Leah Polakoff of Penn State Named 2014 Ralph Flamminio Memorial
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Leah
Polakoff, a junior journalism major at Penn State University, is the 2014
winner of the $3,000 Ralph Flamminio Memorial Scholarship, the Pennsylvania Associated
Press Managing Editors announced Friday
Polakoff, 21, of Forest Hill,
Maryland,, was recognized at the annual PAPME awards ceremony.
PAPME's award honoring the former
editor of The Morning Call of Allentown and Coatesville Record salutes an
exemplary Pennsylvania college student who best displays the ideals of Ralph Flamminio: passionate about journalism and the First
Amendment, and a champion for a better informed citizenry.
Polakoff is editor-in-chief of
Valley, Penn State's life and style magazine, where she directs an 80-person
staff to publish a glossy print magazine twice yearly and oversees and edits
daily web content. She has also worked with State College magazine and the
Centre Daily Times, and interned last summer with the Baltimore Sun Media
Group. This summer she is interning at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg.
She was chosen from among 21
applicants for her diverse portfolio of work, which included "The Journey
of Jim Thorpe," an expose on the continuing legal battle over the final
resting place for the legendary athlete. The story was the result of a class
assignment, but would earn Polakoff distinction as a regional finalist for
large schools in the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence
This past semester, Polakoff was
enrolled in an international reporting class and was one of 16 participants
chosen from 75 of Penn State's top journalism students to travel to Cuba for 10
days as a student-journalist.
In his letter of recommendation, Tony Barbieri, a professor of
writing and editing at Penn State, described Polakoff as a "thorough,
accurate and tenacious reporter, as well as a graceful writer." He said
she has a strong commitment to be "excellent on every assignment."