A 1994 graduate of the University of Arizona journalism program has endowed a scholarship in the name of Steve Emerine, a mentor and friend who had a long career in journalism and politics in Tucson and taught UA journalism students over the course of four decades. Emerine died Feb. 13, 2009, at age 73.
Kimberly Kayler, who now owns a public relations firm in the Columbus, Ohio, area, said Emerine served as a mentor to her during her student years, early career and especially when she was launching her business -- Constructive Communication, Inc., -- in 2001. Kayler also is the co-author of a handbook for marketing and business development professionals.
Friends of Emerine’s raised about $5,000 shortly after his death to start a scholarship in his name at the School of Journalism, according to Kate Harrison, senior program coordinator in the school. Several students have received awards, but those funds would have been exhausted in the next two to three years, since the scholarship was not endowed.
Kayler’s $10,000 gift enables the school to endow the scholarship, meaning the interest it accrues will be awarded to students in perpetuity. Kayler said the scholarship will support journalism majors with an interest in public affairs reporting and/or media relations.
“Steve recognized the contributions PR professionals play in the news industry and he believed they should be held to the same journalistic standard and ethics as reporters,” Kayler said. “This scholarship will help students interested in pursuing a career in public affairs or media relations and it is a great tribute to all Steve did for the profession.”
In the course of his career, Emerine held posts at the Tucson Citizen, the Arizona Daily Star, in county government, and at the University of Arizona. At the time of his death, he operated a private consulting business, wrote a weekly column for Inside Tucson Business, and was a regular guest on KUAT-TV’s “Friday Roundtable” and on the “John C. Scott Show” on KVOI-AM.
Emerine started as a night police reporter for the Tucson Citizen. After he left the Citizen, he was elected Pima County assessor, but returned to journalism to hold posts ranging from interim sports editor to managing editor at the Arizona Daily Star. Emerine also was co-owner of the Green Valley News and in the late 1980s and early 90s he was the associate director of news services at the UA.