Fordham College at Rose Hill senior Amanda Fiscina was awarded the 2009-2010 Edward A. Walsh Scholarship at a ceremony on Oct. 29.
Fiscina, a native of North Massapequa N.Y., is a double major in communications and American studies and serves as editor-in-chief of the Rose Hill campus student newspaper, The Ram. She has held internships at CBS Television and the New York Post, and has worked as a staff writer for the Liberty Forumpolitical journal.
She is the 21st recipient of the prestigious award, given annually to a communications student who embodies the spirit of Walsh, Fordham’s Patterson Professor of Journalism and longtime faculty adviser to The Ram.
“Journalism, for Amanda, is not merely a likely career path,” said Michael Latham, Ph.D., interim dean of FCRH. “It is a passion and a vocation in the best sense. It is a calling that will enable her to serve a wider public good.”
Dean Latham also praised the honoree for her rigorous academic curriculum, her community volunteerism and her work as a liturgical coordinator and Eucharistic minister for campus ministry.
Looking back on her term as editor-in-chief, Fiscina recounted the emotional highs and lows of running a weekly paper while being a full-time Fordham student. She recalled times when layout software froze during production, when writers did not meet deadlines and when the printer sent her issues with “two different shades of maroon.”
Even when frustrations seemed piled high, Fiscina said, she still believed in the “power of the written word.”
“I have learned every nut and bolt that holds this University together and even got to interview some of them,” she said. “I’ve learned your harshest critics are actually your biggest fans. And in the end, I even loved all the highly critical e-mails and letters . . . because it shows we sparked interest.”
A group of Walsh’s former students created the award—one of the oldest scholarships at Fordham—in the 1970s, and awardees are chosen by an alumni committee. On hand to honor Fiscina were committee heads Warren Spellman, FCRH ’56, and Frank Corbin, FCRH ’50, and committee member Richard Hake, FCRH ’91, a news correspondent for WNYC-FM.
Hake, the second recipient of the Walsh scholarship, welcomed Fiscina to the group of talented awardees that include Elena DiFiore, FCRH ’90, associate producer for 48 Hours, and Jonathan Vigliotti, FCRH ’05, correspondent for WPLG-TV Miami.
“A look at the list (of awardees) shows that we are all still working in media,” Hake said.
Fiscina thanked Ram adviser Beth Knobel, Ph.D., assistant professor of communications and media studies, for her support both “when I hated The Ram at 3 in the morning and when I loved it at 3 in the afternoon.”