2018 scholarships awarded

The Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas (RTDNAC) congratulates the 2018 winners of the Dr. John R. Bittner College Scholarship Competition. Each year, RTDNAC awards two $1,500 scholarships, one each to a student in North and South Carolina.

RTDNAC 2018 South Carolina Scholarship Winner:  Mills Hayes

RTDNAC 2018 South Carolina Scholarship Winner: Mills Hayes

Mills Hayes is a junior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Political Science. She has been a Dean’s List student during her entire college career.  Mills’ journalism experience began at the start of her freshman year when she joined the staff of the student-run campus television station.  She held many positions in the news department, eventually becoming the news director.  In addition, Mills served as the station manager for two semesters.  This duty involved training other students, ensuring that programming was available for the 24/7 station, and managing the station’s budget. Her off-campus experience includes two summer internships in a South Carolina congressional office working with the communications director and the press secretary. Mills is currently a reporting intern at WIS-TV in Columbia for the 2018 spring semester.  She has a combined interest in journalism and politics. Her career goal is to cover the White House or Capitol Hill for a major news network.

RTDNAC 2018 North Carolina Scholarship Winner: Theashionna Owens

RTDNAC 2018 North Carolina Scholarship Winner: Theashionna Owens

Theashionna Owens (or “Tosh” as she is called by family, friends and faculty) is a senior at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC, majoring in Mass Communications. She began her college career as a Public Health major. Her intent was to be a health educator and an advocate for health issues in the African-American community. Following her involvement in organizing community health events both on and off campus, Tosh’s academic advisor suggested she switch her major to Mass Communications to take her messages and talents to a broader audience.  She became a contributor to the campus newspaper and took on the role of producing, writing, and hosting campus special events on radio and the web. She also served as a member of the student senate during her junior year.  Tosh’s off-campus experience includes an internship at WTVD/ABC 11 in Durham during the fall semester of 2017. In between all of these activities, Tosh “created media” by launching a podcast focused on motivating women to reach out and pursue their goals in life.  The podcast Tosh created is just the first step in what she believes will be achieving her dream of building her own media company.


Students currently enrolled in two-year or four-year colleges and universities who are rising juniors, seniors or graduate students, and are pursuing a major course of study with emphasis in broadcast and/or digital journalism were eligible for the scholarships.

RTDNAC annually awards two $1,500 scholarships to two currently-enrolled rising juniors or seniors who are pursuing a major course of study with emphasis in broadcast and/or digital journalism.

A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a qualified student attending a college or university in North Carolina, and another $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a qualified student enrolled in a college or university in South Carolina.

Funding for the 2018 RTDNAC Scholarships was provided by Capitol Broadcasting Company/WRAL, Hearst Television, Inc./WYFF and the RTDNAC Board of Directors.

The scholarships are named after the late Dr. John Robert Bittner, a professor at the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who served as the first executive director of RTDNAC.

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