Celebrating the Accomplishments of the 2020-21 Communication Scholarship Recipients

The Department of Communication has five academic scholarships. These are awarded annually (based on availability) to declared Communication major students who have applied for the opportunity. As we reflect back on a momentous 2020-21 academic year, join us in meeting five of our scholarship recipients who thrived with accomplishments despite living in a global pandemic.


Laurie Fogleman ’22 | The Charleston Advertising Federation / Ken Adkins Memorial Scholarship   Laurie is a Communication major and Leadership, Change, & Social Responsibility minor from Norwood, NC. She dreams of working in public relations or event management for a university. Laurie is inspired by ambitious people who always strive to do their best. She loves the positive energy and actively seeks individuals who push her to learn more each day.

How has this scholarship helped you, Laurie?  This scholarship lifted several burdens from my shoulders during this past year of unprecedented and stressful times. It gave me the flexibility to pursue unpaid internships and leadership positions. This allowed me to continue to meet my goal of determining my perfect future career. This scholarship has also provided me with an invaluable resource; confidence. Since the start of my junior year, I have invested more time and passion into building my professional portfolio. Through experiences like Leadership CofC, the Mentor-Protégé Program, and the National Millennial/GenZ Community, I have been exposed to an array of new perspectives and insights. I have learned the true power of connecting with people and listening to them share their stories. These experiences, as well as joining campus organizations like Charleston-40, allowed me to exercise my communication skills each day in so many different ways. From practicing active listening skills, to asking meaningful questions about different career fields, to sharing my own knowledge of the College with prospective students, I have grown as a communication scholar. Ultimately, this scholarship afforded me the ability to continue building my interpersonal and critical thinking skills, and overall passion for communication.

Fern Wooden ’21 | South Carolina Cable Television Foundation Scholarship   Fern is a Communication major, Theatre minor, and Martin Scholar. She is from Charleston, SC. Her dream job is to be a writer and actress for Saturday Night Live, or another sector of late-night television or sketch comedy. Fern finds inspiration from funny women (like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) who use their platforms to advocate for change both in and out of the industry. She also admires people who have conquered adversity, and then inspire hope in others because of their actions.

How has this scholarship helped you, Fern?  With full transparency, I did not think I would complete my senior year in the traditionally allotted four years. Not only did the pandemic take a toll on my family financially, but it also impacted me personally. Coming from a single mom, I always relied on financial aid and scholarships and worked multiple part-time jobs to pay for my education and bills. Like many others, I lost my serving job because of Coronavirus, and less than a month after starting back, I lost it again for unforeseen circumstances. During the riots that sprung from earlier peaceful protests, the restaurant I worked for was vandalized, and the kitchen burnt down. At a loss for words and not receiving unemployment from the pandemic, my future at CofC was uncertain. Without the South Carolina Cable Television Foundation Scholarship, I would have had to take a gap semester and lose my place in the 2020-2021 Martin Scholars program. I have made great strides this year and found a new level of confidence, something I would not have found without my senior year’s ups and downs. Lastly, the scholarship helped me relieve a sense of imposter syndrome, where I felt out of place in the department, unsure of writing abilities. Knowing that scholarship was awarded to a top communication major gave me such joy and pride, and I am so grateful for that.

Martin Scholar Celie ShankmanCelie Shankman ’21 | John and Kathleen Rivers Foundation Scholarship   Celie is a Communication and Marketing double major and a Martin Scholar. She is from Memphis, TN, and dreams of any job where she can create sustainable strategy and meaningful work, preferably in Asia. Celie’s inspiration comes from seeing both individual people and large organizations put others before themselves, even if it will negatively impact their gross revenue. She believes that when you can help others and put their best interests before something you personally desire, it creates meaningful work that will positively impact the world.

How has this scholarship helped you, Celie?  By receiving this scholarship, I was able to completely focus on my studies and be more stress free. Without having to work long hours to make more money for my education, I was able to immerse myself in my classes, spend time developing new skills, and go to professor office hours. Thanks to the John and Kathleen  Rivers Foundation Scholarship, I focused on personal interests and succeeded in new goals. I had more time to learn a new language, start my own small business, and be involved in volunteer opportunities. Developing these new skills and hobbies also helped me find a job post-graduation, where I will be teaching English in South Korea. Being able to learn Korean and volunteer as an ESL teacher in my free time helped me impress those interviewing me. I truly believe the scholarship had a snowball effect that led to my new job.

Claire Filaski ’24 | Lindner Family Scholarships, 1st Year Recipient   Claire is a Communication major from Ridgefield, CT. Her dream job is to work as a communication specialist or journalist for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. Claire’s family members are her biggest source of inspiration. Her drive to succeed academically and in a future career stems from observing how hard her parents have worked to provide for the family. She attributes her success today to her parents’ unwavering support, and is constantly inspired to make them proud.

How has this scholarship helped you, Claire?  From the onset of my studies at the College, I immediately loved the broadness of the Communication major and the various directions it could propel me in. My passion for my studies was only accentuated by my scholarship; I was invigorated by the idea that an ulterior body had faith in my abilities, even before my time at the College had begun. This spoke largely to the university, its administration, and its donors– the College believes in its students, and this faith and support sets their students up for success. Even just at the end of my first semester, I had already seen the way that my scholarship and my supporters have pushed me forward; at the end of March, I was offered the position of Marketing and Events Intern at the Post and Courier. My work involves merchandising, social media, blogging, and events planning, and will become a full-time job in the summer of 2021. While this was a new area of the Communication major for me, I was again inspired by the scope of the academic regime to explore new skill sets and learn valuable life skills. This scholarship has taught me about networking, asserting for myself, developing a strong work ethic– and it landed me an internship in my freshman year. I predate my coworkers by at least six or seven years, but I’m confident in my abilities and in my drive due to the recognition that my donors gave me before my work had even begun. The initial inspiration that this scholarship gave me catalyzed into reaching the President’s List in my first semester, and reaching the doors of a 200 year-old newspaper in my second. I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished thus far, and owe a great amount of that work to the academic support this scholarship has given me.

Martin Scholar Megan LlewellynMegan Llewellyn ’21 | Lindner Family Scholarships, 4th Year Recipient   Megan is a Communication major and a Martin Scholar from Summerville, SC. She dreams of being a public relations writer. Failure constantly inspires Megan to fight for her goals. She believe that mistakes are at the core of any achievement and failing only allows a chance to learn and grow. She is constantly driven by the ability to stand up when she falls down, and to stand tall throughout life’s challenges.

How has this scholarship helped you, Megan?  When I applied for this gracious scholarship, I had so many plans and no way to fulfill them. I wanted to dive into internships and get a taste of the crazy career that I have been dreaming of. I needed to work while taking full-time classes and, although I was managing everything well, I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle internships on top of everything. With this award, I was able to quit my job and take on these internships. I interned with a political campaign and currently am interning with a non-profit. Although the pandemic tried showed a scary side of the world, the scholarship also granted me peace of mind during these uneasy times. I was able to make my senior year beneficial for my future and that is something that I could never repay.


What an inspiring group of scholarship recipients! Learn more about the wide array of scholarships and awards available through the Department of Communication on our Scholarships and Funds for Experiential Learning webpages. Applications generally open every November, so keep an eye out!

The Department of Communication sincerely thanks our donors for their generous commitment to the Communication discipline and the pursuits of our talented students. These student opportunities would not be as readily available without their support and dedication of time and resources.

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