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Center Scholars

The Scholars program recognizes and salutes graduate students who show outstanding leadership as reflected in their proposed thesis films. Five to ten Center Scholars are selected annually on their ability to further the Center's mission. Each Center Scholar receives a $2,000 stipend. Last year, nine were selected.

The Center's mission is to inspire a new generation of filmmakers and media experts whose commitment to environmental stewardship drives them to produce creative work that is informative, ethically sound, entertaining--and makes a positive difference.

Center Scholars are selected as they embark on their thesis projects during the second year of their graduate program, when they have accumulated at least 18 credit hours. Part-time students are also eligible. 

Scholars must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be in good standing, have a record of excellence in film, video, or new media production, and a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  2. Exhibit outstanding intellect, leadership, and ambition.
  3. Show they are determined to make films that matter, that make a difference, and that make the world a better place.
  4. Demonstrate perseverance, creativity, passion, diligence, and integrity through their past work.
  5. Have a thesis topic which advances the Center's mission.

To apply, please submit a one page letter by December 1st describing how you will use a $2,000 grant to further your thesis film.

Include with the letter your project proposal, which should include a synopsis of your film, a list of anticipated expenses, the name of your lead faculty advisor, an up-to-date resume, and a note from your advisor that the project has been approved.

A faculty committee will judge the entries and grant awards based on each student's merit and commitment to the mission of the Center. Scholars will be announced by December 20.

Please contact Maggie Burnette Stogner if you have questions via email or by phone at 202-885-2160.

Current Scholars

Crystal Berg

Crystal's thesis documentary will explore climate-induced polar/grizzly bear hybridization in the Canadian Arctic. Working alongside biologists and local guides, this film sets out to examine this rare, yet growing phenomenon, and what is means for the future of polar bears. 

Robert Boyd

Robert's producing a short documentary about the abundant microbial growth, flourishing in kitchens and bathrooms, due to water wastefulness. His film, Table to Toilet: Fueling a Microbial Bonfire, will hold a microscopic mirror up to viewers, showing them the immediate, and close to home effects, of their wasteful water usage.

Sirjaut Kaur Dhariwal

Sirjaut is producing a short documentary on the depleting water resources in Punjab, India, where the farmers are struggling to maintain the ecosystem that once was. Covering only a small fraction of the country's land, Punjab provides India with majority of their wheat and rice. This film will delve deep into historical eco-friendly farming practices and explore options for future water conservation.

Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath

Elizabeth's film follows the story of artist Toni Lance who is known as "the bird lady" on the island of St. Croix. She is a strong and committed person and she's really carved out her niche on the island, but the responsibilities and overwhelming nature of caring for such fragile, wild creatures is wearing on her. The looming thought of who will do this when she can't lingers.

Gaby Krevat

Gaby's producing a film about a small community in Montana uniting to oppose two proposed gold mines located at the doorsteps of Yellowstone National Park. The film will discuss the intrinsic and economic value of the Paradise Valley's land, water, and wildlife that attract millions of visitors each year.

Ashley Luke

Ashley's producing a short documentary about the climate refugees of Louisiana's bayou. An area still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Katrina more than 10 years later caused alarming displacement of the coastal region. The documentary will examine how these refugees have adapted to the natural and manmade threats to their environment.

Amelia Tyson

Amelia's film Alabama Water Wars investigates the forces preventing an Alabama state-wide water management plan from being implemented and the women behind the efforts to put one in place. Though the work to put a plan in place is gaining traction, the question remains: will the stakeholders and interests groups be able to come together in time to save the vast and beautiful waterways of Alabama? 

Kent Wagner

Kent is making a film about deforestation in Borneo. It examines the loss and exploitation of the island's natural resources through the eyes of the indigenous Dayak people who have inhabited the rainforests of Borneo for thousands of years. It includes commentary with ecologists, activists, and Dayak elders. The shooting is complete and the film is currently being edited.

2017 Center Scholars
Emma Dacol, Sirjaut Kaur Dhariwal, Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Ashley Holmes, Megan King, Dorian Russel, Sam Sheline, Crystal Solberg, and Kent Wagner
2016 Center Scholars
Vanina Harel, Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Sam Sheline, Kent Wagner, and Nick Zachar
2014-2015 Center Scholars
Vanina Harel, Jamey Warner, and Nick Zachar
2012-2013 Center Scholars
Maria Arreguin, Erin Finicane, Sarah Gulick, Sylvia Johnson, Brian Kelley, Ana Sotelo, Jenny Stratton, and Corin Wilson
2011-2012 Center Scholars
Sarah Gulick, Helenah Svedberg, Jennifer Stratton, Aditi Desai, and Sylvia Johnson
2010-2011 Center Scholars
Aditi Desai, Kai Fang, Jeremy Polk, Irene Magafan, and Sylvia Johnson
2009-2010 Center Scholars
Ellen Tripler, Danny Ledonne, and Shanon Sparks