The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Department of Journalism at the University of Connecticut has created a fund for a scholarship award honoring former journalism professor and pre-journalism advisor Terese “T.C.” Karmel who passed away last December.
The Terese Aronoff Karmel Award for Sports Journalism is aimed at supporting undergraduates majoring in journalism and exhibiting quality work in the field of sports journalism, according to a page on the UConn Foundation website.
The award was started by Karmel’s family and her friends and colleagues in the journalism department in order to recognize all the work and help Karmel has offered to UConn, according to Maureen Croteau, head of the Department of Journalism.
“When she died, it was only natural for us to want to do something to keep her memory alive because she is very special to us,” Croteau said. “[The award was made] to also honor students who excelled in a field that mattered so much to her.”
Karmel was a sports writer herself for the Hartford Courant and a beat reporter for UConn sports. She also wrote a paperback on the UConn championship winning women’s basketball team. She additionally wrote feature articles on horse racing and teaching journalism courses at UConn. She was also an editor and feature writer for the Willimantic Chronicle, and she had worked for several other newspapers, according to a Facebook post made by her brother, Martin J. Aronoff.
“Terese was an excellent writer with a passion for whatever sport she was covering – be it baseball, basketball or horseracing,” Steven Wisensale, a UConn Human Development and Family Studies professor, said. “She wrote a story about my baseball course that was published in the New London Day. It captured both my course and Terese’s personality perfectly and I will forever cherish that story.”
Wisensale said that Karmel had a positive influence with her colleagues, her friends and her students, according to Wisensale.
“Terese was a great friend who truly cared about those she got to know, particularly her students,” Wisensale said. “What I miss most is her wonderful personality that was a perfect blend of humor and genuine frankness.”
Karmel served as an inspiration and supporter for students who wanted to become sports journalists over her course as a UConn instructor.
One of her former students, Antonio Salazar, expressed gratitude toward all the help Karmel provided to him when he was a student at UConn.
Salazar works as a digital editor with NBC Sports Regional Networks. He gives credit to Karmel for playing a significant role in helping him find a career in sports journalism.
“T.C. had a major impact on my journalism career. As the only journalism professor who really focused on sports,” Salazar said. “I learned from T.C. to have an appreciation for all sports not just the most popular ones. This came in handy when I had the chance to cover speed skating during the Olympics, even though it was a sport I knew very little about.”
Another one of Karmel’s alumni, Joe Burns, said he valued Karmel’s work and advice when he was under her tutelage for several classes. He said that he changed his career path after having her as his instructor.
“T.C. didn’t just make an impact on my journalism career, she made it completely,” Burns said. “I immediately fell in love with sports writing and journalism and continued to take classes with T.C.”
Burns looked up to Karmel as a great sports writer, as he followed her lead to become a sports journalist for the Hartford Courant.
“I gained so much appreciation for the work and sports in general, just by seeing her passion for it,” Burns said. “She didn’t write for attention, adoration or anything else besides the simple fact she loved the game, baseball most of all.”
Some of Karmel’s friends, peers and alumni have expressed appreciation for the scholarship award project.
“I was very happy when I heard that T.C. was going to have a scholarship in her honor. During my time at UConn, T.C. helped me receive a couple of scholarships that were a major help to my career,” Salazar said. “I am sure she would’ve been ecstatic to hear a scholarship for sports journalism will be associated with her name.”
The Department of Journalism is currently accepting monetary gifts towards the journalism fund for the award. Gifts can be made on the UConn Foundation website under projects of the CLAS.
“I can’t think of a better way to recognize Terese’s legacy than to honor her through a scholarship named for her. It’s a wonderful gesture on the part of UConn,” Wisensale said.
Jude Infante is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.