2023 Rasmussen Fellowship
Applications are being accepted for this summer’s Donovan E. Rasmussen Broadcast Journalism Fellowship.
The fellowship is named in honor of Donovan E. Rasmussen (1922-2009), who in 2006 funded an endowment with the UW-River Falls Foundation to be used by the journalism program.
Each summer, the six-week fellowship will support one UWRF undergraduate majoring in journalism to report and produce a 30-minute broadcast documentary (complete with audio and script) about a public affairs issue of concern to residents of western Wisconsin. The documentary will be broadcast on radio station WRFW and made available online at uwrfjournalism.org. The student journalist will receive a stipend of $2,000 and may be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses as allowed under university policy. The stipend will be paid in two installments: half after the third week and the remainder upon faculty mentor acknowledgement of successful completion of the fellowship.
The student will work with a faculty mentor, who must agree to be available for consultation and collaboration during the term of the fellowship. The faculty mentor will receive $500 toward expenses related to their research, creative or scholarship activity.
To qualify for the fellowship, the student must be:
- A full-time UWRF undergraduate who will have completed their freshman year by May 2023 and plans to graduate no earlier than December 2023.
- Majoring in journalism at UW-River Falls.
- In good academic standing.
- Prepared to spend approximately 25 hours per week working on the fellowship project for a total of six weeks.
To apply, the student must submit the following as one PDF file:
- Current résumé.
- A proposal of no more than 500 words that a) discusses a specific public affairs issue of concern to residents of western Wisconsin, b) identifies specific potential sources to be contacted, and c) outlines the potential structure and journalistic approach of the story.
- A one-page work plan for the six weeks of the fellowship. The fellowship may begin at any time during the summer, but the project must be completed no later than Friday, August 18, 2023. The work plan must indicate when consultations are scheduled with the faculty mentor.
- Anticipated expenses not to exceed a total of $500. Expenses must adhere to university policy and generally accepted journalistic ethics.
- A letter of endorsement from the UWRF faculty member who has agreed to serve as mentor.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, April 14. The completed application must be submitted as a single PDF file to Andris Straumanis, director of the journalism program, via email at email@example.com.
Faculty of the Department of Communication and Media Studies will review applications and notify applicants of results no later than 5 p.m. Friday, April 21.
For further information, contact Associate Professor Andris Straumanis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021: The inaugural Rasmussen Fellow was Brooke Shepherd, a double major in journalism and animal science, who produced a 30-minute broadcast documentary about obesity in western Wisconsin. The story earned her first place in the news series and documentary category in the 2022 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Student Awards for Excellence.
2022: The second Rasmussen Fellow was Michelle Stangler, a double major in journalism and agricultural marketing communications, who produced a 30-minute broadcast documentary about the dairy industry in western Wisconsin. The story earned her first place in the news series and documentary category in the 2023 WBA Student Awards for Excellence.