UM Students Sweep 2014 Dwight Lauderdale Scholarships

Monica Herndon

The South Florida Black Journalists Association is pleased to announce its scholarship winners for 2014.

Monica Herndon is this year’s Dwight Lauderdale $1,000 Scholarship winner. Herndon, who recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami (UM) with a B.S. in Communication, hopes to become a photojournalist. She graced the Dean’s List, The Provost’s List, and the President’s List while at UM. She has won other awards and scholarships. Herndon was the photo editor of the university’s newspaper, The Miami Hurricane, and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.

In her letters of recommendation, Herndon—who is from Annapolis, Maryland—was labeled as “hard working,’’ a student with “excellent work ethic,’’ “curious,’’ “a storyteller,’’ and one who showed “passion’’ and “commitment.’’ She did all this while maintaining a 3.9 cumulative, unweighted GPA.

In her essay, explaining why journalists of color are vital in shaping the delivery of news and other information, Herndon says: “the cultural understanding that minorities provide makes the coverage more complete, accurate, and fair. Stories that might be superficial when told by someone without an understanding of the community, can reach a higher level of complexity when told by someone who has the experience. … We do not just want to tell Black stories, or Hispanic stories, or Asian stories, but in-depth human stories. We want our stories to be understood and valued by all people, regardless of race.’’

Herndon’s impressive work can be viewed at

Ashley McBride

The SFBJA scholarship committee was swayed by another applicant’s package and decided to dig into its coffers and award a second Dwight Lauderdale Scholarship. Ashley McBride, a junior at the University of Miami who is from Tampa, will receive a $500 scholarship. Majoring in journalism with minors in Africana Studies and Human and Social Development, McBride works for The Miami Hurricane as a senior news writer and as the copy chief of the university’s yearbook, Ibis.

McBride, who has maintained a 3.6 cumulative GPA at UM and hopes to graduate in May 2015 with a B.S. in Journalism, has recommendation letters that list her as cheerful, passionate, sensitive, diligent, easy to work with, and a role model.

In her essay she says: “Journalists of color are essential in every newsroom … can use their careers to talk to those who think they don’t have a voice, to report their stories. … It is imperative that we use journalism to expose the mainstream community to stories and people that they may not encounter in their everyday life.’’

The scholarship honors Dwight Lauderdale, who retired in 2008 after more than three decades as a reporter and anchor at WPLG-Channel 10. It is open to students pursuing journalism or communications degrees and attending college in South Florida. (See the Dwight Lauderdale Scholarship Requirements under the Scholarship tab on this website.)

Kayla Viaud, from Palm Beach Atlantic University, was the 2013 recipient of the scholarship. The 2012 recipients included Herndon, Viera Galloway, and Melonne Mack, both from Florida Memorial University.

A special congratulations to this year’s winners!

To get more information on SFBJA scholarships, click the “Scholarships” tab at the top of the home page.