Hugh S. Sidey Experience in Political Journalism
This award is designed to jump-start the career of a student interested in political communication. The student selected for this award will receive a $5000 scholarship, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. and an invitation to join the White House Historical Association at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to network with other political communicators and be included among the White House Historical Association scholarship winners honored at the dinner (if COVID-19 conditions allow for travel and events).***
Hugh S. Sidey covered the U.S. Presidency for TIME magazine for close to half a century, where he was able to develop close relationships with ten presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower through George W. Bush. Sidey used his writing to go beyond the headlines and capture the humanity behind the office.
The responsibilities of covering the presidency and the core principle of social responsibility that resides within journalism remain as critical today as it was during Sidey’s career. That is why The White House Historical Association and Mr. David M. Rubenstein is supporting aspiring political journalists at the Greenlee School through this generous award.
How to apply
To apply for the Hugh S. Sidey Experience in Political Journalism, submit a 500-word essay answering the following question:
As an aspiring professional in political communication, how would you hope your work would embody the social responsibility involved in covering this current presidency?
Sidey was known for his distinct writing style and the reviewers will use your essay to get a sense of your own writing style. Your essay will be evaluated on the insightfulness of your content, but also your own style and writing ability. It is recommended to review some of Sidey’s columns from TIME magazine, available electronically from the ISU Parks Library. Search for “THE PRESIDENCY by HUGH SIDEY” and you will have access to the full-texts of many of his works. Please note the essay guidelines changed after 2020, therefore the winning essays from previous years may no longer serve as strong templates under the current guidelines.
Applicants must be Greenlee School majors and have successfully completed JL MC 201 and who at the time of submission plan to spend at least one additional full semester at ISU before graduation.
Do not include your name anywhere in your essay. Include a cover sheet with your materials that includes your name, title of your essay, Ames address, cell phone number and email.
The 2020 application period opens in conjunction with the regular scholarship application process. Essays are due on Dec. 1, 2020 at 5 p.m. to firstname.lastname@example.org The recipient will be announced by the end of December 2020.
*** The spring 2020 trip and dinner were canceled due to COVID-19, but the Sidey scholar was able to participate in virtual sessions with White House Correspondents arranged by the White House Historical Association and White House Correspondents’ Association.
What past Sidey scholars say
I shared my unique experience of reporting on the Iowa Caucuses, which involved spending most of my time during the fall 2019 semester following around and writing about the 2020 political contenders as they flocked to our state.”
It was an unforgettable experience to be in a room with my journalism heroes. I was nervous, of course, but everyone was so kind and welcoming.”
Probably the most beneficial was being able to network with all these people who are in the trenches every day.”
Benefits that go beyond
- The $5,000 prize does not have to be applied to your U-bill.
- Past scholars have also attended panels populated by current White House correspondents, had coffee with experienced journalists and visited some of the nation’s top newsrooms during their trips to Washington, D.C. You might even get to squeeze in some sightseeing, too!
- You’ll join an elite group of former students, now alumni, who have received this prestigious honor since 2007 and whose names are proudly displayed in Hamilton Hall. Past Sidey scholars work in high-profile careers at outlets like USA Today, NBC, the Atlantic, Time magazine, and other leading media outlets and organizations.
- You’ll boost your resume and have an amazing adventure to discuss in future internship and job interviews.
News about former scholars
- 2013 Sidey scholar Elaine Godfrey featured in Iowa State University Alumni Association Visions magazine
- 2014 Sidey scholar Lissandra Villa named 2020 Iowa STATEment Maker
- Olivia Benjamin named 2019 Sidey scholar
- Alex Connor named 2018 Sidey scholar
- Mary Khan named 2017 Sidey scholar
- Alexander Hanson named 2016 Sidey scholar
Adventures in Washington, D.C.