Statewide scholarship named after Mercyhurst's Professor Blystone

Jane Blystone, Ph.D., was recently surprised with the honor of having a scholarship named after her by the Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) during the Education Department’s monthly meeting.

Blystone is the director of graduate secondary education as well as an assistant professor of education at Mercyhurst. She has also been a journalism educator since 1973.

She received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Cedarville College, her master’s in education from Edinboro University, and her doctorate in English from Indiana University.

In addition to educating people about journalism Blystone has been an active member of the PSPA since 1983.
At the state level she has served as president four times, which is more than any other person in the history of PSPA, and she has been on the board for 28 years.

The PSPA decided to recognize her for her work during the past 30 years by providing a scholarship to high school seniors with journalism experience.

PSPA is honoring Blystone for her “decades of service and for helping thousands and thousands of Pennsylvania student journalists learn the trade.”

The scholarship winner becomes the Pennsylvania Student Journalist of the Year and recieves a $500 scholarship, and the winner competes for $5000 at the national level. Only one winner is permitted from each state in the national competition sponsored by the Journalism Education Association.

When asked what this honor means to her, Blystone replied, “It is a huge honor because I never worked to receive any honor.”

She said that her work was fun and never seemed to be difficult.

Blystone’s goal was to help advisers and students develop great journalism programs for their schools and to assist in being a “voice” for those who were being censored in their schools.

Blystone said, “As an advocate for the First Amendment, I believe student writing, if presented in a balanced manner, should not be censored.”

Blystone has had a great amount of experience in the journalism field and feels immense joy in helping young people become successful journalists.