McCaffrey scholarship supports scholars of emerging media at UNL

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Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 22, 2013 — A new scholarship has been created to support journalism students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln interested in using technology to chart a new path in media and media innovation.

UNL alumna Cindy Coglianese McCaffrey of San Francisco has been credited as the mind behind Google’s early marketing communications strategy and helped to develop a marketing and public relations model for start-up technology companies. In this spirit, she established the McCaffrey Emerging Media Scholarship Fund to assist enterprising students as they embark on the unknown world of emerging media.

The permanently endowed fund established with a gift of $100,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation will provide one or more annual scholarships for undergraduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications who have a second major, minor or concentration in computer science, informatics or another tech-related field.

Before McCaffrey’s time in Silicon Valley, where she helped launch the search engine Google into the worldwide phenomenon it is today, she graduated from UNL in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Now, she is giving back to students by providing them the opportunity to explore journalism and technology through her Emerging Media Scholarship.

Matt Waite, professor of reporting and digital product development at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, is excited for the support the scholarship will provide students.

“The journalism industry right now is changing so much, and it is technology at the core of those changes,” Waite said.

Waite believes this scholarship will not only have a positive impact on students, but also on the journalism industry.

“The future of journalism is at this intersection of technology and storytelling, and this scholarship seems to fit perfectly right there,” he said. “Elements of computer science and elements of programming are making their way into so many more disciplines than just computer science or information technology. The future is really in this creative application of computing resources on different disciplines, and a journalism student who is able to do that is going to have a huge advantage.”

James O’Hanlon, interim dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL, believes the scholarship will provide significant support for students preparing to work in emerging media.

“This gift from Cindy McCaffrey, herself a pioneer in emerging media through her work with Google, will provide an important incentive to students to explore the exciting developments in media underway today,” O’Hanlon said. “The college is most grateful to Ms. McCaffrey for this gift to its students.”

The gift of this scholarship also provides support to the university’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, and a priority to increase available student scholarship awards.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 77 years. In 2013, donors provided the university with $236.7 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. The foundation’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, has raised more than $1.5 billion for the university and concludes Dec. 31, 2014. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb Crouch, Senior Director of Public Relations, 402-458-1142,

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