West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism alumna Jennifer (Rupinsky) Manton’s mother never went to college, but she knew the value of higher education – a message she instilled in her two daughters.

“I remember her telling us that if we wanted to have rewarding and meaningful careers, financial security and opportunities that we did not have growing up, a college degree was the only ticket to a good future,” said Manton, a 1991 grad.

Manton fulfilled her mother’s dream. She is now the Chief Marketing Officer at Loeb and Loeb, LLP, a 300-attorney national law firm. Manton lives and works in New York City. Her mother, Madelyn Rupinsky, passed away in 2008 after a battle with cancer, but Rupinsky’s belief in higher education lives on.

“I established a scholarship in my mother’s name to recognize and honor the role she played in seeing that both my sister and I received a college education,” said Manton. “I am proud to be a living legacy of her vision and this scholarship embodies that.”

The Madelyn Jeanne Rupinsky School of Journalism Scholarship is one of four new scholarships established at the School since the Spring semester began. Others include the Frank and Rebekah Ahrens School of Journalism Scholarship; The Ralph and Janet Izard School of Journalism Scholarship; and the Dr. Elizabeth A. Atwater School of Journalism Scholarship.

Frank Ahrens, a 1987 grad, and his wife Rebekah believe that with so many changes in the media industry, journalism education is more important than ever. They are “happy to help the School of Journalism educate future generations of journalists.”

Ahrens is Director of Global Public Relations for Hyundai Motor Co. in Seoul, Korea, where his wife, Rebekeh Ahrens, is a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. Prior to moving to Seoul in October 2010, Frank was a reporter and editor for 18 years at The Washington Post, where he worked in the sports, features and business sections. He spent his last two years at The Post covering the national financial crisis.

Ralph Izard (1962, MSJR; 1961, BSJR) and his wife Janet (1963, BS Home Economics) said they both received scholarships while undergraduate students at WVU, which made all the difference in getting the education that “have served them so well.” They hope their scholarship will give current students the same advantages they had.

Izard is professor emeritus at both the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. His 32 years at Ohio included 12 years as director, and he served as interim dean of the Manship School for the 2011-2012 academic year. This semester, he is serving as a visiting faculty member at the African University College of Communications in Accra, Ghana.

Samme Gee (1983, JD; 1976, MPA; 1975, BSJR; 1973, AA, Potomac State College) also hopes to inspire future generations of students, just as she was inspired by her former professor – Dr. Elizabeth Atwater.

Gee is a member of Jackson Kelly, PLLC, based in the firm’s Charleston, W.Va., office. She is a member of the Firm’s Health Care and Finance Practice Group, a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) and is listed in Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America�. Gee graduated from the WVU College of Law in 1983, where she was a member of the West Virginia Law Review. Dr. Atwater was Gee’s journalism professor at Potomac State College.

“Dr. Atwater’s commitment to excellence in education and her concern for her students were both an inspiration and a challenge for me,” said Gee. “This scholarship is a very small thank you to her.”

Those interested in establishing a student scholarship at the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism may contact Director of Development Luella Gunter at luella.gunter@mail.wvu.edu or visit the School’s Website www.journalism.wvu.edu.


cv 01/27/12

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CONTACT: Kimberly Walker, School of Journalism