When Knight School rising senior Dana McGrath learned she had won the prestigious Robert Knowles Communication Scholarship, she was stunned.
"I couldn't contain my excitement," she said. "I hurriedly told my roommate, my suitemates and I called my family. I opened up the personal essay I had written and kept reading it. Through feelings of shock, pride and finally a strong sense of academic fulfillment, I was honored to be selected as the recipient of the Knowles Scholarship."
Robert Knowles was a veteran broadcast journalist with WBTV in Charlotte who died in 2003 of cancer. He was known for his passion and professionalism, and his wife Emily chose Queens University of Charlotte to receive a scholarship to honor his legacy.
To win the Knowles Scholarship, Dana McGrath had to satisfy the judges through her essay and her track record that she was worthy of following Bob Knowles' path. These are the stepping stones:
- Passion for journalism
- Exemplify a curiosity for life and a sense of open-mindedness and fairness
- Maintain an objective view of the facts at the expense of furthering a political agenda and
- Good sense of humor.
"I would love to work at the WBTV station where Bob Knowles anchored," said McGrath. "Working on camera or behind the scenes with a producer would be such an inspirational experience, and it would prove to be an essential opportunity for networking concerning my goals for a career."
At the university's annual Scholar's Luncheon on April 14 McGrath and a large crowd of Queens donors and scholarship recipients heard Emily Knowles give the keynote speech. While the moving story of Bob Knowles' life impressed the crowd, McGrath sat at Emily Knowles' table and enjoyed getting to know other past Knowles Scholarship winners.
"Public knowledge is the key to any prosperous community," McGrath said later. "The perpetuation of ignorance will not get anyone anywhere or move anything forward."
She looks forward to a television internship and to continuing service opportunities in her senior year. And after Queens, graduate school may be on the horizon.
Learn more about the Robert Knowles scholarship and other Knight School opportunities