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Frank Pellegrino awarded 14th Ann Devroy Memorial Fellowship

RELEASED: May 12, 2011

Frank Pellegrino with his parents
UW-Eau Claire senior Frank Pellegrino, center, was joined by his parents, Marie and Joe Pellegrino, at the Ann Devroy Memorial Forum May 4, where he was awarded the 14th Ann Devroy Memorial Fellowship. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Bill Hoepner)

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior Frank Pellegrino, Shorewood, has been awarded the 14th Ann Devroy Memorial Fellowship, presented annually to a UW-Eau Claire journalism student who shows exceptional promise and ability.

The fellowship includes a three-week residency at The Washington Post, a $1,400 scholarship to offset the costs of the residency and a summer internship at a Wisconsin newspaper. Pellegrino will work at The Post during his winter break in January 2012.

"I haven't been a journalist for very long, and having my professors acknowledge me in such a respectful manner is a really incredible thing and something I'm really proud of," Pellegrino said. "It confirmed for me that I'm doing what I should be doing in life."

Pellegrino added that this is also an honor for his parents, who supported him through many things, including a change in majors from accounting to journalism.

"I'm just really, really happy for my parents," he said, adding that they never second-guessed him. "This is some indication for them that their support for me is worth it."

Pellegrino has worked for UW-Eau Claire's student newspaper, The Spectator, for six semesters in positions of copy editor, showcase editor, sports editor, news editor, Student Senate reporter, managing editor and editor-in-chief. He said he plans to continue with The Spectator until he graduates in order to hone his writing skills. In the future, Pellegrino hopes to cover professional sports on a national level and potentially pursue opinion writing.

Dr. Michael Dorsher, associate professor of communication and journalism and adviser to The Spectator, said Pellegrino's accomplishments are especially notable because he is relatively new to the field.

"It's been remarkable the way he has developed so far so fast in journalism," Dorsher said, adding that Pellegrino has stepped up to try different types of journalism other than sports and has taken on management positions. "Frank is going to have a great future in journalism."

Pellegrino was awarded the fellowship at the Ann Devroy Memorial Forum held May 4. The event featured E.J. Dionne Jr., who is a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at Georgetown University.

Ann Devroy, a 1970 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, was a White House correspondent for more than 15 years. She joined The Post staff in 1985 and died of cancer in 1997 at the age of 49. Family, friends and colleagues honored her by establishing a fellowship and forum in her name at UW-Eau Claire through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

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BS/RD/AH

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