Scholarships and Awards

Three students sit with color cards in front of a camera

Film & Media Studies offers departmental scholarships and awards to current students only. Incoming freshman and transfer students are not eligible for any departmental scholarships and awards until their second year with FMS. These students are encouraged to go to the KU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship (FAS) website to review other possibilities for financial aid.

Some of these scholarships may be used to provide funding for scholarships awarded by the University and may not be offered through the Department’s awarding process.

Our Scholarships and Awards

Mark Amin Scholarship*

Awarded to undergraduate and graduate students with academic merit and financial need. Preference will be given to students of Iranian descent and then to students of Arabian descent. Applicants must file a need analysis form by March 1.

Donald and Betty Dixon Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate and graduate students. Candidates must show evidence of academic merit.

Adah Clarke Hagan Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate and graduate students. Candidates must show evidence of excellence in both the academic and creative areas of film and media.

Claire Reinhold Scholarship

Awarded to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. Candidates must show evidence of academic merit.

Charles “Buddy” Rogers Scholarship*

Awarded to undergraduate and graduate film students who are U.S. citizens and are not on an athletic scholarship. Candidates must show evidence of financial need and excellence in both the academic and creative areas of film and media. Applicants must file a need analysis form by March 1.

Alexis and Craig Stevens Performing Arts Scholarship*

Awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who are studying the performing arts in the Department of Film and Media Studies. Candidates must show evidence of financial need. Applicants must file a need analysis form by March 1.

Women in Film Scholarship

Open to Undergraduate and Graduate women with demonstrated excellence in creative work in film and media studies Candidates must have a GPA of 3.7 in Department coursework and 3.5 overall and must show a commitment to pursuing a career in film and media, either studies or production.


* In order to be considered for departmental need-based scholarships, the Film & Media Studies deadline is March 1 for domestic students to have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or International students to have submitted a KU International Student Need Analysis.

Bernadette Robinson Scholarship (SOTA)

Awarded to talented and deserving students in the School of the Arts who maintain a high grade average.

Juanita B. Strait Scholarship (SOTA)

Awarded to one or more worthy female Fine Arts students selected by a committee of the School of the Arts at the University of Kansas. Candidates must have be a Kansas resident with at least average scholarship, coupled with a financial need.

Alumni Honor Citation

Awarded to a KU alum from the Department who has national and/or international prominence and has demonstrated continued significant contributions to his/her profession.

Award of Merit

Awarded to a person who has made a recent significant contribution to the Department. It is intended for a single instance, as opposed to continued service.

Loren Dolezal Community Service Award

Animator and filmmaker Loren Dolezal has been a lifelong supporter of the film industry in Kansas, and of education at the University of Kansas. Among his numerous credits (both for Centron Films and as an independent animator) are the book animation segments for the PBS series, Reading Rainbow, which he filmed at his studio in downtown Lawrence.

This award is given for outstanding service to the filmmaking community. ($)

The Bill Gilbert Award

Bill Gilbert was one of the leading rigging and lighting equipment specialists in Kansas. His screen credits include the films, Twister and Ride with the Devil. With his rental house "The Gilbert Group", he gave many of our students their first experiences and valuable mentorship in the professional world of film production.

The award recognizes excellence and enthusiastic participation in film production activities and classes in the Department of Film and Media Studies and goes to a student who is interested in pursuing a career in film production. ($)

The Mike Gunter Distinguished Service Award in Film

Mike Gunter was the technical and facilities manager at Oldfather Studios in the late 1990's, keeping the equipment side of the Department running for many years while also attending KU as a Master's student in Film. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Central Arkansas.

This award is given to recognize film students for outstanding service and dedication to the film area. ($)

Sherman Halsey Award

The purpose of the Sherman Halsey Award is to support students passionate about a career in Theatre and/or Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas, pursuing creative opportunities beyond the classroom; including but not limited to, study abroad, internships, travel to perform or attend performances, and/ or entrance fees to submit work to film festivals.

This award is shared with the Department of Theatre & Dance and given to each department on a rotating basis. ($)

Herk Harvey Outstanding GTA Award

Harold “Herk” Harvey broke into the film business as an actor in movies produced by the Centron Corporation. Centron was an independent industrial and educational film production studio located here in Lawrence and the former home of the Department of Film and Media Studies. Herk went on to become a film director and producer for 35 years, making over 50 industrial, educational, documentary, and government films. He is best known for directing the 1962 independent-slash-horror hit, Carnival of Souls which he produced in part here in Lawrence.

Awarded for excellence in teaching by a graduate teaching assistant in film who has maintained an outstanding academic record. ($)

Marilyn B. Heath Distinguished Service Award

Marilyn Heath provided over 40 years of distinguished service to our Department’s students, faculty, and staff before her retirement in 2013. Marilyn mentored administrative staff, supported the Department Chair, guided faculty through the Promotion & Tenure process, and performed her duties with an exceptional eye for detail while finding real joy in interacting with students. Her name is synonymous with distinguished service!

Given to honor staff and graduate students in the Department who demonstrate exceptionally dedicated service to the Department in a given year. ($)

Ben Krout Grip Awareness Award

Ben Krout was one of the many KU students mentored by Bill Gilbert. Ben is currently working in the Industry in Los Angeles as a rigging grip. His credits include the television shows Parks and RecUgly BettyWeeds, and The Goldbergs. (The amount Ben donates for this award is the base rate for one day's work for a union grip in Los Angeles.)

This award will recognize a student who is either interested in being a grip and/or has been working on projects as one. ($)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded to recognize important contributions in film and media studies in the span of a career.

Chris Martin Visual Effects Award

Chris Martin was an outstanding student in the Department in the early 2000's, working on developing his skills as a filmmaker while serving as president of KU Filmworks the student production club. He is now a successful visual effects supervisor on projects like Heroes (for which he won an Emmy Award), The Walking Dead, and Grey's Anatomy.

This award recognizes an undergraduate student who is pursuing the craft of Visual Effects. ($)

Mike & Lynette Robe Screenwriting Award 

Mike Robe is an award-winning screenwriter, director, producer and dedicated KU alumni. He has generously inaugurated this annual award in order to encourage and inspire talented screenwriters at KU. The winner will receive a cash prize of $3,500, feedback on their work from industry professionals, and have their screenplay read by a notable agency, film producer, or production company.

This award is highly competitive and only one student will receive the prize. Applications are sent out in the Fall semester via email. ($)


($) indicates monetary awards.


Scholarship applications are sent out by email early in the Spring semester. Recipients will be announced at our annual Student Recognition Ceremony and Tensie Awards in May.