Lisa Rollins Memorial Scholarship

lisa rollinsThe SPJ Ashford Chapter was formed in April 2014 under the leadership of Dr. Lisa Rollins, who came together with students to lay the foundation for the first-ever online student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at Ashford University.   Lisa also worked to ensure that SPJ was recognized as the first official student organization with national membership at Ashford University.  She was a visionary who saw the Journalism and Mass Communication program expanding and addressing more of the skills that students need to be prepared for the real world.  She understood the industry because she, herself, was a prolific writer in many genres of the field.  Even with the challenges of dealing with a terminal illness, she never stopped contributing, she never stopped fighting, she never stopped caring; and for that we are grateful.

We pay tribute to Dr. Lisa Rollins in one way of which we know she would approve: by offering assistance to promising young journalists.  The winner of the Lisa Rollins Memorial Scholarship will receive:

  1.  Paid registration to the Excellence in Journalism annual conference (this year held in New Orleans, September 18-20, 2016); OR
  2. Paid registration to a regional journalism conference or journalism camp of the winner’s choice (not to exceed $450)
  3. One-year paid student membership to SPJ
  4. Publication on the SPJ@Ashford blog

How To Enter

Entrants* should write a 500-750 word essay about one of the following two topics:

1) Define the role of a free press in a democratic society; OR
2) In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), explain the importance the FOIA plays in maintaining a free press.

Your essay should be free of all identifying marks.  Please DO NOT put your name, email address or any other identifying information on the body of your essay.  Essays received with identifying information will be returned unread.

Submit your essay as a Word attachment to  In the body of your email, include your name, birth date, mailing address, telephone number and email address.

Please also include your choice of journalism camp or EIJ conference attendance.  Essays will be accepted from January 1 to May 31.  The winner will be announced in July.


*This scholarship is only available to current JMC majors or minors at Ashford University.  Please see Official Rules for entry.