Winner of 2019 Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Contest Announced

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 17, 2019 – The National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation has announced the winner of the 2019 Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Contest, which recognizes the outstanding work of aspiring journalists.

Marya Kuratova
Marya Kuratova

NSNCEF has awarded the 2019 scholarship to Marya Kuratova. She will receive a $5,000 scholarship in recognition of her excellent work in journalism.

Kuratova is a senior at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, majoring in English. Her submissions are from the McDaniel Free Press student newspaper. (Story archive)

“Marya Kuratova’s body of work stood out among a strong field of writers for many reasons. The writer’s submissions shared consistent qualities that marked the work as top of class. Kuratova writes with a unique combination of an activist’s strong voice and a teacher’s patience. The point to be made in each column is clearly made alongside good use of reason and fact that help to educate the reader as well as to persuade,” judge Connie Schultz said.

“The choice of topics work together in a vein to bring light to situations that may not be mainstream discussions for many. Lastly, for me, the final persuasive point in the columns are made with friendly encouragement rather than the heavy hand of guilt on the reader. I think this approach invites the reader into the world of the writer and the topic. Well done!” Schultz said.

The Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Program is an annual contest for college publication columnists provided by the NSNCEF and is underwritten by The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota on behalf of Jeanne Phillips aka Dear Abby, who is also co-chair of the Foundation.

Media Contacts

Amy Reynolds
National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation

About National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation

Founded in 2003, the NSNCEF is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation [501(c)3] devoted to the education and training of new and experienced columnists.

The core mission of the foundation is to foster training opportunities for columnists and others interested in column writing. The foundation works with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and others to serve as a training tool for aspiring and published columnists in all media. It has a special emphasis on assisting college columnists.

About Dear Abby

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, whose career as an advice columnist began at age 14. As she helped her mother answer incoming letters from advice-seeking teens, Phillips discovered that she truly loved the work. She wrote for the column behind the scenes until December 2000, when Pauline Phillips recognized Jeanne Phillips as co-creator of Dear Abby and officially retired.

With a worldwide readership of more than 110 million, Dear Abby has a devoted following who wouldn’t dream of starting each day without her. The most widely syndicated columnist in the world and a true household name, Dear Abby is well-known for sound, compassionate advice, delivered with the straightforward style of a good friend.

In 2018, Phillips received a Ph.D. from Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also one of the few laypersons to be granted a prestigious Life Consultant membership in the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), an organization of nationally respected psychiatrists dedicated to shaping psychiatric thinking, public programs and clinical practice in mental health. In addition, Phillips sat on the Board of Judges for the Talbots Charitable Foundation Women’s Scholarship Fund, as well as the Advisory Boards of the National Alzheimer’s Association, the Children’s Rights Council, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Kidney Foundation.

She has received awards from the National Office of Drug Policy, the American Academy of Dermatology for excellence in public education of dermatology issues, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Overeaters Anonymous and the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program. She is the recipient of the 2015 Proxmire Award for leadership in public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and the Hearing Loss Association of America’s 2015 Walter T. Ridder Award. In 2007, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) honored Phillips with the Straight for Equality Award for her support of equality.


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