Past Scholarship Winners

Stu Tinney, founder of the original Striper magazine and tournament series that enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1980s, is the primary benefactor of the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. His donation of $25,000 at the 2013 conference is restricted for the sole purpose of providing this scholarship for hands-on experience. Tinney established the award to honor his late wife, Lindsay Sale-Tinney, who was passionate about the outdoors, animals, children, photography and education. 

Through 2022, the scholarship was used to subsidize attendance of an aspiring young outdoor communicator at the annual Southeastern Outdoor Press Association conference. In 2023,OJEFA is kicking it up a notch by increasing the number of winners for 2024 and allowing the winners to choose from a pre-approved list of outdoor writer conferences and events like the BASSMASTER Classic or an in-person wildlife photography workshop. The winners can ask for consideration of other opportunities more closely aligned with their particular areas of interest.

2022 – Lindsey Lucas

Lindsey Lucas learned about the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award while attending a writers camp at Bait N’ Thangs located on Lake Washington in Chatham, MS. Lindsey was there to receive the Legends 2022 Rising Outdoors Promoter Award and the then-president of SEOPA-OJEFA Mike Giles and SEOPA member Tim Huffman were there as freelance outdoor writers.

They immediately recognized that Lucas had talent beyond her years and a natural affinity for all things outdoors. Her desire to combine the two made her a perfect candidate for the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award.

In her application essay, Lucas wrote, “My long term goals include pursuing a career as an outdoor writer and using the stories of my outdoor adventures to inspire people of all ages to step outside their comfort zones and try new outdoor adventures. I especially hope to inspire young ladies.”

At just 16 years old, Lucas is already a featured columnist with CrappieNow and has appeared on several television shows, including “Outdoor Viglantes,” “Living the Dream Outdoors TV,” and “MNP Outdoors.”

2021 – Amy Cawley

Amy Cawley’s resume reads like that of someone twice her age. In addition to being involved in more than a dozen extracurricular activities in 2020, Cawley shoots, writes, volunteers, and maintains a social media presence across all platforms. Her enthusiasm for all she does jumped off the pages of her application for the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award, winning her a scholarship to experience the 2021 SEOPA Fall Conference in Daniels, WV, which was delayed until June of 2022.

After mulling over several career paths, Cawley “stumbled upon” the world of competitive shooting. She had a modicum of trapshooting experience but found her passion when she expanded her efforts to skeet and sporting clays. Sharing her journey with the world soon followed. Cawley created an Instagram page to highlight her shooting journey (@HerShootingJourney). “I realized quickly that I had found a sense of purpose, and I now had direction towards working in social media, Cawley said. “I love the analytical side of it, along with the process of going out to shoot, capturing new content, coming up with captions, and finding new ways to engage my growing following.”

Cawley is a contributor to Junior Shooters Magazine, a member of the National Honors Society, and is seeking a major in Business/Digital Marketing with a minor in Communications at Midland University in Fremont, NE.

2020 – Devin Kidd

Devin Kidd of Printer, KY, is the recipient of the 2020 Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. Kidd was humbled by the news of his accomplishment. “When I got the call informing me that I had been chosen to receive the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award, it was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Kidd said. “To say that I consider this an honor is an understatement, it’s a blessing.”

Kidd’s high school English teacher, Melissa Caudill said, “I loved reading his work. Now, all these years later, I am so very proud that he is still writing and that he has combined his gift for writing with one of the things he is most passionate about:  the great outdoors!” Ms. Caudill went on to say how much Devin loves and respects nature and loves to hunt, fish, and hike. “Growing up in Appalachia, Devin found joy and solace in connecting to the outdoors,” she said. “When I first found out that his writing may be published, I was so proud, but I wasn’t surprised. Devin has always had a drive to succeed, even as a young man in high school. That drive has only increased, as he has gotten older.”

In closing, Kidd said, “I’m thankful to be a small part of a group making such a huge difference in our outdoor culture and in preserving its heritage. I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to meet individuals from all walks of life who share my passion and who work within the realm of outdoor communications daily. I plan to use this opportunity to learn, grow and hopefully take the next steps toward my lifelong dream of having a career within the outdoor communications industry.”

