The Annual SMPA Awards Night

with CNN's Dana Bash

Each year, SMPA gives a number of awards, fellowships, prizes and other special opportunities to enhance our students' abilities to pursue their academic goals and gain recognition for their achievements. 

This year, the annual SMPA Awards Night will feature special guest Dana Bash (BA '93), CNN's chief political correspondent, and members of the SMPA National Council, the director's advisory body comprised of distinguished alumni and friends. 

All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of CNN's 2016 election book “Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything” and the event will kick off with a conversation between Dana Bash, a contributor to the book, and Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs.

Pizza will be served in the lobby prior to the event.

Award and scholarship winners will be announced for the following prizes:

SMPA CAN Internship Fund

The SMPA Career Access Network Internship Fund permits SMPA undergraduates to pursue and benefit from enriching summer internship experiences that they otherwise might not be able to afford. The fund is awarded in the spring to rising SMPA seniors and graduate students. It supports an internship experience in the summer. Recipients are selected for demonstrated merit, professional promise and need.

Essary Prize

SMPA's oldest prize, created in 1948 to honor the memory of Jesse Frederick Essary, the award is for "a student who has given promise of sound citizenship and ability in 'forthright reporting'." This prize is open to all SMPA students and awarded based on published news articles.

Freedman Family Scholarship

An endowed award from Michael Freedman, a former vice president of GW and SMPA professor, who is also the father of an SMPA graduate. Preference for this award is given to freshmen, sophomore and junior students with financial need who want to become a professional journalist.

Philip L. Graham Fund Scholarship for Diversity 

Named for the late publisher of The Washington Post, these awards give preference to students from underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, women and individuals of diverse backgrounds.

Gridiron Foundation Scholarships

Created in 1975 by the Gridiron, a long-standing organization of Washington-based journalists. All freshmen, sophomore and junior majors are eligible to apply for these merit-based awards, but financial need and minority status is considered.

Sherman Page Allen Scholarships 

Open to all freshmen, sophomore and juniors majors who display a passion for journalism, the scholarships were endowed in 1966 through a bequest from the estate of Violet B. Robinson.

Dorothy and Will Roberts Prize 

Created by Professor Steven Roberts in the name of his parents, this prize is awarded to graduating seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement, professional promise and community service.

Eaton Foundation Scholarship

This merit-based scholarship provides support for SMPA seniors in the combined degree program. 

Hoberman Prize 

Created by the family of a recent graduate, this a merit-based award is open to all SMPA students who have produced original and meaningful journalism. That work can take any form — print, video, audio, photography or a combination of multimedia platforms. The prize will honor reporting that demonstrates depth, originality and a connection to either local or global community.

Larry King Scholarships 

Created by the former CNN personality who never attended college, the scholarship is awarded to rising seniors with demonstrated financial need and superior academic records.

Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prize 

Named in honor of two legendary SMPA faculty members, the Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prizes are designed to support and encourage outstanding mentored undergraduate research and creative activity in the School of Media and Public Affairs. The School awards two prizes each academic year, one for a political communication major and one for a journalism/mass communication major.

Schneider-Taylor Scholarship

Established by the parents of a recent graduate, the scholarship provides need-based aid to a freshman, sophomore or junior in SMPA.

J. Michael Shanahan Internship Fund

Created in the memory of beloved SMPA faculty member J. Michael Shanahan, the prize is awarded to rising JMC seniors to fund unpaid summer internships at established media organizations.

Kwittken Internship Award 

Part of SMPA Career Access Network, this award supports undergraduate and graduate students in the field of media and strategic communication with support for unpaid or low-paid summer internships.

Robert and Christine Staub Faculty Excellence Award 

The award recognizes a full or part-time faculty member for outstanding achievement in effective teaching, advising, mentoring and service roles. Any member of the SMPA community can nominate an SMPA professor for the award.