A $500 prize for exceptional in-depth reporting by a non-traditional student is awarded each spring in memory of Jeanine A. Rescigno, an outstanding student journalist who died Jan. 24, 2011 in a car crash.
Before her death, Rescigno was a journalism major at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism, where she came to exemplify the best of Stony Brook journalism: passion, ambition, bravery and commitment to the highest standards of accuracy, honesty and fairness.
Jeanine had been an outstanding scholar and athlete in high school, but personal adversity, particularly the death of her mother in 1997, interrupted her academic pursuits. She went to work full-time as a bartender and helped raise her two younger brothers. Determined to earn a college degree, she eventually enrolled in Suffolk County Community College and transferred to Stony Brook University in the fall of 2009. Jeanine’s talent, work ethic, personal values and personality left a lasting impression on faculty members who had the good fortune to have her as a student. She was 29 years old and a junior, on schedule to graduate with the class of 2012.
Although her passion was sports journalism, Rescigno eagerly tackled complex topics wherever she found them – a health insurance contract dispute, a scientist who studies climate change, advances in classroom technology – and to report them thoroughly and clearly. To honor her commitment to exemplary journalism, this prize will be awarded for exceptional in-depth reporting on any topic and in any medium (print, online, multimedia, or broadcast).
To celebrate her courageous commitment to education in the face of major obstacles, eligibility for this prize is limited to “non-traditional” students, either journalism majors or minors, part-time or full-time, who demonstrate a passion for journalism, fearless and persistent reporting, and an enthusiasm for complex, in-depth stories. Non-traditional students may be non-traditional for one reason or any combination of reasons, among them age, life experience, financial challenges, family responsibilities, military service, illness, or any other major obstacle to academic advancement that the student has managed to overcome.
2016 recipient – Kristy Gerlett
2014 – Jimin Kim
2015 – Peter Dorr