Viviana Smith, champion of voices, receives 2024 Betty Endicott Scholarship

Viviana Smith, champion of voices, receives 2024 Betty Endicott Scholarship

George Mason University communication student Viviana Smith’s passion for journalism is evident from the moment you meet her. Along with maintaining excellent grades, she serves as the co-editor-in-chief of Fourth Estate, George Mason’s student-run newspaper, and works as a news anchor and camera operator for Mason Cable Network—roles that showcase the exceptional qualities that make her a worthy recipient of the 2024 Betty Endicott Scholarship.

Each year, the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS-NCCB) awards the Betty Endicott Scholarship to full-time undergraduate or graduate students studying for a career in communications and/or broadcast journalism. Students from schools in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., are eligible to apply. As a 2024 recipient, Smith was honored at the NATAS-NCCB 66th Emmy Awards on June 22.

“We’re proud to provide these scholarships to budding communications and media professionals,” said NATAS-NCCB chapter president Adam Longo. “These young students are academically talented, tuned in to the challenges and opportunities in our industry, and well on their way to making meaningful contributions to the work Capital Emmy Chapter members do daily,” he added.

Smith says she aspires to become a journalist to bring important stories to light, empower the underrepresented, and create positive change. She attributes her success to the strong support from her professors and family.

David Miller, senior communication instructor and media production and criticism coordinator, says Smith's diverse portfolio of classwork, media production projects, and enthusiastic involvement with student media make her stand out as someone willing to work hard in a competitive industry.

Smith also credits communication instructor Brenna Maloney for playing a crucial role in her development as a journalist. Maloney shared that she believes that “[Viviana] has the heart and drive, intelligence, and work ethic to be a great journalist.”

Integral to Smith’s development were her experiences at the Fourth Estate, where advisor and communication instructor Kathryn Mangus and former editor-in-chief Erica Munisar, BIS ’24, played pivotal roles. “Kathryn and Erica pushed and supported me to be a great writer and editor, even when it was hard,” Smith recalls.

In addition to her journalistic pursuits, Smith previously held the role of social media chair for Students Helping Honduras. In her application letter to the Betty Endicott Scholarship, she expressed her dedication to being a voice for the overlooked and underrepresented, highlighting her journey and her communication major’s role in equipping her with invaluable skills.

Smith believes in the power of words and the importance of providing a platform to those who have been deprived of one. This belief is at the core of why she opted for journalism and strives to excel in her field. Her vision is clear: to be a voice for the voiceless and to make a difference in the lives of those she seeks to represent. The NATAS-NCCB agrees with that vision.

“My work doesn’t stop here,” Smith said. “If anything, this is a sign that I must keep growing in this profession.”