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Profiles of Scholarship Winners

Awards such as the Steven J. Borowiec Memorial Scholarship and Oscar Patterson Scholarships help ease the burden of college tuition and attract top students to UNF's communication program. If you would like to create a scholarship for the department, please visit our website or contact the department chair via e-mail.

What winning the Steve J. Boroweic Memorial Scholarship means to me

By Tabitha Bingham

Junior, Department of Communication


Tabitha Bingham HeadshotTabitha Bingham enjoys her hometown of Bradenton at sunset. 


My name is Tabitha Bingham, and I am a 21-year-old transfer student majoring in communication with a concentration in advertising. One of the main reasons I chose the University of North Florida was for the enormous amount of opportunities it provides for its students. One of the most appealing factors of UNF is that you are guaranteed an internship concerning your major. Having an internship is beneficial to students like myself, because you gain exposure to real-world problems and issues that perhaps are not found in textbooks, as well as having an easy transition from being a student to entering the workforce. In addition to my internship opportunity, this summer I am back home in Bradenton, Florida, working full time as a customer service sales representative at Pinch-A-Penny. With my time at Pinch-A-Penny, I have worked closely with the managers and owners learning and gaining knowledge about Pinch-A-Penny's advertising management. Having my foot in the door at Pinch-A-Penny, and having wonderful owners that support me makes me hopeful that next summer I could possibly have an internship at Pinch-A-Penny headquarters.


Moreover, being the recipient of the Steve J. Boroweic Memorial Scholarship has been instrumental in my success. All my hard work has really paid off, especially with help from my family who have supported me from the beginning. This scholarship will provide me the means to continue my education at UNF, and give me more motivation to succeed. Also, this scholarship means more financial security for my family. My family has sacrificed a great deal to send my brother and I to college. I am extremely honored and humbled to be chosen as the recipient of the Steve J. Boroweic Memorial Scholarship. Furthermore, I am excited to continue my education here at UNF, and I am anxious to start pursuing my career in the field of Communication.

What winning the Patterson Scholarship means to me

By Matthew Farina

Senior, Department of Communication


Matthew Farina on the courtWorking as a camera operator for the ESPN3 crew who broadcasts UNF athletic events, Matthew Farina gets inside the huddle with the UNF Women's Basketball Team.


It is with great joy and excitement that I express my gratitude for the 2018 Oscar Patterson Scholarship. Dr. Patterson's gift not only reaffirms UNF's commitment to my academic and professional development, but it allows me to pursue unique learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting. Simply put, I would not be where I am today without his support.


As a communication and international business student, I have worked locally and internationally to produce relevant, engaging journalistic content. Although I am terribly ambitious and thrive when competition is the fiercest, I also understand the importance of relationship management and interpersonal communication. These skills were tested in the spring of 2017 when I moved to Dubai, UAE, and enrolled in the University of Dubai's School of Business.


As a foreign-exchange student taking classes in international business law, marketing, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior, I learned cultural sensitivity is vital to success in the emerging global marketplace.


Upon my return from the UAE, I completed an eight-week summer internship with WJCT Public Broadcasting in Jacksonville, working as a news intern for the NPR member station. My time with WJCT reiterated my resourcefulness and dependability. When I was assigned a story, I acted swiftly, contacting sources and gathering pertinent information in a professional manner. I even coordinated with the Jacksonville Jaguars' PR department to report a feature story on one of the team's barbers, specifically his friendship with starting quarterback Blake Bortles.


The Oscar Patterson Scholarship has allowed me to further my photography, videography and podcasting skills. By investing in more advanced multimedia equipment with Dr. Patterson's gift, I am now able to create professional-grade content to grow my personal brand on social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

What winning the Steve J. Boroweic Memorial Scholarship means to me

By Morganne Lander

Senior, Department of Communication


Morganne Lander Headshot

Morganne Lander hopes to work for Disney.


