Journalists Harvey Aronson and Irene Virag established this scholarship in 2013 to inspire students to recognize and respect the special place narrative writing has in the world of journalism and to nurture their writing and story-telling talents. It is awarded to a junior or senior student who excels in long-from narrative writing and who shows exceptional talent, dedication and promise. It is open to journalism majors and minors. The winner will receive $1,000 toward tuition at Stony Brook University. Graduating seniors also are eligible for this award.
Aronson and Virag have taught in the School of Journalism since its founding in 2006. Together, they teach Introduction to Narrative Journalism and Magazine Writing and are known for nurturing the talents of young writers.
They have worked together for more than 30 years, having met and eventually married while working at Newsday, where he was a feature writer, columnist, editor and writing coach, and she was a feature writer, garden writer and Home and Garden Editor. Aronson is the author of seven books, both fiction and non-fiction. He edited five Newsday books and shepherded a package on the Baby Jane Doe case that was the centerpiece of Newsday’s 1986 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. Virag won that Pulitzer Prize as a member of the Newsday team that covered Baby Jane Doe, an infant with spina bifida, and the political struggle over her treatment. She has been a Pulitzer finalist in feature writing and explanatory journalism, is a 10-time winner of the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award, and is the author of two books. Both have written extensively for a range of magazines.