2018-2019 David E. Mills Scholars

Leah Brennan
Journalism and Government & Polictics Double Major

Leah Brennan is a junior journalism and government and politics major double major at the University of Maryland, College Park. She returns to campus this fall after a summer interning with The Baltimore Sun Media Group, where she found local angles to national stories, worked on long-term pieces about the medical cannabis industry and corralled together colorful dailies, such as one on a goat showmanship competition. She spent the previous summer as an investigative journalism intern for a Frederick non-profit reviewing cases and probing public financial records. This year, she will act as The Diamondback’s co-news editor and continue to cover the university administration, following Residence Hall Association, Greek Life & Graduate Student Government and College Park City Council beats. Brennan, who started as a Diamondback copy editor her freshman year, rose to assistant news editor her sophomore year and now co-manages a news staff of about 15 reporters reporting on campus, local and state beats.

Christine Condon
Journalism and Government & Polictics Double Major

Christine Condon is a junior journalism and government and politics student at the University of Maryland. This year, she’ll be one of two news editors at The Diamondback, where she’s worked since she came to the university as a freshman — first as a copy editor and later covering resident life, campus politics, the university’s administration, and the University System of Maryland.
She’s worked at The Daily Record in Baltimore covering legal and business news, and at McClatchy’s Washington D.C. Bureau, where she covered Congress for newspapers across the country, and took a deep look at election system issues in Georgia that played a large role in the state’s contentious 2018 gubernatorial contest.
Her love of journalism is probably only matched by her love of Harry Potter, her cats, and The Baltimore Orioles.

2017-2018 David E. Mills Scholars

Jessie Campisi '18
Journalism Major

Jessica Campisi is a senior multiplatform journalism major and public leadership minor at the University of Maryland. After interning for McClatchy’s Washington bureau in the fall of 2016, she returned to the newsroom again this summer, spending most of her days at the U.S. Capitol chasing down lawmakers and covering political news. She spent the summer of 2016 as the investigative intern at USA TODAY, assisting with reporting and researching for a project that was named a 2017 Pulitzer investigative reporting finalist. In the spring of 2016, she worked at the Capital News Service in Annapolis covering state politics, and she spent a week in Cleveland that summer covering the Republican National Convention.She has worked at The Diamondback, the University of Maryland’s independent student newspaper, since her freshman year, covering Dining Services, crime, the College Park City Council and administrative affairs. As a sophomore, she became an assistant news editor at the paper, and this year, she will serve as news editor, managing a staff of more than 15 reporters and overseeing coverage of campus, local and state news.

Julia Reed '18
Journalism Major

Jay Reed is a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. She focuses on feature and long-form video storytelling. She is the multimedia editor for The Diamondback and has been making videos for the paper since her sophomore year.Her sophomore year, she covered arts and culture as a video intern for MadCapDC. The following year she was a communications intern for the Robert H. School of Business, where she wrote articles and created video content on Smith entrepreneurs. She has work published in the San Francisco Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. This year, she wants to continue to build the multimedia desk so it will be stable and thriving after she graduates.

2016-2017 David E. Mills Scholars

Ellie Silverman '17
Journalism Major

Ellie Silverman is a senior journalism and government and politics double major at the University of Maryland, College Park. She worked on the West Coast this summer as the investigative reporting intern at The Seattle Times and is interning for The Hill this fall. She studied abroad during the spring of 2016 in Sevilla, Spain, where she spent most of her time guzzling café con leche or reading in the Alcázar, better known as the Water Gardens of Dorne. Before her semester-long break from reality, she interned for McClatchy Newspapers covering political news and the Capital Gazette in Annapolis covering local news. She has worked as an editor and reporter at University of Maryland’s student newspaper The Diamondback since her freshman year, covering Facilities Management, the College Park City Council and the administrative affairs beat. This year she will be the special projects editor, with the goal of facilitating more watchdog journalism at the paper.

2014-2015 David E. Mills Scholars

Laura Blasey '15
Journalism Major

Laura Blasey is a senior journalism major on the multiplatform track at the University of Maryland. She participated in the College Park Scholars Media, Self and Society program and the Joint Program in Survey Methodology while completing a concentration in survey methodology.

She joined The Diamondback as a freshman in January 2012 and covered the Graduate Student Government, campus transportation and student life beats, ultimately writing more than 100 stories. She has also worked as news editor and now serves as the paper’s editor in chief.

She has interned at the Frederick News-Post twice. First in summer 2013, as one of eight students selected for the Maryland Delaware DC Press Association’s Reese Cleghorn Internship program, and she returned for a second year this summer. In addition to her summer Diamondback duties, she wrote nearly 80 stories over the course of 20 weeks at the News-Post, including a 2,100-word Sunday enterprise package on the families of local cold case victims.

In January, she will travel to Budapest and Bratislava to study press freedom. After she graduates in May, she aspires to work at a large metro daily newspaper and hopes to have a successful career in investigative journalism.

Joe Antoshak '16
Journalism Major

Joe Antoshak is a junior journalism major and creative writing minor at the University of Maryland. He completed the College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society program, in which he studied the influence of media on the general public, and is in his final year of the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House program, where he studies poetry and creative prose.

He has worked as a news reporter and entertainment writer for The Diamondback, University of Maryland’s independent student-run paper, and has covered crime, science and technology, health, facilities management and city council. He is now The Diamondback’s news editor, and is responsible for developing and maintaining a daily budget, ensuring roughly 20 reporters turn in their stories, develop their beats and continue to improve as writers. He edits most of the paper’s news stories and is responsible for the content in all of them.

Joe spent summer 2014 in southwestern North Dakota, where he worked as a groundskeeper for a nonprofit organization in a town bordering Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Despite his current position as an editor with The Diamondback, Joe is a writer first — one who is still very much in love with the craft. Bad writing frustrates him and, when it comes to his staff reporters, disrupts him until it is corrected and its writer understands why.

2013-2014 David E. Mills Scholar

Maria Romas '14
English Major

Maria Romas is a senior English major, with a creative writing minor, at the University of Maryland. She completed the College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society program after attending weekly seminars discussing the future of media and its place in the world.

She was a news reporter for the Diamondback, University of Maryland’s award-winning paper, and has covered Graduate Student Government, health, crime, student housing and political advocacy. She now holds the position of Opinion Editor, and is responsible for developing a daily budget, ensuring 30 columnists and cartoonists meet their deadlines, and handling the layout of the print and online pages. She writes the staff editorial and edits all columns/cartoons daily.

Maria was a part of the American Hellenic Institute Foundation's Foreign Policy Trip summer 2012, where she met with political officials in Greece and Cyprus and learned about the issues the two countries face.

As a 2011 Athens Fellow, Maria had the opportunity to spend three weeks of her summer in Greece, reporting and writing about the events she witnessed and people she interviewed. Along with her experience in editing — Maria loves to correct people’s grammar and sentence structure — she loves to write. Writing is what lured her to the field of journalism — and any opportunity to write is exciting to her.

In Maria's words:
"I am incredibly honored to have been chosen to receive the David Mills scholarship. After interviewing with people who knew Mr. Mills, including David Simon, I came to realize that his spirit and tenacity is something I have always admired in the newsroom, and hope to be able to embody, as well as encourage others to take on, so that the work he put forth into the journalistic community will never be forgotten."

2011-2012 David E. Mills Scholar

Leah G. Villanueva

2011-2012 David E. Mills Scholar

Jessica S. Campisi '18
Journalism Major

2011-2012 David E. Mills Scholar

Julia E. Reed '18
Journalism Major

The University of Maryland
Division of Student Affairs ▪ Office of Development and External Relations
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