Jo Caldwell Meyer Scholarship 

2021 Changes to the Applicant Review Process and Geographic Eligibility

by 2020-2021 WCA Board of Directors

As we embark on what we hope is a historical year of beneficial change – both in health as well as progress towards social and racial justice – WCA is looking in the mirror and working towards change from within. 

In the spring and summer of 2020, the WCA Board saw the need to recognize and address the lack of diversity within the organization across its leadership, programs and membership. As a first step in the direction of better supporting marginalized members of our professional community, the Diversity & Inclusion (DE&I) Task Force was formed, with the goal to seek more members, speakers and honorees with differences represented by race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, thinking style and background. The DE&I Task Force was also asked to ensure WCA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is clear, prominent, ongoing and part of the fabric of the organization.

In addition to our primary mission to create meaningful connections among communicators in Austin that accelerate careers, develop leaders, and foster friendships, WCA’s core nonprofit mission is to lift up the next generation of communicators. One of the largest ways in which we do this is by awarding the Jo Caldwell Meyer Scholarship each Spring. To honor our commitment to DE&I, we are applying our recently developed Task Force recommendations to our scholarship applicant review process. In addition, we are further defining the geographic eligibility for scholarship to answer the various geographic questions that have surfaced this year. 

2021 Changes to the Applicant Review Process

Beginning this year, WCA will install a blind review process for applicants, carrying forward recommendations for best practices by the DE&I Task Force to strip names that could potentially influence  a reviewer’s response to the rubric. 

Eligibility to Participate in Applicant Review: 

  • Any WCA board member, incoming WCA board member or WCA member whose immediate family applied for the scholarship in that same year may not serve on the Scholarship Selection Committee.
  • The Scholarship Selection Committee should not have any scholarship-related conversation with WCA board members or WCA members whose immediate family applied for the scholarship in that same year.
  • Any WCA board member whose immediate family applied for the scholarship in the same year will recuse themselves from the board vote to approve the scholarship dollar amount and quantity for that same year.

2021 Changes to Geographic Eligibility

Applicants must be enrolled in a Central Texas college or university. “Central Texas college or university” is defined as being located in the 10-county Capital region in Central Texas including Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson Counties.

Apply by March 31 for the 2021 Scholarship

The application deadline for the Jo Caldwell Meyer Scholarship has been extended to Wednesday, March 31. Make sure the promising young communication students in your life know about it and apply! The Scholarship is hyper-focused on communications students in Central Texas. That means for eligible students, the odds of earning it are greater than with broader scholarships.