January 2012

3 Scholarship WinnersOne of NYWICI's proudest initiatives is its scholarship program, administered through its Foundation, which assists women seeking advancement in their communications careers through education. As this year's application deadline approaches on Jan. 27, Spotlight On introduces you to three recent scholarship recipients.

Jacki Bryk, left, is a junior at Columbia College, majoring in English and comparative literature, with ambitions to be an on-air journalist; Stephanie Guzman, center, a sophomore at the City College of New York, is double-majoring in political science and public relations; and Miriam Ward, right, is a freshman at SUNY New Paltz, studying media production and history in the honors program.

Stephanie, on education "My family is Dominican-American, and we value the opportunities that have come with an education. The women in my family are wildly successful in medicine and education. As a result, they are able to provide much more for their children than the generation before them. My family compares how much better we live now to how our grandparents, who had a second-grade education, lived after they arrived in the United States in the 1960s. My grandfather worked in restaurants and mom-and-pop shops, and my grandmother made clothes to sell. They both made sacrifices so that their three daughters could get a good education."

Jacki, on bias "Gender injustice remains pervasive in broadcast journalism. Although the number of women working in the media has increased over the past decade, statistics demonstrate that gender inequality in organizational policies, working conditions and other rights are a surprisingly persistent reality. I hope to be a force that resolves this problem by strengthening women's roles in the media workplace."

Miriam, on suicide She supports the "American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, because it utilizes the media to educate and raise awareness and help prevent this mental disease — a huge problem in America, especially among teens."

Stephanie's role model "Diane Sawyer's passion and empathy shine through in every interview and appearance." [ABC broadcaster Diane Sawyer is a 1984 Matrix winner.]

Jacki: almost famous "Once, when I was shooting and doing my stand-up at Columbus Circle for the Fox News Channel intern website, a few bystanders watched what they believed to be an actual on-air personality at work. Soon, there was a swarm of people, snapping photos, standing behind me as the camera rolled, making gestures and calling out to relatives to watch them on TV. Finally, several tourists formed a line and asked me for an autograph. In New York City, I guess anyone can be a celebrity."

On Miriam's iPod now Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto
— As told to Michelle Lodge