Alumna, NBC-4 Award First Broadcast Scholarship
Communications major Stephanie Mercado has been selected the first recipient of the Vikki Vargas Broadcast Journalism Scholarship.
Mercado, who is studying in Prague this summer, and plans to complete her bachelor’s degree with a minor in international studies next year, said she aspires to become a foreign correspondent or filmmaker, specializing in documentaries.
“The opportunity to have met Vikki Vargas, let alone being granted the first scholarship under her name, was more than I expected,” the grateful student said.
For Vargas, awarding the scholarship is a special honor because had it not been for the preparation she received at Cal State Fullerton, “I would not be where I am today.”
In gratitude, the NBC-4’s Orange County bureau chief and her employer, NBC Universal, established a $25,000 endowment for the scholarship.
“I’m just thrilled that we can do something for a long period of time,” said Vargas (B.A. communications ’81), explaining that the endowment was created to provide the scholarship for decades to come.
Vargas praised her CSUF professors, especially the late George A. Mastroianni, who inspired her to pursue her broadcasting dreams. She said she did three internships as an undergraduate because she recognized their importance to her future professional success.
Her advice for today’s broadcast journalism students: “Learn how to do everything — carry a camera, edit, write for television and print — because the person who can do it all will be the most valuable.”
July 12, 2012