by Emily Huntington
“Truly, I cannot say enough good things about Matt Benoit. I am continually impressed with his dedication to journalism, his inquisitiveness and eagerness for learning, his commitment to ethical standards and his cooperative spirit,” wrote Toby Sonneman, journalism professor, in a letter of recommendation for Benoit’s scholarship application.
Benoit, 21, was recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Society of Professional Journalists. Benoit, former editor and staff writer of the Horizon, is a journalism major who was accepted to the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and Western Washington University. He doesn’t yet know which one he will attend, but has narrowed his choices between WSU and Western.
Sharon Salyer, scholarship chair for the SPJ, explained that there used to be four general scholarships awarded, but because of budget cuts they had to cut back.
“The application process involves a number of factors: review of a student’s clips/audio/video/photographic work, a personal essay, a letter of recommendation, and the student’s transcript,” Salyer explained in an e-mail.
“We look for students with a record of accomplishment as a journalist and who have an interest in pursuing communications as a career,” she added.
The two other winners were Gina Cole from Western Washington University, and Katelin Chow from the University of Washington.
Benoit’s submission pieces, which can be found on Whatcom Horizon’s website, were the profile of Ray White, the feature “Dirty Jobs,” and a special piece on Roller Betties.
These are just a few of Benoit’s great pieces: