Lokey Scholarship

The Lokey Scholarship was established in 2007 through the generosity of Oregonian Lorry I. Lokey, founder of Business Wire, an international media relations company. Lokey is a 1949 Stanford University graduate and a University of Oregon Foundation trustee. The scholarship program provides awards of up to $10,000 to raise the national and international profile of the SOJC, attract the best and the brightest minds to the UO, and be a catalyst for developing outstanding future leaders for the journalism and communication industry.

Graduate student Lokey scholars are selected in recognition of their outstanding scholarly achievements and to provide added support during the dissertation year.  Up to two ABD recipients are selected primarily based on their scholarly record and demonstrated potential for research as indicated by their work in classes, conference presentation, and publication.

Only Ph.D. students who have approved dissertation proposals and have advanced to candidacy are eligible for consideration. Teaching and service in the SOJC are additionally weighed, though the primary criterion is research, both accomplishments and potential. Selection of the scholar(s) is made by the Graduate Affairs Committee, which may choose not to award in a given year, depending on student eligibility, strength of research, other considerations and contributions, and funds available.

Lokey Scholarship Application

To apply for the Lokey Fellowship, you will need to submit the following:

  1. Confirmation from your adviser that you have (or will have) passed comps, held a proposal meeting, and will advance to candidacy by the end of the spring term.
  2. Short (1-2 page) research statement outlining your interests, accomplishments and goals.
  3. Short (150 word) abstract of your dissertation proposal, including full working title.  Also list names of committee members.
  4. One single-authored writing sample (a paper from a class, a conference paper, or a publication– please specify).  30 pages or less.

These materials should be submitted via the online Lokey Scholarship application no later than May 3, 2020.

A committee of faculty who do not serve on any of the applicants’ dissertation committees will make the selection(s).  In addition to the materials you submit, the selection committee will seek input from faculty, including your adviser and others who may be familiar with your work and accomplishments thus far in your doctoral program.

Past Lokey Scholars


Beck Banks

Kaitlin Bane Miller


Irene Awino

Ashley Cortes

Patric Jones


Matthew Pittman

Thomas Schmidt

Jeremiah Favara


Jolene Fisher earned her PhD in 2016.  She received a BA in English Literature from McKendree University and an MS in Communication and Society from the University of Oregon. During her time in our graduate program, Jolene taught and assisted in a variety of classes, such as Gateway to the Media, Video Production, Advanced TV News, Reporting, and Communication in Developing Countries. Combining a critical textual analysis with a political economic approach, her current research interests center around the use of video games in international development. A recent paper written for the 2014 National Communication Association Conference received both the Top Competitive Student Paper Award and the Ralph Cooley Top Paper Award in the International and Intercultural Communication Division. A solo-authored article she wrote was accepted by the Journal of Communication, Culture and Critique, and a chapter on the history of gamification in international development has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming book. She was asked to contribute an article to a special issue of Studies in Comparative International Development, and has an additional article under review at the Journal of Creative Communications. For her dissertation, Jolene traveled to various locations, including New York City and London, to conduct qualitative interviews with game designers and producers.


Senyo Ofori-Parku graduated from the PhD program in 2015. Before joining our doctoral program, he taught communication studies classes at Christian Service University in Kumasi, Ghana.  He also had several years of experience working at major advertising agencies in Ghana. At Oregon, he has taught and assisted in classes on advertising, international communication, and media and society.  Recently he joined Professor Deb Morrison’s team to help lead the annual advertising trip to New York. He has presented papers at several academic conferences, and recently won a top student paper award at the International Communication Association.  He also has numerous academic publications already published or under review. His primary research interest is on media and environmental degradation, including media coverage and audience reception. His dissertation is on media and risk perceptions related to off-shore drilling in Ghana.  Given the health and environmental hazards of oil extraction and recent catastrophes in Africa and elsewhere globally, research to find out how indigenous communities perceive and assess risk—and how oil companies communicate with these communities—is clearly important. In addition to the Lokey Award, Senyo received two other major awards that support and recognize his dissertation research: the University of Oregon Public Impact Award and the Oregon University System Sylff Graduate Award for international research.


Toby Hopp received his PhD in Communication and Society in 2014. His primary interests relate to media audiences and effects, and his dissertation will examine the effects of persuasive messages embedded in violent video games. While in our program he had numerous journal articles published and had 15 refereed conference presentations, including three top paper awards. Toby used the funds from the Lokey Scholarship to support his dissertation work. Additionally, the funds helped pay for his trip to the International Communication Conference in London. “My colleagues in the doctoral program are immensely talented, so it is truly an honor to be selected for the Lokey award,” he says. “I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Lokey, the Lorry I. Lokey Journalism Scholars Program, and the SOJC faculty. The funds from the Lokey award will be instrumental in supporting my dissertation research.” Toby is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado.


Erica Ciszek received her PhD in Communication and Society in 2014. Between completing her master’s at Boston University and beginning our PhD program she gained experience as strategic analyst and research analyst for strategic communication agencies and consulting firms. Erica is primarily interested in media advocacy outreach, particularly around LGBT issues. While in our program she published three refereed articles on these topics, in addition to 11 refereed conference presentations.  She also recently has won two grants for her work, including a Villanova University Waterhouse Family Institute Research Grant. Her dissertation critically examined the “It Gets Better Project” to gain a better understanding of how grassroots advocacy campaigns are carried out and the role these efforts play in the everyday lives of LGBT youth. Erica used the scholarship to help fund her dissertation research as well as to help with travel expenses as she presented her research at the International Communication Association conference in London, the International Association of Media and Communication Researchers conference in Dublin, and the Association of Educators of Journalism and Mass Communication in Washington, D.C.  “I’m very thankful to Mr. Lokey, the Lorry I. Lokey Journalism Scholars Program, and the SOJC faculty for selecting me for this scholarship and supporting my research,” she says. “This award carries great honor to me as a emerging scholar examining the intersections of strategic communication and social justice.” Erica is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston.


Lauren Bratslavsky received her PhD in Communication in Society in 2013. She taught various courses as a graduate teaching fellow, including Visual Communication, Media and Society, and Video Production. When she taught Communication History for the fourth time, given her interest in archives, she had the class research different communication-related collections in the Knight Library’s Special Collections. Her dissertation focused on the history of archiving television, specifically tracing how television programs and documents enter archiving institutions. Lauren is now a faculty member at Illinois State University.

Jacob Dittmer received his PhD in Communication and Society in 2013. Dittmer’s research centers on the political economy of the NFL in relation to media industries. He is examining the relationship between the NFL, media, and the government, and how they intertwine to structure the sports products consumed by the public. In 2011, Dittmer received an Outstanding Teaching by a PhD Graduate Teaching Fellow award and was one of three SOJC doctoral students to win a Top Student Paper award at the International Communication Association conference. Jacob now works as a research analyst at Cascade Insights, a company specializing in investigative tech sector research and analysis.