Meet the 2023 AWSM Scholars

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AWSM Board

The Association for Women in Sports Media is proud to introduce its newest class of AWSM Scholars. Since 1990, AWSM has placed female college students in paid summer internships in the sports media industry at top companies from around the country.

The eight young women who were chosen as 2023 AWSM Scholars had to demonstrate their talent and drive throughout our competitive application process.

Scholars who were not placed in internships due to economic challenges at various media outlets are receiving one-on-one guidance from AWSM mentors and additional professional development support. Winners are all receiving a $1,000 scholarship, a one-year AWSM membership and conference attendance assistance.

These scholarships are possible thanks to our generous benefactors:

·       The Associated Press Sports Editors, sponsoring the Mary Garber/APSE Scholarship

·       Christine Brennan, sponsoring the Betty Brennan Scholarship and Jim Brennan Scholarship

·       Martin Doerfler and Kristin Huckshorn, sponsoring the Founders Scholarship

·       Jim Jenks, sponsoring the Joyce-Jenks Family Scholarship

·       Tom Jolly, sponsoring the Betty Jolly Scholarship

·       Myra MacPherson, sponsoring the Leah Siegel Memorial Scholarship

·       Jorge Rojas and Jim Jenks, sponsoring the Celeste Williams Memorial Scholarship.

Our internship hosts help make this program possible. A special thanks to the Charlotte Observer, ESPN, Perfect Game and the Raleigh News & Observer for serving as scholar employers.

Get to know the 2022 AWSM Scholars below:

Alexis Black is a versatile multimedia sports journalist who graduated from North Carolina A&T in May. She has been a Rhoden Fellow at ESPN's Andscape and an intern with the Maryland Jewels. She served as president of the North Carolina A&T APSE student chapter and was active with many other student organizations. Alexis is receiving the Mary Garber / APSE Scholarship.

Vishakha Deshpande played competitive basketball in India before earning her master's degree in journalism from Boston University in May. She has worked as an NBA Radio intern at Sirius XM, sports editor of the Boston University News Service and reporter for WBTU News. Vishakha is receiving the Betty Brennan Scholarship.

Sarah Effress is poised to enter her senior year at Northwestern. She has served as staff writer, managing editor and editor-in-chief of SB Nation's Inside NU. She also did color and play-by-play commentary for WNUR Sports and was a CBS News Los Angeles Sports Central production intern. She is a member of this year's SJI class. Sarah is interning at the Charlotte Observer and receiving the Celeste Williams Memorial Scholarship.

Madison Hricik earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from James Madison University in May. She previously was a writer and editor for The Breeze, the JMU student newspaper, and a freelancer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She was a 2022 summer intern at the Buffalo News. Madison is interning at the Raleigh News & Observer and is receiving the Betty Jolly Scholarship.

Marissa Kraus is poised to enter her senior year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She previously earned the Omaha World-Herald's Sports Fellowship, working with World-Herald editors to contribute to coverage of Nebraska football and other Big Ten Sports. She also was a summer intern at the Denver Post, a member of the 2022 SJI class and has worked for the Nebraska student newspaper as both a reporter and a photographer. Marissa is receiving the Jim Brennan Scholarship.

Emma Sacco graduated from Susquehanna University with a bachelor's degree in communication in May. She served as the AWSM chapter vice president and was a member of the school's varsity cheerleading squad. She previously interned at the Susquehanna sports information director's office and was a producer for the River Hawk Sports Network. Emma is interning at Perfect Game and is receiving the Joyce-Jenks Family Scholarship.

Chiselwa Sandala is poised to graduate from the University of Missouri in December. She served as a digital content producer for 5th Down and an editorial intern at SLAM Magazine. She was a social media producer for KOMU's Friday Night Fever broadcast covering Missouri high school football games and was a sports marketing intern for Mizzou Athletics. Chiselwa is receiving the AWSM Founders Scholarship.

Gabriella Sartori graduated from Brown University with a degree in English in May. She is a versatile journalist who completed an internship at WBZ-TV/CBS News Boston. She also has worked as a senior staff writer at the Brown Daily Herald and was a contributing writer for La Tonique Media. Gabriella was a member of the Brown women’s lacrosse team. She is interning with ESPN and is receiving the Leah Siegel Memorial Scholarship.

If you’d like to help support the AWSM Scholars program, please email

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