CYPRESS, Calif. – June 3, 2009 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has named the recipients of its inaugural Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program. The University of Florida Chapter of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) will receive the chapter award, and Whitney Siegfried and Katherine Kuykendall, both ACT members from Purdue University, earned the individual scholarships. As recipients of the individual scholarships, both Siegfried and Kuykendall will also have the opportunity to serve as interns for Yamaha during the 2009 Ag Media Summit.
Yamaha’s new scholarship program was launched this year to provide financial assistance to members of the ACT, a national college student association with 354 registered members located on 17 college and university campuses across the country. ACT’s mission of fostering professional development is at the core of the new Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program.
As part of the application process, students were asked to incorporate important ATV and Side-by-Side (SxS) safety messages into practical communications pieces such as a feature story, brochure or press release. This part of the application was meant to show an example of the students’ quality of work, and also to seed safety messages that they can carry throughout their careers as professional communicators.
“Yamaha congratulates each of the recipients of our 2009 Yamaha-ACT Scholarship program, and we are proud to assist them in their pursuit of a career in agricultural communications,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV and SxS group marketing manager. “We hope that our application process allowed these ACT students to learn new lessons about safe, responsible off-road vehicle use. This is valuable information they can use throughout the professional and personal lives.”
“ACT is about providing students with practical opportunities to grow as future professional communicators, and Yamaha’s scholarship program fits right in with that purpose. To win, the students have to apply their communications skills—writing, design, and public relations. This year’s winners really showed some skill and talent, ” said Jeff Miller, professor of agricultural communications at the University of Arkansas and national adviser of ACT.
The Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program is broken out into two individual student scholarships and one chapter scholarship. All three scholarships are aimed at helping students attend the annual Agricultural Media Summit (AMS). As the largest gathering of crop and livestock media professionals in the country hosted by the Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) and the Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the AMS is the ACT’s primary career development networking opportunity for these students each year.
Applicants were judged based on merit, need and quality of submission materials by a review committee consisting of Yamaha employees; ACT faculty adviser and Associate Professor for Agricultural Communications at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Jefferson D. Miller; AAEA President Elect and Director of Communications at Iowa Soybean Association, Karen Simon; and Livestock Publications Council President and Senior Director at The American Quarter Horse Journal, Jim Bret Campbell.