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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 2016 Conference in New Orleans.


Caley Cook

Caley Cook has more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Crosscut.com, San Diego CityBeat, Orlando Weekly, San Diego Union-Tribune, VIBE magazine, CBS Sports and others. She currently teaches journalism at the University of Washington. Cook won the 2013 Nevada Press Association Outstanding Journalist of the Year award as well as their 2013 Freedom of the Press Award. She led an investigative team at the Elko Daily Free Press that took home the NPA award for investigative work in 2014. Cook has an M.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California Annenberg School. Cook has served on the SPJ Western Washington board since 2014 and was recently elected president of the chapter for the upcoming year.


Brett Hall

Brett Hall joined SPJ in the fall of 2012 when he was a sophomore at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He quickly began to assume leadership roles in his SPJ chapter, including chapter treasurer and president. Brett took on a new challenge in the summer of 2014 when he was appointed to fill a vacant student representative position on the SPJ national board. In the fall of 2014 he was elected to a full term. As a student representative, Hall worked to establish a "student community" within SPJ so that student chapters—and, by extension, student members--could find ways to collaborate in an effort to enhance chapter programming. Currently Hall is a Multimedia Journalist for the CNY Central (WSTM-WSTQ-WTVH) TV station group in Syracuse, NY. He has strong interest in enterprise and investigative storytelling and believes very strongly in journalism’s role as the watchdog in our democracy. Hall has previously worked as a reporter at radio stations in Baltimore, Washington and Wilmington, Delaware.


Kristin LaFratta

Kristin LaFratta is a digital storyteller and recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with studies in journalism and information technology. LaFratta worked as a web managing editor at her school’s paper, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and as a digital audio producer for NPR's Western Massachusetts affiliate. In both of these roles, she learned to use multimedia platforms in new ways to tell engaging stories and build online audiences. LaFratta aspires to combine her skills in multimedia reporting, photojournalism and traditional writing to tell important stories that contribute to the transformative field of digital journalism.


Robyn Sidersky

Robyn Sidersky is a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. She’s been at The Pilot since January 2016. Prior to that, she was at The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va. for nearly five years, covering government, education, breaking news, and helped steer digital strategy. She spent a year at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. reporting on local government and education. In 2010, she graduated from the University of Central Florida, where she studied journalism and political science. She has been involved in the SPJ since 2006, when she got involved in the campus chapter, and served in several officer positions. She currently serves as the president of the Virginia Professional Chapter. Robyn is originally from Plantation, Fla and now lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Paul.

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