LAS VEGAS (AP) - Miss District of Columbia Ashley Boalch has been awarded the Miss America pageant's first journalism scholarship in the name of late Associated Press writer John Curran.
The $1,000 scholarship to the University of Maryland student was announced during a non-televised portion of the competition Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The scholarship goes to a non-finalist studying journalism. The 23-year-old Boalch will seek a master's degree in communication.
Pageant officials established the scholarship in Curran's honor after he died of a heart attack in September at his home in Vermont at age 54. He covered the Miss America pageant for more than a decade as AP's Atlantic City, N.J., correspondent.
The pageant originated in Atlantic City and moved in recent years to Las Vegas.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)