By Stefanie Phillips, RSJ ’18 sphillips@ryerson.ca

Noella Ovid (right) and Violet Rusu (left) received the 2017 Schulich award. Photo credit: Natasha Hermann.

Noella Ovid is grateful to be one of the recipients of the 2017 Seymour Schulich Undergraduate Award in Financial Journalism.

After receiving the award Ovid was able to pay off her student debt and focus her time and energy on her final semester of the undergraduate journalism program, which culminates in a six-week internship at The Globe and Mail.

“I was able to quit my job at Hallmark before I start at the Globe and really focus on what I want to do in life,” she said. “I’m just so thankful.”

Ovid applied for the award while she was in her third year of the journalism program by writing a letter to the school’s selection committee that outlined her interest in financial and business journalism. She also submitted three samples of work, including two published pieces and an article she wrote in a business journalism class.

Violet Rusu also received the 2017 Schulich award. With it, she was able focus on her fourth-year capstone project and set aside any financial worries.

Rusu is working on a book project documenting the story of an Iranian opposition group that was exiled from Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Last year, the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) was granted refugee in Albania after 30 years without status. Rusu travelled to Albania with a Farsi translator to collect a compilation of the groups’ stories, documenting challenges from facing prison time because of opposing political views to the separation of families.

“There were a lot of costs involved, including the translator’s flights, so the award made it much more realistic of an idea,” she said. “Because of the award, I’m able to consider different publishing options as well, which would have been really difficult otherwise.”

The award will be available again this year, with the intent to allow a deserving final-year student in the bachelor of journalism program to “study and explore and enrich his or her sense of the world,” according to the award posting online. The award is estimated at $20,000.

As part of the Ryerson School of Journalism Spring Applied Awards, the application deadline is May 2, 2018. Any student who wishes to apply must be a full-time student enrolled in the bachelor program, have a minimum CGPA of 3.0, be in clear academic standing and demonstrate eligibility through the submission of the application package.

The application package should include a letter that outlines interest and experience in financial journalism and two to three samples of work that fall within the financial journalism beat.