By Natalie Kucko, @nkucko
Emily Steves, a journalism & mass communication student at St. Bonaventure University, is one of the commemorative Jim Murray scholarship winners this year. The $5,000 journalism scholarship is awarded to a select few on behalf of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation. The award calls for an essay contest that asks willing college students to write about and highlight a sports figure on campus. The contest is quite exclusive and is only extended to about 30 colleges nationwide.
Steves wrote about Catie Greene, a former lacrosse player and cross-country runner at Bonaventure. She chose to write about Greene because she was intrigued by her ability to maintain a 4.0 grade point average all throughout college along with her performance on the fields.
The process for this contest was an enduring one. Within Bonaventure alone, there was a competition over who should apply. Once she was selected through a vote from faculty in the journalism school, Steves sent her piece to the Foundation and was declared a winner by some of the top journalists in the country. In addition to this prestigious award, she was given the opportunity to fly to California this past week with the Foundation for a week of planned activities with fellow scholarship winners.
Steves has had a true passion for writing from a very young age. Her inspiration came from her “journalistic family.” Her mother studied English at Bonaventure and her brother Jordan graduated in 2009 with a journalism & mass communication degree. Her brother won the honorable Mark Hellinger Award during his time at Bonaventure, which she always looked up to him for.
Steves started working for a reputable local newspaper for teens in Buffalo, N.Y. called “NeXT.” She also wrote in the Gowanda, N.Y. penny saver and has kept a personal online blog from the age of 14. She continues to post, which includes her insightful thoughts and observances about lessons learned from life.
Her time so far at Bonaventure has been rewarding for her and her writing career. She speaks highly of professors Denny Wilkins and Chris Mackowski, who she says have contributed to her growth as a writer.
She never gave up on her love for writing.
“I don’t remember thinking it’s what I wanted to do,” Steves said, “but I knew I wanted to get there to make it happen.”