Carol Chernow Memorial Scholarship

Kevin Matyi, the 2017 Carol Chernow Memorial Scholarship recipient, with his family and Dean HowardSchneider.

Kevin Matyi, the 2017 recipient, with his family and Dean Howard Schneider.

Former Stony Brook Senior Vice President of Administration Barbara Chernow and her husband, William Farber, pledged $25,000 in 2013 to establish The Carol Chernow Memorial Scholarship in Journalism. The gift endows a scholarship to support the development of young writers – a life-long goal of the late Carol Chernow’s professional career.

The Chernow scholarship is available to a qualifying full-time student enrolled in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University. The recipient must demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in journalism with a demonstrated talent and interest in writing and language.

Carol Chernow, mother of former SBU Senior Vice President Chernow, was a Brooklyn-born New Yorker, educated at Brooklyn College, who taught several subjects and grade levels in New York City public schools in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Along with her husband, Fred Chernow – a New York City school principal, administrator, author and motivational speaker – Carol Chernow wrote several books on classroom teaching procedures and discipline, some of which remain in use today. However, it was literature, writing and teaching effective communication to a diverse group of children and adults that became her eventual focus and passion.

Chernow believed that one powerful way to open doors and promote equal opportunity was to equip all individuals with better language skills. Beginning in 1963 with the publication of “Reading Exercises in Black History,” she turned her energies to both teaching and creating practical educational resources for individuals in various communities. She held that race, ethnic background, economic status, birth language or prior educational experience must not be barriers to learning effective communication in English for any of her students. In addition, Chernow realized that those differences offered educators the opportunity to create and utilize innovative material targeted at developing better language skills, reaching and engaging more students.

“My mother believed that effective communication skills – whether through the spoken word or on paper – were the first, best tools for anyone wishing to be successful in today’s world,” recalled Senior Vice President Chernow. “She said that people judge you on how well you speak and how well you write. This was the basis of her approach to teaching, and you could call it her affirmative action plan for her students.”

“What some people forget,” says Dean Schneider, “is that even in the age of YouTube, good writing is the key to good journalism, no matter how that journalism is delivered. The Chernow scholarship will be invaluable in helping to us nurture that idea.”

2019 recipient – Fernando Acevedo

Previous recipients

2013 – Christine Powell
2014 – Jonathan Winkler
2015 – Joanna Tavares
2016 – Kyle Barr
2017 – Kevin Matyi
2018 – Mahreen Khan