2019 – Serena Juchnowski

Serena Juchnowski, was a junior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, studying marketing and English, when she received the 2019 Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. Serena found her passion in hunting and competitive shooting while in middle school and high school.

While she had dreamed of being a writer and photographer, it wasn’t until a chance encounter with longtime SEOPA member John Phillips (he called to ask permission to use a photo of her) that Serena discovered her aspirations could become reality. Phillips mentored her and she now has dozens of credits in Junior Shooters Magazine, Gunpowder Magazine, NRA Family Insights Magazine and more. Serena had another chance meeting with yet another SEOPA member.

She met Josh Honeycutt, the 2012 recipient of the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award, while attending the 2019 SHOT Show. Honeycutt encouraged her to apply for the conference scholarship.

2018 – Collin Riley

Collin Riley, who was a rising junior at the University of North Dakota in 2018, earned the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award that year. Riley attended the SEOPA conference Florence, SC, where he met industry icons, attended seminars, and learnd about more about his options for a career in outdoor communications.  

Upon hearing the news of the award, Riley said, “I want to thank everyone who is a part of SEOPA for this unbelievable opportunity to grow and learn in my passions for the outdoors and outdoor communication. Having the honor of being chosen for the Lindsay Sale-Tinney award is a truly humbling experience that I was not expecting to achieve.”

Riley is pursuing a major in communications with a minor in biology. He is an avid hunter who loves trying to tell stories through written words, photographs and video. “When I first learned about the Lindsay Sale-Tinney award,” Riley said, “I was captivated by everything this award represents to me and every single aspiring outdoor communicator. I realized this award was so much more than going to a conference; this award gave me hope. It gave me this feeling that if I work hard enough and do everything in my power I can succeed in my hopes and dreams.” 

2017 – Angele Latham

Angele Latham was studying at Middle Tennessee State University when she applied for, and received Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. In Latham’s winning essay she mentioned growing up in rural Tennessee where her love of nature came easy. While exploring the trails and parks in her home state, she developed a special fondness for being outdoors. In addition to using her camera to capture her love of nature, she is an avid archer and has an interest in birds of prey.

SEOPA President at the time David Hawkins said, “Every industry needs young people to carry the torch for its future, and I’m so pleased that through OJEFA we’re able to help make that happen for the business of outdoors communications.”

2016 – Wade “WC” Hodges

Wade “WC” Hodges was a rising junior at Georgia Southern University when he was awarded the scholarship to attend the SEOPA conference in Lakeland, FL. “I applied for the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award because I saw it as a great opportunity to showcase my God-given talents to professionals in the industry,” Hodges said.

“By going to the conference, I hope to gain wisdom and knowledge from those at the top of the outdoor communications field while also establishing essential relationships that could help advance my career. I think this conference is a great chance for me to get my foot in the door and hopefully lead me to where I want to be. I am expecting to meet a lot of influential people while I am there and create friendships that will last a lifetime.” 

Then SEOPA President Gil Lackey said, “Our goal is to encourage young folks to pursue a career in outdoor media. It’s inspiring to watch the younger generation meet and learn from outdoors icons.” 

2015 – John David Santi

John David Santi the fifth recipient of the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award, was a student at the University of Mississippi when he was awarded the opportunity to attend the SEOPA conference on Lake Eufaula in Alabama. Josh Honeycutt, a previous award winner, presented the 2015 award to Santi during the recent SEOPA conference.

“Applicants for this scholarship must demonstrate a strong interest in a career as an outdoor communicator,” Honeycutt said. “I was fortunate to receive this award in 2012. Receiving it and attending the 2012 SEOPA Conference in Johnson City, TN, was the single most influential factor in kick starting my career. Since then, I’ve grown my freelance base to include approximately 50 reputable publications and websites including:  Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, North American Whitetail, Whitetail Journal, Game & Fish, Turkey Country, and more.”

Honeycutt went on to say that Santi’s essay spoke of how he hated to read as a child, but outdoor-related literature changed that for him. “Today, he owns 2,500 books with themes on the outdoors and he’s read all of them. Those stories cultivated a desire for the outdoors. That is why he and a friend started Team Renegade Outdoors, a group focused on sharing their outdoor adventures with others through video and social media.”

