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The first class of Branham Scholars joined the Newhouse School of Public Communications this fall, with eight recipients from a wide range of backgrounds. It is worth noting that black women are missing from the group.
The scholarship aims to recruit students from socio-economically disadvantaged and underrepresented populations, according to Newhouse press release, and give them the opportunity to attend a Newhouse “without debt”. The scholarship will be awarded to a maximum of 10 students each fall.
Received the absence of the black woman Cash Via social media because the scholarship’s name, former Newhouse dean Lauren E. Branham, was a black woman.
In Branham’s absence and with few black women remaining in school, Newhouse has to do more, said Payton Campbell, who graduated from Newhouse’s graphic design program in 2021 and was president of the Sue chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. To make black women feel represented. She said she was one of the few black students in her major when she graduated in May.
Branham became dean in 2008 after working in the newspaper industry for nearly 25 years, and was determined to diversify the school. in her turn. Branham died in 2019 of uterine cancer.
Campbell said she remembered finishing her last year of high school and training at the Houston Chronicle in Texas during the spring of 2017. She had just received a notice of waiting list from Newhouse. Her editor made a call to Branham defending Campbell, and three weeks later she was accepted.
Branham was instrumental in Campbell’s ability to attend Sue University. She said this association with Branham gave her strength and encouragement to get involved in the Newhouse community.
“(Branham) was the reason I got involved with Newhouse…even after her death because I knew I just wanted to carry on her legacy in any way I could,” Campbell said. “I wanted to show and prove that students of color belong in Neuhaus regardless of whether we had the best test scores or not… We have stories to tell and our place at this school is as worthy as anyone else.”
Branham’s passion for influencing students, especially students of color, was known not only among students, but also among faculty and staff at Newhouse.
Amy Falkner, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Newhouse, served as interim dean after Branham’s death in 2019. Faulkner said the recently created scholarship in Branham’s memory aims to motivate students in a similar way to the way Branham motivated herself.
“Students who came to see Lauren or came here because of (from) Lorient. Because she was nurturing in a way that motivates students, especially students from underrepresented groups. But also don’t be shy about lighting a fire under your ass if you’re not doing what you should be doing and taking advantage of Amazing opportunities.” “It’s a great opportunity, basically, for underrepresented student groups.”
Claire Sicoli is one of the Branham Scholars of the Year. The senior PR student said the scholarship made all the difference for her, and made her feel as though Newhouse wanted it. Ceccoli, a white woman, said she understands the criticism surrounding the scholarship but feels as though she can still make a difference because of the scholarship.
“I realize I’m not part of a minority group,” Sicoli said. “Yes, it was not awarded to a black woman, and I am not part of that group. But the scholarship still makes a difference in my life because it inspires me to make a change and follow in the dean’s footsteps.”
Faulkner said that although black women did not receive the scholarship, this did not mean that the scholarship was not given to black women.
“Sometimes people take the grant, sometimes they go somewhere else,” Falkner said.
Campbell said that some black women may not have attended Newhouse due to not being affiliated with the school.
“It’s hard being a black woman in Newhouse. It’s hard being in a place where you don’t really understand and don’t feel welcome or appreciated. It doesn’t really surprise me that black women don’t want to come to Newhouse,” Campbell said.
It doesn’t really surprise me that black women don’t want to come to Neuhaus
Payton Campbell, Newhouse Alumna
Falkner said that after working in newspapers with mostly white co-workers, Branham understood the feeling of underrepresentation.
Falkner added that Branham’s ability to rise through the ranks as a woman of color is what she has always tried to show students.
“How do you operate and be successful in a place where (being in the minority) is your situation?” Brigadier General Falkner said. “That’s what she was so passionate about but also exceptionally talented for. She did it, she lived it. I’ve always tried to inspire students to do the same, and that’s what this legacy is all about and what this scholarship is all about. Giving people a chance.”
Posted on Nov 11, 2021 at 1:24am
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