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Home > Grants > Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships > Recipients

Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships
Meet the Recipients

This year, SPJ awarded four convention scholarships in memory of Terry Harper, SPJ’s executive director from 2002 to 2009. The following people were selected to receive Harper Memorial Scholarships to attend the Excellence in Journalism 2014 Conference in Nashville.

Claudia Amezcua

Claudia Amezcua is a freelance journalist, chair of the SPJ Generation J Committee and member of the Los Angeles Pro Chapter. As chair of the SPJ Committee, she oversees a group of members dedicated to helping young journalists in the early stages of their career by sharing tips and experiences via social media, workshops at conventions and the First Draft Blog.

Claudia began her career as an anchor/reporter at 90.1 KSAK Walnut, where her award-winning story "Renaissance Fair Open" won numerous professional awards, most notably the RTDNA 2010 Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Use of Sound.” She also spent time as a freelance production assistant and assignment desk editor for CNN in Los Angeles. Currently, Claudia is the social media reporter and production assistant for KFON the local community cable channel in the City of Fontana, Calif. where she covers community events and local government.

She received her bachelor's degree from California State University, Fullerton and is a graduate of the 2012 SPJ Reporter's Institute and 2014 SPJ Scripps Leadership Institute.

April Bethea

April Bethea is an online producer at The Charlotte Observer where she helps highlight, curate and create content for their website and other digital platforms. She joined the online team in 2013 after more than eight years as a reporter covering topics including county government, education, and breaking news.

Bethea is secretary of the Greater Charlotte SPJ chapter. She was a 2013 SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellow and a 2013 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate. Nashville will be her third Excellence in Journalism conference.

Bethea also is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and served as president of its Charlotte chapter when it re-launched nearly a decade ago. She was a fellow this spring with the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.

Outside of work, Bethea volunteers with Hands on Charlotte and enjoys attending local theatre productions when she can.

Ashley Jost

Ashley Jost is the higher education reporter at the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Mo. She primarily covers the University of Missouri, but keeps an eye out for news at other area institutions and those around the state. She also has experience covering state politics and policy.

Jost hopes to become more active in SPJ's Generation J committee. She's also very interested in the work SPJ is doing to cater to members like her who aren't part of a chapter.

Jost, a born and bred St. Louisan, graduated from Truman State University in December 2013 with a degree in public communication. Earlier this year, Jost was a graduate of the 2014 SPJ Scripps Leadership Institute. And most importantly, she's a die-hard Cardinals baseball fan.

Adina Solomon

Adina Solomon is associate editor at Air Cargo World in Atlanta, Georgia, an international aviation industry magazine, where she writes stories, runs the social media, and edits the publication. She has covered everything from flower farms in Colombia, to diamond heists, to the transport of horses on freighters.

Solomon serves on the interim board of the SPJ Georgia chapter, which she helped launch in January. The chapter caters to journalists through the state of Georgia.

She graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2012 with a journalism degree and minors in new media and French. For her entire college career, Solomon worked for UGA’s independent student newspaper, The Red & Black. As news editor, Adina was part of a walkout in fall 2012 to fight for student editorial control of the paper. In her spare time, Adina enjoys cooking, baking, and learning languages.

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