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2012-13 Scholarship Winners Are Announced

February 14, 2013 By Merrill Perlman Contests and Awards

From an impressive field of applicants, the Education Fund of the American Copy Editors Society has awarded five college students with 2012-13 scholarships.

Alexandria Baca

University of Missouri
Aubespin Award

The winners are Alexandria Baca of the University of Missouri; Mike Cirelli, Otterbein University; Ashley Dye, Ball State University; Melisa Easaw, The College of New Jersey; and Katie Fennelly, University of Nebraska.

As the top candidate among the applicants, Baca was named the Aubespin scholar and given $2,500. Other winners each received $1,000.


Mike Cirelli
Otterbein University

In addition, each winner is eligible for free registration to ACES’ 2013 National Conference in St. Louis, plus up to $500 for conference travel expenses. Four of the five gratefully expect to attend.

Applicants were judged on their editing abilities and commitment to copy editing as a career, as demonstrated through their multi-faceted applications and a copy-editing test.

Alexandria Baca is advancing toward a master’s degree in journalism while working as an assistant news editor at the Columbia Missourian, a web-first daily newspaper. “Copy editors play a vital role in maintaining the credibility of news organizations,” she notes. “The fresh perspective copy editors bring to each story (or tweet or headline) is essential when, often, the ‘publish’ button is within reach to anyone with a social media account.”

Baca has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Florida and has worked as a reporter, copy editor, page designer and teaching assistant.


Ashley Dye
Ball State University

Mike Cirelli is majoring in journalism and communication design at Otterbein while working on an extended internship at the features copy desk of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, where veteran colleagues say how much they admire how he goes about the job. He wrote in his application: “Understanding how to adapt to the world of multimedia journalism has become essential for copy editors.”


Melisa Easaw
The College of New Jersey

Cirelli has been a reporter, copy editor and editor in chief of his university’s weekly newspaper and design editor of its literary magazine.

Ashley Dye is majoring in journalism and telecommunications and has been forum editor and copy chief at the Ball State Daily News. “Above all else, copy editors need to have the readers’ perspective in mind. If readers do not understand or enjoy reading pieces, journalism has failed,” she wrote in her application.

This term, Dye emailed more recently, “I am studying French at a center for foreign students at Université Rennes 2 in Rennes, France. Luckily, there’s a student newspaper for the center so I get to learn journalism all over again in another language.”

Melisa Easaw is majoring in journalism and professional writing at The College of New Jersey, where she has been a writer for the department of college relations and a copy editor and writer for the college’s weekly newspaper. In her scholarship application, she wrote: “While the platforms of the news may be ever changing, one thing that shouldn’t change is the emphasis on clarity, conciseness and accuracy that only a talented copy desk can ensure.”

Last summer Easaw was a Dow Jones copy editing intern for The Journal News and The Poughkeepsie Journal. She also speaks Spanish and Malayalam.


Katie Fennelly
University of Nebraska

Katie Fennelly is a news-editorial journalism major and has been an assistant web chief, arts & entertainment reporter, news reporter, page designer, copy editor and slot editor at the Daily Nebraskan. Her application observed: “The truth is, everyone needs an editor: reporters, video journalists and web developers alike.”

As an intern for Hear Nebraska, Fennelly wrote and copy edited articles, worked with the website and social media, and prepared audio and video features.

ACES has now awarded 64 scholarships since 1999.

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