|Copy of Ordained ministry division names 10 scholarship recipients|
Three religion communicators receive UMCom scholarships
The Rev. Larry Hollon
By Linda Green*
May 5, 2006 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
Three students pursuing careers in religion journalism are receiving fellowships and scholarships from United Methodist Communications for the coming academic year.
A Commission on Communication scholarship committee chose the Judith L. Weidman Ethnic Minority Fellow, the Stoody-West Graduate Fellow and the Leonard M. Perryman Scholarship for Ethnic Students for 2006-07 on April 27. The recipients were selected because of their skills, experience and commitment to religion communications. The commission is UMCom’s governing body.
“The need for professional journalists who can interpret the influence of religion and faith on global culture has never been greater,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, executive director at United Methodist Communications. The agency, he said “encourages the development of deeper skills and knowledge of the journalist’s role by providing these scholarships.”
The students have the opportunity to extend their education, work in settings that increase their understanding of religious communities and their concerns, and explore new areas of journalism, he added.
Alvin Russell Goodwin II, 22, a graduating telecommunications major at the University of Kentucky, is the ninth recipient of the Judith L. Weidman Racial Ethnic Minority Fellowship. He will work in the Minnesota Annual Conference from July 1 through June 30, receiving a $30,000 stipend for the year.
UMCom developed the fellowship in 1998 to encourage people of ethnic minority background to consider religion communications as a career. The 63 U.S. annual conferences have fewer than 10 conference communicators of ethnic minority heritage in leadership positions. The fellowship carries the name of the late Judith L. Weidman, who encouraged its development during her tenure as UMCom’s top staff executive.
Alvin Russell Goodwin II
Goodwin, a lifelong United Methodist, said the most important part of being a Christian is working outside the walls of the church. He cited that as a primary reason for wanting to gain more understanding of religious communication. As a college student, he studied abroad in Ghana, on the coast of West Africa — an experience that influenced his perspective on the church’s global role.
“Moreover, I am eager to witness to the development and advancement of the Christian church voice, reaching not only across states but ultimately across nations.”
This outreach includes listening to the concerns of today’s youth and young adults and countering negative messages received through mass media with the voice of the church. He said he wants to “increase the efficiency and effectiveness of religious communications, which will more importantly strengthen the bond between Christian churches and our global communities.”
Larry Hygh, Jr.
The recipient of the Stoody-West Graduate Fellowship is Larry R. Hygh Jr., the first person to receive the Judith L. Weidman Racial Ethnic Minority Fellowship and mentor to the 2005-06 winner. He will be awarded the $6,000 fellowship to continue graduate study in religious communications at an accredited U.S. college or university. The fellowship is named for the late Rev. Arthur West of Lebanon, Ohio, and the late Rev. Ralph Stoody, who were staff executives of UMCom or a predecessor agency.
Hygh, 30, is director of communications for the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference of the United Methodist Church and is a doctoral candidate in organizational leadership at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.
Already an established religious communicator in a variety of media, he currently tells the church’s story on behalf of United Methodists across Southern California, the Hawaiian Islands, Guam and Saipan.
“As a religious journalist, I firmly believe that the church should be communicating its messages through all types of media,” he said. The degree he is pursuing “has helped to strengthen my journalistic skills. ... I am enrolled in a leadership program, and religious journalism needs leaders to tell the story.”
The Leonard M. Perryman Undergraduate Communications Scholarship for Ethnic Students provides a $2,500 scholarship to an undergraduate United Methodist student who wants to pursue a career in religion journalism.
Hyeran Lee Yu, 42, is the 2006-07 Perryman scholar and is a rising junior in the professional communications program at Wheeling (W. Va.) Jesuit University. She also is an editor of a newsletter for Korean-American United Methodist Women at the Women’s Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. She worked as a scriptwriter for Korean Educational Broadcasting in Korea and as a scenario writer for public movies.
Hyeran Lee Yu
Yu received an associate of arts degree from SoongEui Women’s College in Seoul, South Korea, and believes communication is her calling. “I recognize that God has guided me to let me develop and use my talents in the writing, editing, designing, communicating and broadcasting for the mission and ministry of the church of the Lord.”
When she graduates, she would like to contribute to American society as a Korean-American specialist in communications. Having already served local churches as a clergy spouse and through the Women’s Division, she wants to serve a conference, agency or church-related organization.
More information on UMCom scholarships is available by contacting Amelia Tucker-Shaw, at (888) 278-4862, or by visiting UMCom’s Web site at www.umcom.org.
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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