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2015 RTDNAC Scholarship Winners

SC Scholarship Winner

The 2015 winner of the Dr. John R. Bittner Scholarship for South Carolina is Charles Ringwalt, a senior at the University of South Carolina. He’s majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Sports and Entertainment Management. Charles came to the University from Springfield, Pennsylvania. In addition to his achievement in the classroom, he has won other scholarships including a Dean’s Circle Scholarship.

Charles spent the summer of 2014 as an intern in the Creative Services Department at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. He continues his practical experience at the University of South Carolina’s “Carolina News” this winter and spring where students spend one semester working full-time on the student newscast. He can be seen traveling around Columbia on his moped, going from story-to-story with a camera bag and tripod slung over his back.

Charles has already entered the professional ranks. In 2014, he made quite an impression on the news director at WLTX in Columbia during a job fair. He was hired as a part-time photographer and assignment editor.

In addition to his news activities, Charles is a residence hall mentor. He defines that job as “promoting academic success and personal development of residents specifically within the Journalism and Mass Communications community.”

One of his references, who is a reporter at WPVI and a former reporter at WLTX wrote this of Charles, “Not only is the scholarship an honor Charles deserves, it’s one he has earned.” He went on to quote the namesake of the scholarship, the late Dr. John R. Bittner. “Dr. Bittner was known for saying “hard work eventually pays off.  I can say without a doubt Charles Ringwalt has taken those words of wisdom to heart.”

NC Scholarship Winner

The 2015 winner of the Dr. John R. Bittner Scholarship for North Carolina is Meredith Stutz. Meredith is a junior at Elon University majoring in Broadcast Journalism, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Meredith came to Elon from her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. On the academic side, she is a four-time Dean’s List student and she was recently accepted for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, a national honors society recognizing top student leaders. Meredith is a member of the Elon University Communications Fellows, a four-year honors program for students who have been recognized as having a focused passion for the communications field.

Her practical experience includes being a staff member at Elon Local News where she has served as an anchor, reporter and producer since September 2012. Meredith has also pitched in as a writer, camera, audio and teleprompter operator. She spent the summer of 2013 as an intern at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, assisting the weekend anchor and producer with the newscasts, web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The summer of 2014 found Meredith at WLWT-TV, also in Cincinnati as an intern, primarily assisting with the weeknight 11:00 p.m. newscasts and writing for the station’s web site.

Meredith has also made a strong commitment to public service and leadership activities beginning as a high school student and into her college days at Elon. These activities have taken her around the United States to cities such as New Orleans as a member of a student group that volunteered for in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Her public service efforts have taken her to Kenya to tutor elementary school children and conduct free concerts for the poor in that country. She led a three-year effort to raise money that allowed a Kenyan student to attend college.

One of Meredith’s references wrote the following in a letter to support her scholarship application; “It is enough to note that she is a mainstay and already an anchor for the news shows on our highly respected student broadcast. It’s impressive to watch her in action. She’s entirely alive and involved in the news judgment, reporting and presentation.”