One Bobcat Travels Across the Pond
By Megan Heileman
While some students are preparing for the end of a quarter system, graduation or various study abroad and job opportunities, junior broadcast major Tanya Parker is preparing for the internship of a lifetime in Central London. The producer for AVW’s (Athens Video Works) “Straight Up” will be producing a different kind of show, one full of creativity and passion.
The aspiring foreign correspondent was awarded the Donald L. Perris Endowed Scholarship, worth $4,000 dollars, to aid her in her internship abroad. The competitive scholarship is offered by the Scripps Howard Foundation, and was established in memory of long-time Scripps broadcasting executive Donald L. Perris who died March 7, 2006. Ultimately, Parker believes it was her honesty and passion that awarded her the endowment.
“I really wasn’t expecting it, because I knew how competitive it was. I just poured my heart out and said this is what I have always wanted to do and this is an opportunity that I wasn’t sure if I would ever get again. I said I would not only be grateful, but honored. It was something I felt I needed,” said Parker.
Parker was awarded the scholarship at the 2012 Scripps Banquet, where she was also able to reconnect with Emmy Award-winning journalist, Martin Savidge, (BSJ ’81). Savidge visited her broadcast course to share his experience prior to the award banquet, in what she said was “humbling.”
“He went around the room and asked each of us our stories. He paid each of us personal attention and harped on the fact that you need to continuously go back to your roots and thank the people who helped you achieve success,” said Parker.
Stringing along the same tangent, the personal attention applies to her experience as a Scripps student, and the personal attention that is unique and what ultimately guided her decision when choosing among various journalism schools.
Although Parker was also accepted in Syracuse University, it was her visit and meeting with Mary Rogus that honed her retrospect.
“I came here and visited with Mary Rogus and she was so willing to help, as was everyone else. She basically laid it out for me, and helped me hone in on what I wanted to do. For me, it was more about the learning experience, and I don’t think I would’ve gotten the same experience anywhere else,” said Parker.
Mary Rogus is now her advisor, and Parker credits her for guiding her various abroad experiences and internships. The aspiring correspondent is also a Spanish minor, and studied abroad in Spain last Spring Quarter.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to come back!” said Parker, recounting her experience. It is also in part why she didn’t purchase a return ticket from London.
“I feel like it’s my right of passage to get truly get into the industry. I get to feel like a full-blown correspondent,” said Parker.
Although she is hopeful a job offer will succumb from the experience, opportunity awaits Parker during Fall Semester with the Scripps Howard Foundation in Washington, D.C. After reapplying for the internship position, she quickly learned how persistence prevails, and it did.
“I get to cover the Olympics and come back and cover the 2012 elections. Wow, it felt really good to say that,” smiled Parker.
She also accredited her experience as a journalism student to the opportunities provided, and her knowledge of journalism and ethics.
“I have been able to do everything I wanted to do since I have been a student. I have a great resume just from classes alone. I joined AVW as a sophomore, and suddenly I was worked my way up and I was on TV. I’ve also learned so much from the various speakers who come and talk in organizations and in the classrooms. It’s just the opportunities that Scripps presents in general,” said Parker.