The University of North Florida has become my home over the past three years. Upon entering my senior year this fall, I can truly see how much I have emotionally grown throughout my time here. The education that I have received here at UNF is unmatched; however, I am most grateful for the opportunities that attending UNF has provided me.


My name is Morganne Lander, and I am currently majoring in Communication, with a concentration in public relations. I also decided to pursue the community leadership minor because possessing leadership skills is becoming an increasingly popular commodity in the workplace.


My education experience here at UNF has exceeded my expectations. The communication department is full of supportive professors who truly aim to help you succeed. Additionally, the department has created a variety of events in order to help students learn more about the expectations and work responsibilities of each major. Personally, I enjoyed attending the Media Week events in the fall because it allowed me to hear and talk to professionals from the public relations field.


Outside of the classroom, I work on campus as a resident assistant at Osprey Landing. I work with first-year students who have just begun their UNF journey. Whether it is mediating roommate conflicts, planning events, or helping them get involved on campus, being a RA is one of the best experiences I have had while attending UNF.


Being the recipient of the Steven J. Borowiec Memorial Scholarship allows me to focus on both the present and the future. As for the present, the scholarship will allow me to make the most of my last year here at UNF. I am planning on interning with UNF Campus Life in the spring, and I am also pursuing an internship with UNF Athletics for the fall. This is in addition to classes, work, and a couple of clubs. It is going to be a whirlwind of a year, but receiving this scholarship is going to let me fully enjoy every minute of the experience.


After graduation, I plan on participating in the Disney College Program as a stepping stone to fulfilling my goal of some day working for Disney. I am looking forward to what the future holds for me after my time here at UNF.


The opportunities that UNF provided me have changed my life. These rewarding experiences have shaped me into the person I am today, and for that I am truly grateful. SWOOP!

What winning the Oscar Patterson Scholarship means to me

By Zach Miller

Junior, Department of Communication


Zach Miller Headshot

Zach Miller applies his "never quit" attitude in and out of the classroom.


I will never forget the conversation I had with my dad when I was about 10 years old. We had just finished playing some basketball in my backyard. I was frustrated because my dad won the game we were playing. He decided it was a perfect moment for a life lesson. As we stood in the garage, my dad told me that the Miller family does not quit. Life will get hard, and there will be obstacles. But Millers never quit. He said that he always wanted me to do my absolute best. My dad did not want me to just finish. He wanted me to finish strong.


That conversation has stuck with me my entire life. It has become a mantra that sustains me through anything I may face. I was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 15. Through multiple surgeries, three rounds of chemotherapy and two months of radiation, I continually reminded myself that quitting was not an option. I was determined to beat cancer, and I have now been cancer free for the past six years.


College has been a different kind of challenge. But I have approached it the same way. I have worked very hard in all of my classes. Each exam and paper is a new competition for me. My goal is to do my absolute best on every assignment. I believe this approach has helped me be successful in college.


But I am not done yet. I still have a couple more semesters of hard work in front of me. So my goal remains. I do not want to barely crawl over the finish line. When I walk across that stage wearing my cap and gown, I want be confident and know that I finished strong.


The Patterson Scholarship will help me to reach that stage. I am thankful for a scholarship that allows me to finish college strong. This award is also a confirmation that hard work pays off. My dad was right when he told me that if I did my absolute best and did not quit then I would be successful. The Patterson Scholarships stokes the fire within me to never quit and continue working hard.

What winning the Oscar Patterson Scholarship means to me

By Maya Dartiguenave

Senior, Department of Communication


Maya Dartiguenave Headshot

As editor-in-chief of Her Campus UNF, Maya Dartiguenave manages a team of writers, as well as a number of other tasks, like planning giveaways.


I am a 20-year-old public relations major with a minor in creative writing. In the three years since I graduated from high school, I have been to three colleges in two states, with more than five changes in my major. It could easily be argued that my college career thus far has strayed from the norm.


