Quinnipiac University
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Undergraduate Types of Aid

Alan Abelson Endowed Scholarship in Business Journalism

Scholarship | $25,000 | Quinnipiac University

Students studying in certain subjects and interested in business journalism, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the profession, may apply for this scholarship.

About the Scholarship

Business journalism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the profession, with a recent study revealing that average starting annual salaries for practitioners is $74,000. Abelson was a prominent business journalist and writer of the influential “Up and Down Wall Street” column in Barron’s Magazine.

The recipient will receive the $25,000 financial award for the 2021-22 academic year.

Qualifications

To be eligible to apply, a student must:

  • be at least a sophomore at the time of the application and be:
    • Majoring in a School of Business program and minoring in a School of Communications program; or
    • Majoring in a School of Communications program and minoring in a School of Business program; or
    • Majoring in Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences and minoring in a School of Communications program; or
    • Majoring in a School of Communications program and minoring in Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • hold a 3.2 GPA in their major to be considered for the scholarship.

Application Process

Application Timeline

The application deadline for the 2021-22 academic year is March 1, 2021.

Required Documents

Students must send the following material to the scholarship committee to be considered. Please address applications to the Alan Abelson Endowed Scholarship Committee in care of secretary Della Degnan in the School of Communications via della.degnan@qu.edu

  • Cover letter of introduction (one page)
  • Resume (one page)
  • Statement of purpose explaining why they are pursuing the scholarship (one page)
  • A detailed proposal of the business journalism narrative or academic research project in business journalism (see below for specific instructions)
  • A letter of reference in support of the application from a professor, business journalism practitioner or other professional in position to judge the standing of the applicant
Evaluation

Applicants will be assessed by the committee and an outside group of business journalists who are members of the Barrons’ Roundtable on two factors: academic standing and a proposed professional-level narrative project on a topic recognized as business journalism or an academic research project into an aspect of business journalism. The committee and outside members will meet at the start of the spring 2021 semester to select the recipient.

The following faculty members serve on the committee:

  • Iddrisu Awudu, assistant professor of management
  • Margarita Diaz, associate professor of journalism
  • Joseph Gaspar, associate professor of management
  • Rich Hanley, associate professor of journalism
  • Osman Kilic, professor of finance
  • Alexander Laskin, professor of strategic communications

Detailed Proposal

In addition to the materials outlined above, the application must include a detailed proposal of the business journalism narrative or academic research project in business journalism. Learn more about each.

The project may be pursued as a long-form textual composition of at least 2,500 words (this could be expanded to 5,000), a documentary of between 5 -7 minutes (this could be expanded to 8-10 minutes) or a multimedia equivalent of either form. It must be based on an original idea and include deep reporting elements including but not limited to current and historical data, in-depth interviews and observation. The text format must be double-spaced, 12-point font size and follow AP Style guidelines.

The proposal must be between three and five pages in length and must answer the following questions:

  1. What is the story? This must be a concise rendering of the idea in the form of a standard pitch of 250 words that summarizes the story and identifies the platform (i.e., text, documentary, multimedia) through which it will be told.
  2. What is the scope of the story? What are the universal elements as represented via information such as data and the particular as represented by anecdotes that combine to support the idea and tell the story?
  3. Why is the story important? Address why an audience would be informed and enlightened by the story and how it represents the finest in the tradition of business journalism in revealing something that the audience did not know prior to reading or viewing the piece.
  4. What are the sources and methods of reportage? Create a preliminary list of datasets and human sources that will form the backbone of the piece and explain how each enhances the idea.
  5. What problems could hinder the completion of the project? Explore the potential for failure in pursuit of the story (i.e., access to sources) and how problems can be overcome.
  6. Who will serve as mentor for the project? The work requires a mentor or co-mentors. Please identify the professor or professors who have agreed to mentor the work.

The project must be a textual composition of 25 pages based on original qualitative or quantitative research into an issue connected intimately to business journalism. The paper must include the elements common to academic research papers including title, abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion/conclusion, and references/bibliography. The text format must be double-spaced, 12-point font size and follow the American Psychological Association (APA) style 6th edition per the requirements of the Journalism & Mass Communications Quarterly.

The proposal must be between three and five pages in length and must answer the following questions:

  1. What is the topic? This must be a concise rendering of the idea in the form of an abstract of 250 words that posits and summarizes the question the research seeks to answer.
  2. What is the scope of the topic? Identify keywords and present examples of academic journals that have published similar work in the realm of academic research into business journalism.
  3. Why is the topic important? Address why the practice of business journalism broadly
    considered would be informed and enlightened by the research and how it advances existing academic research into the topic.
  4. What are the Research Methods? Identify how a review of existing academic literature on the topic will be pursued and now the original research will be qualitative, quantitative or both. Include a brief statement on the methodology of data collection and analysis and whether that work will require Institutional Review Board approval.
  5. What problems could hinder the completion of the project? Explore the potential for
    failure in pursuit of the research (i.e., data collection barriers, access to analytical software) and how problems can be overcome.
  6. Who will serve as mentor for the project? The work requires a mentor or co-mentors. Please identify the professor or professors who have agreed to mentor the work.

Logistics

Program of Study

Students receiving the scholarship must execute their proposal for a business journalism narrative or academic research project in business journalism during the academic year of the award.

Recipients will be manually registered in a continuous three-credit, cross-listed (School of Business and School of Communications) independent study.

Generally, the recipient will post or publish their work at the end of the spring semester of the academic year covered by the scholarship. A certificate recognizing the Alan Abelson Endowed Scholarship winners will be publicly presented during a ceremony jointly held by the schools of business and communications at the time such ceremonies are ordinarily held.

Award Distribution

Each recipient will receive $12,500 for the fall semester and $12,500 for the spring semester. The mentor will review progress on the project at the end of the fall semester and will determine whether to release the remaining $12,500 for the spring. The mentor may put a hold on the award for the spring semester if it is determined that the work is unsatisfactory. That hold will be released after the student produces a plan of completion detailing milestones to achieve success.

Questions About the Scholarship