Each year, Buffalo State awards scholarships based on academic merit, financial need, field of study, or a combination of those criteria. The Communication Department offers several scholarships specifically for its majors.

For First-Year Students

John Roneker Memorial Scholarship

About the Scholarship
This scholarship (amount varies) is given to an incoming freshman in the Communication Department, created by friends and family of a deceased journalism graduate.

Criteria

  • Applicants must be incoming freshmen with a minimum high school average of 85
  • Must be a declared major in the Communication Department
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Preference given to West Seneca West High School graduates.

Scholarship recipients are selected by the department’s Student Enrichment Committee and the department chair. The decision on awarding the scholarship will rest with a majority vote of the committee.

How to Apply
Apply through Buffalo State’s Campus Application Portal for Scholarships (CAPS).

Application deadline is generally in mid-April; check CAPS for details.

About John R. Roneker Jr.
Born and raised in Buffalo, John R. Roneker Jr. entered Buffalo State College in 1985, majoring in Communication.

Although he knew he wanted to study broadcasting, it wasn’t until he attended a seminar conducted by a professional from the Federal Communications Commission that he truly discovered his passion for communication.

After graduation in 1989, he accepted a position with the FCC as a public affairs specialist in Buffalo, and he later worked with the FCC in Kansas City.

John always felt that it was because of the Communication Department faculty and possibilities offered at Buffalo State that he found his professional calling. The Roneker family hopes that this scholarship will help incoming Communication majors discover their passion for media production, journalism, public relations & advertising, or communication studies as John did.

For Juniors

Dr. Julia A. Piquette Communication Scholarship

About the Scholarship
This is a $1,000 scholarship for a full-time junior in one of the Communication Department’s majors, based on academic achievement and a commitment to communication, created through the generosity of former department chair Dr. Julia Piquette.

Criteria

  • Applicants must have a minimum 3.7 GPA
  • Must submit a personal essay of up to 500 words explaining how receiving this scholarship would affect their academic and professional plans
  • Must prepare a 1-to-3-minute video on a topic of their choice for the selection panel

Scholarship recipients will be selected by the department’s Student Enrichment Committee and the department chair. The decision on awarding the scholarship will rest with a majority vote of the committee.

How to Apply
Apply through Buffalo State’s Campus Application Portal for Scholarships (CAPS). Application deadline is generally in mid-April; check CAPS for details.

About Dr. Julia Piquette

A faculty member in Buffalo State’s Speech and Theater Arts Department, forerunner of the current Communication Department, Dr. Piquette was instrumental in adding radio and television production to the program and helped oversee the department’s transformation in 1977 into the Journalism, Broadcasting, and Speech Department.

She chaired the department from 1981-1984, retiring in 1987.

Dr. Piquette remained active with the college as a professor emerita. Her dedication to the college was recognized in 2000 when the Communication Department awarded Dr. Piquette the Communication Department Hall of Fame Special Department Award for Lifetime Dedication. Dr. Piquette passed away in 2011.

For Graduating Seniors

Charles Y. Adair Award

About the award
This is a $500 award to a graduating Communication Department senior showing a commitment to communication, created as a memorial fund established by friends and family of Charles “Charlie” Y. Adair, a popular and legendary journalism professor who died in 2000. Preference given to students with a print journalism focus.

Criteria

  • Applicants should submit a personal statement describing their professional commitment to communication.
  • Supporting materials should include either an academic paper or an applied media presentation (such as a series of articles or broadcast pieces) related to journalism, media ethics, technology, or professional freedom, rights and/or responsibilities.

Award recipients will be selected by the department’s Student Enrichment Committee and the department chair. The decision on awarding the scholarship will rest with a majority vote of the committee.

How to Apply 
Submit the Adair Award application, personal statement, and supporting materials to the Communication Department.

Application deadline is generally in mid-April.

Adair Award Application (DOC)

About Professor Charles Adair

Professor Charles “Charlie” Adair taught journalism at Buffalo State from 1980 until his death in 2000 at age 58.

He had worked as a reporter and copy editor in Michigan, Missouri, and Western New York and was known for his real-world approach to communication education.

Professor Adair always held his students to high professional standards, and they returned the favor by revering him as a great journalism professor and a major influence on their careers.

Related Scholarships

Charles Messner

Dr. Charles A. Messner Scholarship

About the Scholarship
This annual $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a student majoring in the humanities; renewable for up to three additional years provided the recipient earns a 3.0 cumulative GPA and continues to have a declared major in a humanities program.

