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Sigma Delta Chi Foundation awards 2000-2001 Pulliam fellowship to Connecticut journalist


Contacts: Paul McMasters, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board vice president, (703) 284-3511; Traci Christler, director of membership and awards, (317) 927-8000, ext. 204.

INDIANAPOLIS - The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists, has awarded Maura Casey, associate editorial page editor at The Day in New London, Conn., the 2000-2001 Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship.

Casey will pursue a study on the gambling problem in our nation. She said she will approach the project with an open mind and produce cutting-edge editorials and stories on one of America’s fastest-growing problems.

“I’m thrilled and honored,” Casey said. “(The fellowship) is an opportunity to use my background in addiction (counseling) and my experience as a journalist.”

The Foundation chose Casey from among six applicants based upon her qualifications, project proposal, writing and research abilities, employer support and professional involvement. She will receive a $40,000 cash award to take time away from daily responsibilities at The Day and pursue her study. Casey will generate writing on what measures various social institutions can take to combat gambling problems.

“The judges were most pleased with the quality of this year’s fellowship proposals, but Maura Casey’s credentials and project caught our attention at the outset of the discussions as clearly outstanding,” said Paul McMasters, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board vice president and one of three former editorial writers who served as judges for the fellowship award. “And it wasn’t just her credentials and proposal. We were most impressed by her focus on solutions-oriented research into gambling, her experience in addiction counseling, her involvement in community and professional organizations, her employer support and her amazing energy level.” Other judges were Jean Otto and Forrest Landon.

Casey, an employee of The Day since 1988, has won more than 25 state, regional and national awards for journalism, including the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Walker Stone Award for editorial writing and the Horace Greeley Award, New England’s highest award for public service journalism. Casey also is a member of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, serving on its board of directors from 1997-1999. She obtained a bachelor’s of art in political science from Buffalo State in Buffalo, N.Y., and a master’s in journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C.

Casey is the second employee of The Day to win the Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship in the past decade. Her colleague, deputy editorial page editor Greg Stone, was a Pulliam fellow in 1991-92.

The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship is a Sigma Delta Chi educational program of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Society first offered the fellowship in 1977. It is funded by a grant from Mrs. Eugene C. Pulliam, honoring the memory of her husband, one of the original members of the Society and former publisher of The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis News, The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette.

Founded in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. Its goal is to support the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and to serve the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.

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