Two Florida university students have been awarded $1,000 each as the 2013 recipients of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association Scholarship for Outdoor Communicators.
The winners are Devan Coffaro, a junior radio/television major at the University of Central Florida Nicholson School of Communication; and Patrick Rynne, a Ph.D. candidate in applied marine physics at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
They were selected from among a record 25 entries for this year’s scholarship competition.
Coffaro is already a published writer in various outlets, an avid hunter and an accomplished tarpon tournament angler. She has been a production intern with the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series television show, and currently serves as secretary of the UCF Reel Knights student fishing club.
“Of all of the students I have taught in my 15 years at UCF, she is the one student who perfectly fits the description for this scholarship,” writes her faculty adviser, Christine Hanlon.
Rynne is the creator and director of The Waterlust Project, a compelling series of short, ocean-related films that explore how people relate to water for recreation, scientific research and creative inspiration. The videos have drawn hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
“As part of Waterlust, Patrick has established his own funding resources, recruited other members of the scientific community to participate, and coordinates a multitude of projects all over the world,” writes his faculty adviser, Ad Reniers. “It is his drive to innovate and his ability to communicate and manage resources that suggest to me that Patrick will continue to contribute great things throughout his career.”
Both recipients are expected to attend the FOWA annual conference in August and speak briefly at the awards banquet. In addition to their monetary award, each receives a one-year student membership award in the association to encourage their participation in association meetings and activities.