Criteria

  • Applicants must be incoming freshmen in a humanities program including the English, Communication, Philosophy, or Modern & Classical Languages Departments
  • Must be enrolled full-time at Buffalo State
  • Must demonstrate financial need as defined by Buffalo State. 

How to Apply
Apply through Buffalo State’s Campus Application Portal for Scholarships (CAPS). Application deadline is generally in mid-March.

About Dr. Charles A. Messner
Dr. Charles A. Messner joined the faculty at Buffalo State in 1926 after serving in World War I as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army Field Artillery. He completed his Ph.D. in comparative literature at Harvard University in 1928. During his tenure at Buffalo State, he taught courses in Latin, German, French, world literature, and linguistics. After retiring in 1963, he returned to the college as a lecturer in Latin from 1968 to 1971. A philanthropic man, Dr. Messner donated his entire salary during those final four years of his teaching career to the college for cash scholarships for deserving students.

Dr. Messner passed away in 1995 at the age of 103. His son, Charles A. Messner, Jr. and his wife, Lois, established the Dr. Charles A. Messner Scholarship Fund to honor his legacy. 
 

society of professional journalists logo

Society of Professional Journalists Scholarship

About the Scholarship
This scholarship (amount varies) is awarded annually by the Greater Buffalo International Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to Greater Buffalo-area college students who are studying communications, along with professional journalists seeking additional academic training.

Criteria

  • Applicants must be residents of Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania or Southern Ontario attending accredited colleges in the U.S. or Canada that offer courses to enhance journalism training; students who reside outside the chapter area who attend colleges in Western New York also are eligible.
  • Open to undergraduates, graduate students, and working journalists.
  • Evidence of competence in writing, broadcasting, or related journalistic skills and explanation of financial need are desirable.
  • Applicants must include a statement outlining their motivation and evidence of commitment to a career in journalism and provide two letters of recommendation.

How to Apply
Visit the Society of Professional Journalists Buffalo Chapter Scholarship Fund's Facebook page to access the application. Application deadline is generally in late April. For details, contact Annemarie Franczyk.

PRSA Foundation logo

May C. Randazzo Public Relations Scholarship

About the Scholarship
This is a $2,000 scholarship for undergraduate or graduate students with a declared major in communications with preference given to those planning to pursue a career in public relations.

Criteria

  • Applicants must be undergraduate or graduate students at a college or university in the geographical area served by PRSA Buffalo Niagara with a declared major in the field of communications; preference given to those planning to pursue a career in public relations.
  • Additional considerations: high level of scholastic achievement, active interest in community service, membership in the Public Relations Student Society of America, and undergraduates in their sophomore or junior years as well as graduate students.
  • Previous Randazzo Scholarship winners are eligible to reapply as long as they continue to meet the criteria.

How to Apply

  • Complete the online application form
  • Provide a letter of recommendation
  • Submit an essay demonstrating high scholastic achievement, interest in community service, and financial need.

Application deadline is generally in late May. For details, contact Deborah Silverman

About May C. Randazzo
May Randazzo was the public relations manager at Graphic Controls in Buffalo before she died in 1997 at age 57 after a brief illness. She was a past president of PRSA Buffalo Niagara, was named Outstanding Practitioner of the Year in 1991, and established the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at Canisius College. The scholarship honors students who best demonstrate the ideals that Ms. Randazzo believed were key to the future of the public relations profession: leadership, community service, and scholastic achievement.
 

The LAGRANT Foundation logo

LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships in Public Relations, Advertising, & Marketing

About the Scholarships
The LAGRANT Foundation offers approximately 50 scholarships each year to ethnic minority undergraduate students ($2,500 each) and graduate students ($3,750 each). Scholarship recipients will receive a trip to New York City in May, where they will participate in career-building activities. These include a welcome dinner with a keynote speaker, three day-long career development workshops, and a scholarship & donor recognition reception. During these activities, students will have the opportunity to meet industry professionals, network, and gain exposure to the advertising, marketing, and public relations fields.

Criteria

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or DACA recipients from one of the following ethnic groups: African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/Alaska Native.
  • Students must be full-time, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and major in a field of study that has an emphasis on advertising, marketing, or public relations.
  • Students must have at least one year to complete his/her degree from the time the scholarships are awarded in May and must be available to participate in the scholarship activities in May in New York City.

How to Apply

Apply online

Application deadline is generally in late February. For details, contact Deborah Silverman