academic interests are digital media, gender and philosophy of technology.

Dan Russo
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

I’m currently in my second semester as a graduate student and in the JAMS program. I’m hoping to earn an MA in Media Studies by the end of 2020. My academic interests explore the history of communication, which is why I particularly enjoy being a teaching assistant for JAMS 113, Internet Culture. In this course, I help students understand the timeline that led to the rise of the internet and social media, what it means for society, and how individuals today have more political power than ever to have their voices heard and reacted to.
Outside of school, I enjoy traveling to Chicago to catch up with family and childhood friends. Once a week, I teach parkour gymnastics to aspiring kids at Midwest Twisters in Franklin, Wisconsin. Every few weeks, I work as a promotions assistant at events for 103.7 Kiss FM, 99.1 The Mix, and 105.7 The Fan.

Naomi Wilson
Louise J. Kordus Memorial Scholarship

Naomi Wilson is a photojournalist pursuing a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She combined her passion for journalism and ASL in her undergraduate academic research on the lack of ASL education in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Naomi’s dedication to digital storytelling has allowed her work as a Video Production Instructor for UWM’s Upward Bound summer program and a promotions assistant for Milwaukee Radio Group.

Naomi is a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholar and an Advanced Opportunity Program fellow. She is currently a teaching assistant for JAMS 201: Media Writing. Her graduate research focuses on how LGBTQ minorities are represented on streaming platforms. Naomi enjoys learning about how stereotypes are normalized through media images and hopes to use her research to produce a series of short films.