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Education Scholarships

College juniors, seniors or graduate students from Central Illinois or attending a college or university in Central Illinois who are majoring in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing, graphic design, videography, photography or related fields are encouraged to apply for our Annual Educational Scholarship.

Scholarship recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to pursue a professional career in communications or a related field and service to the field through extracurricular or job activities.

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln (CFLL) administers the application process for the communications scholarship. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of judges.


The deadline for submitting applications is in March of each year.

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Madeline Sievers

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Erin Peterson

Scholarship Recipients

The Mid-Illinois Communications Association (MICA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2024 MICA Scholarship. This scholarship supports students majoring in communications, journalism, public relations, and related fields such as marketing, design, videography, and photography.


2024 recipients are:

  • Madeline Sievers: A senior at Illinois State University, majoring in Film and Digital Media. Sievers is entering her senior year at Illinois State University as a film and digital media major. She plans to continue to experiment with visual media, using film to highlight new ideas and inspire change.

  • Erin Peterson: A sophomore at Kansas City Art Institute, majoring in Animation and Graphic Design. Peterson is a sophomore at Kansas City Art Institute majoring in animation and graphic design. She studied integrated media design at Lincoln Land Community College and hopes to pursue a career as a graphic designer or animator, working to make accessible visual storytelling a reality while increasing representation of disabled women in the animation field.


The MICA Scholarship program highlights the Association's commitment to fostering talent and interest in the communications industry while investing in the educational pursuits of future professionals.


"We are thrilled to recognize Erin and Madeline for their dedication and potential in the field of communications," said Brandy Renfro, President of MICA. "Their impressive achievements and interest in the industry is exactly what we want to encourage through this scholarship program."


The scholarship was awarded based on academic excellence, commitment to a professional career in communications, and a demonstration of skills through educational work and extracurricular activities. Each winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship to support their continued education.


Shelby Hodel of Williamsville is the recipient of its $1,000 communications scholarship for 2023. Hodel is a public relations major at Illinois State University (ISU), where she maintains a 4.0 GPA and will be a senior in the fall.

Hodel serves as graphic design chair for the University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and as a communications assistant for ISU’s College of Education. Locally, she was active in the community as a summer intern for the Springfield Area Arts Council and served as the Public Relations Officer for the Gay-Straight Alliance while a student at Lincoln Land Community College.

Hodel wants to work in an industry that focuses on helping others. “I want to work somewhere that has a genuine impact, from helping people to simply making them smile or igniting inspiration,” she said. It is also important to her to share her passions for communications by mentoring others. 



Previous scholarship recipients:

  • 2023  Shelby Hodel, Williamsville, Illinois State University

  • 2022  Millie Dean, Illinois State University

  • 2021  Eunice Alpasin, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • 2020  Elizabeth Wood, Eastern Illinois University, and Calyssa Richie, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • 2019   Megan Crain, University of Nebraska

  • 2018  Emily Stieren, Western Illinois University

  • 2016  Mackenzie Lyons, Sherman, Western Illinois University

  • 2015   Katelyn Siegert, Pana, Eastern Illinois University

  • 2014   Chelsey B. Coombs, Heyworth, New York University

  • 2013   Lauren Murphy [Crocks], Harvel, Illinois State University

  • 2012   Morgan Davis, Columbia University

  • 2011   Jessie Decker, Springfield, University of Illinois Springfield



Interested in supporting our student scholarship?


Help us preserve the communications scholarship for future generations: please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Scholarship Fund:

  • Visit – Choose “Giving/Make a Donation” and “Donate Now” to donate online.

  • Mail your contribution to: Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln 205 South Fifth Street, Suite 530 Springfield, IL 62701 Be sure to indicate if your contribution is for Mid-Illinois Communications Association (formerly AWC), Communications Scholarship Fund.

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