AWM SoCal & Fran Zone/JMC Scholarship Recipients

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AWM SoCal & Fran Zone/JMC Scholarship Recipients

AWM SoCal is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Scholarships

The AWM SoCal Scholarship provides financial assistance for tuition and books and complements AWM SoCal’s mission: to advance the impact of women and men in the electronic media and allied fields by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to its members and the industry.

The Fran Zone/JMC Scholarship Judges:
Fran Zone: Founder & CEO, Zone Communication; Creator, The Zone Method™; Former AWM Chapter President
Carol Jenkins: Founding President; Women’s Media Center; Host: Black America CUNY TV
Skip Harris: Genii Awards 2016 Sponsor Advisor, Founding President CTAM (So Calif Cable Television Assn Marketing)
Victoria Harris: Board President/California Wildlife Center, Past President, Women in Cable

Learn more here:

2017 Winners

  • Melanie Gordon, Undergraduate, California State University, Northridge – Marketing Degree
  • Linda Ha, Undergraduate, University of California, Irvine – Literary Journalism Degree & Minor in Business Management
  • Heran Mamo, Undergraduate, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism – Journalism Degree & Minor in Culture, Media and Entertainment

Heran Mamo is a junior at the University of Southern California studying Journalism with a minor in Culture, Media and Entertainment. She has worked as a lifestyle writer for USC’s newspaper, the Daily Trojan, and as a multimedia journalist at Annenberg Media. Heran plans on going into magazine journalism after she graduates in 2019, hopefully working for Billboard, Cosmopolitan or Rolling Stone.

Linda Ha is an immersive storyteller with a passion for broadcast television news. She’s working on her storytelling craft as an intern at PBS SoCal where she assists the “Studio SoCal” on-air production team with writing, shooting, video editing, and field producing.

Linda is dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in the media and is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Melanie Gordon is a senior at CSU Northridge, and has faced challenges and chased opportunities that led her to her passion in brand marketing. She is pursuing a career in the video game industry and her goal is to help brands become an international success. She is very appreciative to the AWM SoCal Scholarship as it will fund her final semester.

Past Scholarship Recipients

In Their Own Words …

Last year I applied to the AWM scholarship without thinking I would be one of the privileged recipients. When I did get it, I didn’t expect the award and attending the Genii Awards Ceremony would have such an impact on my career once I graduated college.  After the Ceremony I was approached by Larisa Montelindo (she’s been a role model and mentor ever since), who works for CBS2/KCAL9 news. She suggested I apply for the News Apprenticeship position at the station. A couple of months later the station’s News Director interviewed me and I got the job.

I’ve been the CBS2/KCAL9 News Apprentice since August of 2012. I’ve worked the assignment desk, written stories, and am currently training to produce. I’ve also been very fortunate to meet amazing individuals — professionals who have mentored me throughout my apprenticeship. They have become a very important part of my life.  Because of this I can say without any doubt, the AWM scholarship opened the door to this once of a lifetime opportunity that has forever changed my life.  Thank you, AWM. 

-Yoselin Montes-Castillo, Bachelor of Arts, Television and Journalism, California State University, Northridge, 2012

In the year since I received the Alliance for Women in Media Scholarship from the Southern California Chapter, I have been actively pursuing my goal of becoming a working screenwriter in Hollywood.  The AWM scholarship has helped alleviate some of the financial strain of graduate school, and has allowed me to focus on my classes rather than the date I will begin repaying my student loans.

The scholarship also provided me with the opportunity to become part of a valuable network of men and women who have already broken into the entertainment industry. As I’ve learned from my time working at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, networking is one of the most efficient ways to turn career goals into real-life achievements. 

Being a 2012 scholarship recipient has been not only rewarding during my time as a student, but also hopes to be a mutually beneficial relationship after graduation.  My short film, “The Tent” is currently playing at various festivals and I recently finished my first pilot, a drama called “Showcase,” which details the behind the scene tensions of a 50s game show.

– Kelli Johnson, Masters of Fine Arts , Screenwriting, University of Southern California, 2012

2016 Winners

  • Paige Parker, Graduate Student, USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Broadcast Journalism
  • Faith Strongheart, Graduate Student, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
  • Amia Yokoyama, Graduate Student, California Institute of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts

2013 Winners

  • Vicki Chen, Senior, USC, Broadcast and Digital Journalism
  • Michelle Fenn, Senior, CSULB, Theater Arts Major, Film and Electronic Arts Minor
  • Jolie Roberson, Senior, CSU Northridge, Cinema and Television Arts – Multimedia Production Major


2012 Winners

  • Yoselin Montes-Castillo, Bachelor of Arts candidate, Television and Journalism, California State University, Northridge
  • Frank D’Alessandro, Bachelor of Arts candidate, Multimedia, California State University, Northridge
  • Kelli Johnson, Masters of Fine Arts candidate, Screenwriting, University of Southern California


2011 Winners

  • Michelle Andrizzi, Masters of Arts Candidate, Communications Management, University of Southern California
  • Holly N. Angeles, Bachelors of Arts Candidate, Journalism, California State University, Long Beach
  • Desdemona Bandini, Masters of Arts Candidate, Communications Management, University of Southern California
  • Ajari Davu-Jianda, Bachelors of Arts Candidate, Cinema and Television Arts, emphasis in Multimedia, California State University, Northridge
  • Olivia Marsico, Bachelors of Arts Candidate, Cinema and Television Arts, emphasis in Multimedia, California State University, Northridge
  • Annie Rader, Bachelors of Arts Candidate, Cinema and Television Production, Columbia College, Hollywood


2010 Winners

  • Edna Radbod, University of Southern California
  • Brittany Silverstein, California State University, Northridge
  • Aisha Nia Summers, University of California, Los Angeles


2009 Winners

  • Martin Briones-Soupcoff, California State University, Northridge
  • Esmaeel “Amir” Manesh, California Institute of Arts
  • Kristi Kahea Mathison, California State University, Northridge
  • Elizabeth Pinos, California State University, Northridge
  • Marshaa Robinson, California State University, Northridge
  • Kara Shand, Cal State, Los Angeles
  • Javier Sanchez, California State University, Northridge
  • Amy Teng, California State University, Fullerton


2008 Winners

  • Amelia Niumeitolu, California State University, Northridge
  • Anna Severse, California State University, Northridge
  • Brian Bloss, California State University, Long Beach
  • Dara Digerolamo, California State University, Northridge
  • Erik Williams, California State University, Northridge
  • January McCrillis, California State University, Northridge
  • Yoon K Choi, California State University, Long Beach

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