2017 Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Contest Winners Announced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 1, 2017) – National Society for Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation (NSNCEF) has announced the winners of the 2017 Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Contest to recognize the outstanding work of aspiring journalists.

The NSNCEF has awarded the first prize to Archer Parquette. Parquette will receive a $1,500 scholarship and will be a guest at the annual convention of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 8-11.

Parquette is a junior at Boston College, majoring in English and Political Science. His submissions from The Boston College newspaper, The Heights, gained recognition from award-winning columnist and contest judge Rochelle Riley, who notes, “Someone must eventually replace Dave Barry, the renowned humor columnist whose musings in The Miami Herald entertained the nation for a long time. Archer Parquette could be the guy. As this year's first-place winner, Parquette simply wowed me. [He] did what great columnists do: offer something well-written and funny that is still about something.”

Second-prize winner Danny Bugingo, a sophomore majoring in English and French at the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho and writer for The Argonaut, is recognized by Riley as a student who “writes beyond his years and if he so chooses, will be a fine addition to any media operation that wants to offer readers cogent commentary about a variety of subjects.” Bugingo will receive a $250 scholarship.

The Daily Orange columnist Gene Wang is the third-prize winner. Wang is a junior majoring in public relations at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Riley regarded Wang’s offering as “well-reported commentary that is important to him, and that he makes important to readers.” He will receive a $100 scholarship.

The Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Program is an annual contest for college newspaper columnists provided by the NSNCEF and made possible through the generous support of Jeanne Phillips aka Dear Abby.
Media Contacts:

Julie Halper
Andrews McMeel Syndication

Mike Leonard
National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation

About National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation

Founded in 2003, the NSNCEF is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation [501(c)3] devoted to the education and training of new and experienced columnists.

The core mission of the foundation is to foster training opportunities for columnists and others interested in column writing. The foundation works with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and others to serve as a training tool for aspiring and published columnists in all media. It has a special emphasis on assisting college columnists.

About Dear Abby
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, whose career as an advice columnist began at age 14. As she helped her mother answer incoming letters from advice-seeking teens, Phillips discovered that she truly loved the work. She wrote for the column behind the scenes until December 2000, when Pauline Phillips recognized Jeanne Phillips as co-creator of Dear Abby and officially retired.

With a worldwide readership of more than 110 million, Dear Abby has a devoted following who wouldn't dream of starting each day without her. The most widely syndicated columnist in the world and a true household name, Dear Abby is well-known for sound, compassionate advice, delivered with the straightforward style of a good friend.

Phillips is one of the few laypersons to be granted a prestigious Life Consultant membership in the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), an organization of nationally respected psychiatrists dedicated to shaping psychiatric thinking, public programs and clinical practice in mental health. In addition, Phillips sat on the Board of Judges for the Talbots Charitable Foundation Women's Scholarship Fund, as well as the Advisory Boards of the National Alzheimer's Association, the Children's Rights Council, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Kidney Foundation.

She has received awards from the National Office of Drug Policy, the American Academy of Dermatology for excellence in public education of dermatology issues, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Overeaters Anonymous and the national Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program. She is the recipient of the 2015 Proxmire Award for leadership in public awareness of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and the Hearing Loss Association of America's 2015 Walter T. Ridder Award. In 2007, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) honored Phillips with the Straight for Equality Award for her support of equality.