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SPJ 2023 Terry Harper Scholars announced


Hagit Limor, SPJ Foundation President, 317-927-8000
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Specialist, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is awarding three scholarships to its annual convention in memory of Terry Harper, SPJ executive director from 2002 to 2009. This year’s scholars are Chandra Bozelko, Ankita Mukhopadhyay and Peter Rasmussen.

The scholars will attend the SPJ23 Journalism Convention in Las Vegas, Sept. 28-30, where they will have access to educational programming, networking events and meet SPJ and industry leaders at the national and local levels.

As executive director, one of Harper’s highest priorities was the development of high-caliber training opportunities for SPJ members. In honor of his lasting efforts to improve SPJ and the journalism community, the SPJ Foundation set up a memorial fund following his death in 2009 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. At the age of 45, he left behind a loving wife, two teenage sons and his SPJ family.

With a generous outpouring of support, the Society now provides annual scholarships to members, who have shown commitment to SPJ on the local, regional and/or national level, to attend its annual convention.

Chandra Bozelko is an award-winning journalist who covers the criminal legal system and the well-being of people entering it and leaving it. She is on the board of the SPJ Connecticut Pro Chapter. Bozelko’s work has been recognized by SPJ, the Michigan Press Association, the Los Angeles Press Club and the National Federation of Press Women. She has completed fellowships with Solutions Journalism Network, Education Writers Association and Journalism and Women Symposium. She played for the United States in the 2022 Masters Field Hockey World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ankita Mukhopadhyay is a journalist and product manager based in San Francisco. She has previously worked at Politico, Deutsche Welle and The Economist Group. Mukhopadhyay worked for more than five years in India before moving to the United States to pursue a master's degree from the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, specializing in media innovation and content strategy, which she completed in 2022. She is a member of the SPJ Awards and Honors Committee and participated in the SPJ Future Leaders Academy in July. Mukhopadhyay has also has a master's degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Peter Rasmussen is senior digital editor for the San Antonio Express-News, where his role includes audience development, trending news editing and collaborating with colleagues for high-impact digital projects. Before moving to San Antonio, he worked at The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, for 14 years, holding multiple roles, including sports editor, features editor and digital content editor. Before he was on the editing teams, Rasmussen was a sports reporter, covering college and high school sports. Rasmussen is an active SPJ member and serves on the board for the San Antonio Pro Chapter and two national committees — Diversity & Inclusion and Awards & Honors. He is also a member of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. Rasmussen graduated from the University of Southern California in 2003.

The Society of Professional Journalists Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SPJ Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Give to the SPJ Foundation.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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