Fred Rogers scholarships go to 3 students

June 7, 2009 5:31:20 PM PDT
Three college students have received scholarships for their work on children's media projects honoring the spirit of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" host Fred Rogers. Alexis Lauricella of Georgetown University, Mayuran Tiruchelvam of Columbia University and Thy Than of the University of California, Los Angeles, are the recipients of the scholarships presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation and the firm of Ernst & Young.

Each student received a $10,000 award and will be assigned TV academy mentors to work with them through the school year. They were honored at a ceremony that included Rogers' widow, Joanne Rogers.

"These individuals have demonstrated a commitment that truly reflects the values, creativity and spirit of Fred Rogers," said Nancy Steingard, co-chair of the Television Academy Foundation education committee.

Fred Rogers, who died in 2002 at age 74, was the soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing host of "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" for more than 30 years. The show still airs on public television stations.

Lauricella, of Washington, D.C., is working on a project exploring the relationship between children's media use and learning, the academy said. Tiruchelvam, of New York, will use his scholarship to develop live-action short film and animated series.

Than, of Santa Monica, plans to create an animated short about a girl who moves to a new country with her family.

The foundation and its children's programming peer group also recognized Josh Selig, founder and president of Little Airplane Productions. Selig received the Innovation Award for creating imaginative film and TV programs for youngsters, including Noggin's "Oobi!"

The foundation, founded as the charitable arm of the TV academy, provides educational and archival services.


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