Anand Varghese (1st Quarter, 2006)

1st Quarter, 2006
Communications Scholarship Winner
Anand Varghese

Anand, originally from India, came to the United States in 2005 after completing his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, English Literature, and Psychology.

“One of my biggest passions is playing and listening to music. I was part of a rock band in India called Zebediah Plush, and have recorded and released a demo (2003) and an independently-released album (2006) with them. My other hobbies include traveling, creative writing, reading, bad punning, and staggering feats of gastronomical excess.”

A Portion of Anand’s Winning Essay:

Anand Varghese
Anand Varghese

My pursuits in the area of journalism have taken meandering paths in the years since I finished high school. After an ill-fated turn towards an education in engineering, I soon found that my real passion lay in the crafting of the written word. Journalism, a field that allows me to meld that passion with my deep interest in matters of culture, art and politics, was the obvious career choice. It is my sincere belief that any opportunities I can seize in my endeavors are not to be passed up. The StraightForward Media & Communications Scholarship represents just such an opportunity.

To explain the contributions I intend to make towards the media world, it will be useful to elaborate on my current academic achievements, further educational goals, and relevant career experience. In the year 2002 I began my undergraduate education at Christ College, Bangalore, India. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, English Literature, and Psychology from there in May 2005. I moved to the United States in July of 2005 hoping to enroll in Arizona State University, Tempe as a graduate student in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. However, I am required to continue in an undergraduate program to upgrade my current degree to a four-year equivalent in order to be eligible. I am currently enrolled in South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, completing some required general studies before I apply to the Walter Cronkite School to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication.

All throughout my college education, I have set high academic goals for myself and have worked very hard to meet them. After graduating with commendable grades from India, my current grade point average stands at 4.0, and I have been included in South Mountain Community College’s President’s List for the Fall semester of 2005. I also have extensive plans for my higher education. I hope to graduate with my undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in the Fall of 2007, after which I intend to move on to a graduate program. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers an excellent Masters program in Mass Communication, and I plan to continue there as soon as I complete my Bachelor’s degree. I also mean to continue beyond a graduate program, since this will give me a solid academic foundation from which to launch my hopes of working in the press, and further, as an educator in this field.

My aspirations for my career in journalism are two-fold. Along with my deep love of writing, I also enjoy music a great deal. With a view to combine these two interests, I plan to pursue a career in Music Journalism. During my undergraduate studies in India, I was involved in a summer internship with The Music Magazine (, an online music magazine. I wrote several album reviews, covered local events and interviewed local artists. Since January of this year, I have been contributing to another online publication Split Magazine (www. with similar material. Since January 2006 I have also been the entertainment editor of South Mountain Community College’s newspaper, South Mountain Horizon. These experiences have given me valuable training in the field of music journalism, providing me with a solid grounding in the work ethic demanded of a journalist, while stimulating my interest in the field.

After exploring the field of Music Journalism, my next goal is to continue as an educator in this discipline. Having been raised by two educators on the campus of a college, I have grown up with a deep respect for, and intimate understanding of, the academic world. India is a country with a vibrant press and active democracy, with highly competent, enthusiastic youngsters who find more and more opportunities in this sphere of human endeavor. This trend represents great potential and great need. Equipped with academic credentials and experience in the press, I hope to contribute to this area of need. I have always regarded teaching as my vocation, and reaching my career and academic goals will take me closer to fulfilling this calling. The role an educator plays in the molding of young professionals is a world-changing one.

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