Amelia Kibbe has become St. Bonaventure University’s 12th undergraduate student to earn a scholarship from the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation.
Kibbe, a dual journalism and English major from Harrison Valley, Pa., who begins her senior year this fall, is one of five Murray Scholars selected for 2016 through the foundation’s annual nationwide essay contest. She will travel to Arcadia, Calif., on Oct. 27-30 to receive the award, a $5,000 scholarship.
This year’s essay topic was to write a story about an “event, incident or person who figures prominently in the sports history of your university.”
Kibbe didn’t look far to choose the subject of her essay, student-athlete Katie Sinclair. Sinclair donated her bone marrow through Be The Match registry program in January, on the cusp of her senior softball season, knowing the procedure could limit her final season as a Bonnie.
“Katie risked her senior year of softball when she learned she could help someone. The surgery could be dangerous and she didn’t even know the recipient,” said Kibbe. “There are many stories about people saying they would risk a lot to help another, but Katie is the perfect example of someone who actually did it. She came right back to school, and while she had to watch her teammates from the sidelines at first, she came back to softball with the same energy she has in all aspects of her life.”
“Amelia’s interpretation of this year’s theme speaks directly to our Franciscan mission at St. Bonaventure,” said Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the university.
“Her ability to recognize a story, gather the information and share it in such a poignant way speaks to Amelia’s excellent skills as a young journalist. It is no surprise to us that the Jim Murray Foundation recognized Amelia’s talent and named her a Murray Scholar,” Hoffmann said.
Growing up, Kibbe’s parents read to her and her three siblings constantly, and she enjoyed reading local newspapers.
“While some kids convinced their parents to let them stay up to watch a movie, I asked mine to let me watch the 10 o’clock news,” she said.
Kibbe came to Bona’s as an undecided major, however. She declared a major in journalism and mass communication after joining the student newspaper, The Bona Venture, and taking a journalism class from Carole McNall. She later added English as a second major.
Kibbe has embraced on- and off-campus opportunities to improve her writing. She has been an editor for The Bona Venture for five semesters (including stints as managing editor and editor in chief) and has worked for the University Advancement division, writing and editing stories for the university website and various print and electronic publications.
She also spent two summers at the Wellsville Daily Reporter, receiving a New York Press Association grant and a New York News Publishers Association Award of Excellence for her work. This summer, she is a communications intern for the Pharmaceutical Technologies division of Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 global company.
She belongs to the National Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication, Kappa Tau Alpha, and the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, at St. Bonaventure. She is also active with University Ministries.
Kibbe enjoys writing, but prefers editing. She’s aiming for a career where she can do both.
“I love telling other people’s stories to inspire others,” said Kibbe.
The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation was founded in 1999 to perpetuate Jim Murray’s legacy and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Thirty-two colleges and universities are invited to participate in the student essay competition. St. Bonaventure students have won scholarships in 12 of the 16 years they have been awarded. Joining Kibbe as award winners for 2016 are students from Penn State, Northwestern, University of Kansas and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kibbe is grateful for the faculty and staff in the journalism school who chose her essay to represent the university in the competition and assisted her with the application process.
“Dean Hoffmann and Sue Ciesla helped me with all my application materials. Professors Patrick Vecchio, Dr. Denny Wilkins, Anne Lee and Dr. Rich Lee were all extremely helpful and patient, and I am very grateful,” she said.
Kibbe grew up in Harrison Valley with siblings Steven, ’15; Ellen, ’18; and Ethan, ’18, and is a daughter of Len and Kathy Kibbe, ’79.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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