Ackerman-Nicholson Fund

The Ackerman-Nicholson Fund assists Earlham College graduates who desire and merit advanced study in journalism or public affairs.

This award was established by a bequest from Carl W. Ackerman '11. Carl Ackerman, a charter member of the Earlham Press Club, served as a war correspondent during World War I and was dean of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Ralph W. Nicholson '20, also a member of the Earlham Press Club, served as Alumni Trustee 1948-1951, and was owner and publisher of the New Orleans Item.

The Graduate Fellowship Committee administers this award, available only to Earlham graduates.

Who May Apply

Seniors and graduates of Earlham College who desire and merit advanced study in journalism or public affairs. Public affairs, for the purpose of the Ackerman-Nicholson award, is defined as work in the public sphere to develop and influence public policy, including government relations, information and communications, public administration, and issue management. Degrees that might be sought include public policy, public administration, public health, international relations, political science, economics, social services, education leadership, urban planning, or law. Subfields of study may include non-profit management, public finance and budgeting, city management and urban policy, information and technology management, and policy management.

Eligibility Limitations

Seriousness of purpose, qualifications, academic record and recommendations. Any Earlham College senior or graduate of the last seven years is eligible.

Award Description and Duration

The minimum award is $15,000. Funds are to be used within two years for graduate study tuition, fees and books.

Application Requirements and Deadline

Applicants should prepare:

  • A cover letter detailing your graduate school plans and your professional goals.
  • A writing sample related to your planned area of graduate study. (3 news articles or a 5– to 10-page paper).
  • A resume or curriculum vita.
  • Your undergraduate transcript. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. These can be accessed through TheHeart.
  • Three references who can speak to your character and scholarship. For Earlham references, we need only their contact information. For non-Earlham references, please ask them to submit a letter of recommendation to or the following address: 

    Center for Integrated Learning
    ATTN: Ackerman-Nicholson
    Earlham College
    801 National Road West
    Richmond, IN 47374

Please prepare and submit all of this information in the following way:

  1. Log in to TheHeart. If you are an alum, you may need to request an account.
  2. Under the "Campus Life" or "Alumni" tab, click the link to Symplicity. If you are not automatically logged in to Symplicity, please contact the CIL at and request a Symplicity account.
  3. In Symplicity, click the "Job, Internship, & Service Opportunities" tab, search for the Ackerman-Nicholson, and click "Apply" to get started. (Note: You will need to have a resume uploaded to the system in order to begin the application process. Do this under the "Documents" tab.)

The 2015 deadline has passed. The 2016 deadline will be in early February.


In April, shortly before Earlham's annual Awards Convocation.


  • 2015 Jihan Abdalla, Gerald Sowah, Rosalyn Endlich, Bunyodjon Tusmatov
  • 2014 Yasas Wickramasinghe, Silviano Valdez, Nicole Vargas
  • 2013 Charlotte-Anne Malischewski, Shanoz Aqnaznarbekova, Liyuan Wang
  • 2012 Pablo Hernandez-Romero '12, Amanda Penrod '09,
               Nyantara Wickramasekera '11 and Anna McCormally '12
  • 2011 Maria Alex Vaikath '11, Chelsea Smith '11 and Jesus Jimenez '11
  • 2010 Nadira Khudayberdieva '10
  • 2008 Christopher Richmond '08
  • 2007 Katie Carter '07 - English and Politics
  • 2005 Brian Bennett '05 - English
  • 2003 Ranjit Jose '03 - Sociology/Anthropology
  • 2002 Sarah Hampton '02 - Photography
  • 2002 Liv Leader '02 - Peace and Global Studies
  • 2002 Shuruq Harb '02 - Philosophy

Have a Question Regarding this Fellowship?

Hetrick -Judi
Judi Hetrick
Assistant Professor of Journalism

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