In his acceptance of this recognition, Santi noted that since receiving notification of the award, new doors had been opened to him and Team Renegade Outdoors. “We are striving to be the newest outdoor media company that connects specifically with the younger generation, our generation,” Santi said. “Renegade is defined as a person who deserts or betrays a set of principles and guidelines. Now, we aren’t saying we are breaking all the game and fish laws, but we are outlaws when it comes to breaking the paradigm in the outdoor world. We aren’t traveling to the most exotic hunting destinations or the best fishing hole in the world, but we want people to realize that anyone can get into the outdoors, be successful, and tell their stories just like us.”

2014 – Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly, a recent high school graduate, was selected to receive the fourth annual Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. Reilly is a well-versed outdoorsman from Palmyra, VA. He likes fly fishing, fly tying, spin fishing, archery, clay shooting, horseback riding, camping, camp cooking, hiking, orienteering, shooting, dog handling, reading water, boating, and anything else that entails being outdoors. In addition to being a skilled sportsman, he is a talented young communicator who likes the research, travel, and adventure parts of the job as much as the writing and photography itself.

At 15, Reilly won an essay contest sponsored by the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association. He began writing a weekly outdoor column for the Daily Progress a few months later and has since been published in multiple outdoor magazines. He also is a special contributor to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Outdoor Report.

As one of four nationally honored winners of the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development Essay Contest, Reilly traveled to Washington, D.C., per request of the Secretary of the Interior and several other national conservation leaders.  

Reilly graduated as an honor student at Fluvanna County High School attended Emory & Henry College. His blog and photography can be seen at

2013 – Nathaniel Samsel

Nathaniel Samsel, son of past SEOPA President Jeff Samsel, received the third annual Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. The younger Samsel said, “I have heard so many good things about past SEOPA conferences held at Lake Charles, and I can’t wait to experience that for myself! I think there are a lot of ways I will benefit from the conference, but probably the thing that I see myself benefiting from the most is the opportunity to meet and build relationships with so many people in the industry.”

At only 15, Samsel had already seen his work appear in two publications and was maintaining two blogs; one on the outdoors and one on music. He also has a YouTube channel where he offers instructional fishing videos.

The 2013 OJEFA Committee Chairman Paul Moore said, “Nathaniel is a very intelligent and personable young man. It has been a pleasure seeing him involved with SEOPA and outdoor media. He has already built quite a resume and seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his father’s prolific media career.”

2012 – Josh Honeycutt

Josh Honeycutt was the second recipient of the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. One of the judges said of Honeycutt, “I found his writing to be of a quality one would expect from a much more experienced and much older writer.” 

Honeycutt, who was a journalism student at the University of Kentucky at Glasgow at the time said, “Since my youth, hunting and fishing have always been the fuel that ignited my passion for the outdoors,” Honeycutt said. “Being an outdoor writer, it thrills me to know that I have been awarded such a prestigious scholarship.”

“As we outdoor communicators age with the rest of America, it is crucial that we reach out and attempt to bestow our reverence for the outdoors to younger generations,” said David Rainer, the 2012 conference chairman. “This is exactly what Stu Tinney had in mind with the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. Access to the vast experience and wisdom of our established communicators who make sure the up-and-coming writers feel welcome through hospitality and providing a pathway to advance their careers.”

2011 – Bryce Butner

2011 – When Bryce Butner was awarded the Lindsay Sale-Tinney award in 2011, he was studying Photojournalism and English Literature at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was one of six students selected to received grant to travel to Bristol Bay, AK, to film a documentary about the Pebble Mine controversy. Bryce served an associate online editor/producer for Tidal Fish and as an online communications intern with Trout Unlimited.

As an avid angler and talented communicator, Bryce was an online field report for North Carolina Sportsman Magazine. In 2009-2010 he contributed five monthly fishing reports, including photos, to for the Western North Carolina region. Bryce was an intern at WTVD in Durham, NC, and worked as fishing guide and workshop host at River’s Edge Outfitters.

Do you know an aspiring young outdoor communicator?

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