Last week the winners of the 2017 Robert Vazquez IATSE 479 Scholarship were announced to the membership via email. The scholarships were officially bestowed to the winners at the April General Membership meeting by Vice President Whit Norris and Kathy Tonkin-Vazquez, wife of Robert “Bobby” Vazquez, for whom the scholarship is named. As announced last October, the scholarship was expanded to four prizes.
The winners of the 2017 Robert Vazquez Scholarship were:
Mariah Price – daughter of member Simeon Henderson*
Jamal Copeland – son of member Reginald Copeland
Carissa Oldknow – daughter of members Patrick and Michelle Oldknow
Luke Semones – son of member Ellen Semones
2017 Scholarship Essay
The Robert Vazquez scholarship provides $4,000 to a member, member’s spouse, son, daughter, grandchild or any child for which the member may be deemed to act as legal guardian. Candidates are challenged to write an essay on a topic, with a jury of selected readers.
This year the Scholarship Committee posed the question “What is the social impact of films and what do you feel is the main social/societal responsibility of the producing studio in all films it releases?”
This year’s winners have been collected together to be shared with our membership and the film community.
The members of the Scholarship Committee would like to thank everyone who submitted to the 2017 Scholarship Essay and to the selected jury members who contributed their time to read all of the submissions received. If your child did not win a scholarship this year please be aware that they can participate in subsequent competitions (previous winners may not participate again).
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* Mariah’s father accepted the scholarship on his daughter’s behalf
In August the Robert Vazquez IATSE 479 Scholarship Committee announced Essy Alberti as the winner of the 2015 Scholarship. Essy is daughter of member Fabrice Alberti and will be presented with the scholarship check on October 16th at our General Membership meeting. The Robert Vazquez scholarship provides $4,000 to a member, member’s spouse, son, daughter, grandchild or any child for which the member may be deemed to act as legal guardian.
In 2014 the Executive Board of IATSE Local 479 announced The Robert Vazquez Scholarship, which may be awarded to a member, a member’s spouse, son, daughter, grandchild or any child for which the member is deemed the legal guardian. The scholarship is currently a one time payment of $4000.
In 2013 Oz Magazine published the following memoriam at Bob’s passing:
“Born in Brooklyn New York, Bob Vazquez spent 22 years with the New Jersey State Department of Law and Public Safety, retiring with the rank of Chief of Special Operations. During his tenure, he worked with the NY and NJ Joint Bank robbery Task Force and was later assigned to many joint Federal details in and out of the United States. He attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Upon retiring from law enforcement Bob became involved in the motion picture industry, working as a technical advisor, stunt man and actor. After retiring from the Screen Actors Guild in 2008, he continued as a special effects supervisor for motion pictures. He was a member of IATSE local 479 since 1993, serving as president for the past 8 years. Bob worked over 75 motion pictures and TV series, and also produced one motion picture.
With his wife, Kathleen Marie Tonkin Vazquez (a third generation filmmaker), Bob owned and operated East Coast Films Inc. in Peachtree City, Georgia, a special effects company. He passed on May 25th, 2013 survived by his wife, his mother Mercedes Vazquez, his daughter Barbara Vazquez, his granddaughter Nadia Buer and his nephew Matt Mehring.”