Senior year of high school was an enlightening time for me. With the final months of that time in my life winding down, I looked around me and saw changes. Students were preparing to move off to college. Some were ready to join the military. Most decided to stay close to home. I also saw those who were unsure of their path. Personally, I was ready to go. For me, college had always been the next step.


Getting the acceptance letter to what I thought to be my dream school was equivalent to getting a golden ticket. With that, just three weeks after my high school graduation, I packed my things and left for New York, only to find myself six months later on a road trip moving back to Jacksonville. My first school felt distant. I was so disconnected from my professors and peers. Nothing felt real, and nothing felt right.


Back in Jacksonville, I completed my associate's degree at a community college and finalized my third transfer, to UNF. I was nervous that I wouldn't connect to this University just like I hadn't with the first. Honestly, I was scared. I feared that after two years at two other institutions, I would never feel what other students felt, which was a sense of pride in where they study.


Still, I refused to let fear ruin the time that I had left as an undergrad. My first semester here, I started and became the editor-in-chief of the UNF chapter of Her Campus, which is part of a national online magazine. It wasn't until I took MMC 3200-Law and Ethics of Communication and a visual poetry class in my second semester on campus that I knew I had finally made the right choice. I had found the school that would bring me back to the excitement that I had for reading and writing and words in general- one that has been with me since I was a child.


I was reintroduced to the passion that I had for words, for writing, for digging deeper and wanting to know more about the space around me. I found again the love I had for school, one that had vanished on Interstate 95, somewhere between Westchester, N.Y., and Jacksonville. I have seen that I can learn and experience just as much in two years as in the four that I felt were lost.


Winning the Patterson Scholarship is an additional voice telling me that I can accomplish the goals that I have set in front of me, as long as I continue to work toward them. It is an award, of which I humbly accept, that gives me more room to grow. More than that, it is another nod of encouragement that I needed to pull me further into this world of words that I love so much.


What winning the Steve J. Boroweic Memorial Scholarship means to me

By Cassidy Alexander

Junior, Department of Communication


Cassidy Alexander HeadshotCassidy Alexander wrote stories, laid out pages and gained valuable experience while an intern at her hometown newspaper, the West Volusia Beacon.


In the MMC 3105-Advanced Writing for the Media classroom on the first day of summer session, seated behind a not-so-protective wall of Macs, I wasn't sure what to expect. My professor - only my second communication professor - paced around the classroom, occasionally pausing for effect and staring into my soul.


I didn't know that after the summer and only one year at UNF, I'd have found a mentor, an internship, a scholarship and a renewed eagerness to get involved in the field of journalism.


My name is Cassidy Alexander. I'm a 19-year-old journalism major also hoping to double-major in graphic design, with a minor in creative writing if I can swing it.


In addition to taking classes, I write for The Spinnaker, and this summer I was fortunate enough to get an internship with my hometown newspaper, the West Volusia Beacon. In just one year, I've learned more about journalism than I would have expected after only taking a few pre-requisite classes. That's what I love about UNF: If you have the initiative and the skills, they don't make you wait. You can jump right in as a freshman and start learning on your feet. What you get in the classroom is not the only way to learn.


Aside from continuing to write for The Spinnaker, this year I am going to be a learning community assistant for the Honors freshman dorm, helping them build their community. And this semester, I apply to UNF's limited access graphic design program.


I try to engage in activities that will better my communication skills outside of my degree. I'm studying graphic design to enhance my visual communication skills and working for UNF Housing to better my professional and personal skills.


Winning the Steve J. Boroweic Memorial Scholarship will help me to continue to better myself. The scholarship is peace of mind for me, as it allows me to concentrate on my studies and get a jump start on my future. I can continue to further my education, and by extent myself, because of this scholarship.


I know I'm young, but one of the biggest things I've learned from UNF is that my age doesn't matter. I'm given every opportunity to succeed in any number of ways. Winning the scholarship is just another example of that.