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2010 INBA Scholarship Winners

Four talented college students were winners of the 2010 INBA Scholarships. They were among many finalists who participated in interviews with INBA's Honors and Awards committee during the Spring 2010 convention.

Rachel Morris, like fellow winner Lauren DiSandro, runs for fun. She recently ran her first half-marathon. When it comes to broadcasting, she likes sports reporting best, especially covering the Illini for WEIU. "I love covering Illini basketball and football. The atmosphere is phenomenal, and getting one-on-one time with the coaches and players is thrilling!"

The Urbana native should get more chances to cover the Blue and Orange this fall, when she returns to Eastern for her senior year as a Broadcast/Journalism major. She applied for the scholarship to get help in paying for school, and tried to prepare herself for the interview process: "It was intense, but I went into thinking 'Just be me; If I know the questions they ask me, I know them. And if I don't, then I don't.' So I went into the interview room fairly cool and collected, and just hoped for the best."

Vicki Paisley is one of the INBA's youngest scholarship winners, just completing her sophomore year at EIU, but she says she has worked almost every production and content position. But she is focused on producing and reporting. "My most memorable stories are the stories where I get to talk to everyday people and tell their stories," she e-mailed. "The most recent story I reported on was a triple house fire. I interviewed one of the residents who rushed into his burning house to save his ferrets."
Paisley is from Warren, Illinois. She says she will be using the scholarship money to offset living expenses while at school.

And about the scholarship interview? She calls it intimidating. "It was my first real interview so I was nervous. The panel asked us ethical questions about what video you show or don't show, what questions you ask or don't ask. They also grilled us about why we wanted to go into this field when we won't make much money. Overall, it was a good experience."

Lauren DiSandro is a junior Journalism major from Plainfield, who has been working as a student reporter at Bradley's WCBU-FM. One of her most memorable assignments so far? "A feature about my school's progress with an Alcohol Action Plan that had been implemented after two student deaths due to alcohol. It took lots of hard work to get the feature done since I spoke with police, Bradley officials, and students. It's a piece of which I am very proud."

She's also proud of making it through the scholarship interviews. "I felt the interview process demanded excellence from the students who applied. It was very intense and a little stressful, however, it was highly rewarding to walk out of the room in one piece. At the moment I left the room, I knew that whether I won the scholarship or not, outlasting the experience was a huge accomplishment. When they told us the winners, all the applicants were lined up in a row so I didn't want to jump up and down and scream. But, on the inside I was ecstatic!"

DiSandro says she will use the scholarship money for tuition and defraying the costs of college life.  In her free time, she likes to bake and cook, watch the Food Network (then bake and cook some more!), and run. She has run several 5K races.

Lamar Holliday transferred to EIU from Indiana State, in order to work in the WEIU-TV Newswatch program. He is a junior Journalism major and his hometown is Indianapolis.

One of his most memorable stories so far is a heart-warming one: "I remember the story of a man by the name of Michael King and his garage and van were set on fire by a teen. He lost essential items for his children, such as their coats, shoes, clothes, Christmas presents, etc. He had moved to the village of Homer less than a year before. It was a sad story, but it was nice to see that the community reached out to help, due to the publicity he got from sharing his story. It's stories like this that make me enjoy my job!!"

Holliday will continue looking for good stories during a summer internship at WTVO-TV in Rockford. The scholarship money will help with his expenses there. "I came in not getting my hopes up because if I did, and I didn't win, I would have been hurt. So when I did win, I was completely thrown off guard. I couldn't believe it."  His hobbies include singing, acting, hanging out with friends, and travelling.

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