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Memorial bursary set up in honour of former journalist killed in Snowbirds crash

The Captain Jenn Casey Memorial Journalism Bursary will help cover the costs of a student at the University of King's College
051820 - jenn casey- news 957 - scott simpson
Jenn Casey in the NEWS 95.7 studio (Photo courtesy of Scott Simpson)

A memorial bursary has been established at the University of King's College in honour of a former journalist killed three months ago when a Snowbirds jet crashed in Kamloops, B.C.

The Captain Jenn Casey Memorial Journalism Bursary will help cover the university costs of a journalism student at the school.

Casey worked as an anchor and reporter at NEWS 95.7 and produced the radio station's The Rick Howe Show. 

After moving to Ontario, she was a news anchor and reporter for Quinte Broadcasting in Belleville before joining the Canadian Armed Forces, serving as a public affairs officer.

Casey graduated from King's with her Bachelor of Journalism in 2011. 

One of her professors, Stephen Kimber, remembers her as a good student with a big smile that "just lit up a room."

"She was someone who was determined, she was resolute, she was a bright light, a bright spirit in the journalism school while she was there," he told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

Casey started at the school with the class of '08/'09, however Kimber said she was eager to start her career and left early to take the job at NEWS 95.7. 

"I knew a number of students over the years who made that kind of decision, they got an opportunity for a job and they wanted to do it," he said. "Not many of them came back to finish their degree, but Jenn did a couple of years later."

Casey died near the end of Operation Inspiration, a mission aimed at uplifting the spirits of Canadians during COVID-19.

The cross-country tour started in Nova Scotia on Sunday, May 3, who in addition to dealing with a pandemic, was also reeling in the aftermath of the mass shooting and the loss of six Canadian Armed Forces members in a helicopter crash. 

The Halifax-native was in one of the planes when they soared over the city that day.

Kimber said the turnout for Casey's procession following the Snowbirds crash shows just how much Jenn touched the hearts of Nova Scotians.

"Even in spite of the COVID lockdown, it was very clear that people were touched by her death in ways you might not otherwise expect," he said.

The bursary in her honour will be awarded annually to a School of Journalism student who demonstrates -- as Jenn did -- a sense of community spirit and involvement.

Kimber is hoping it attracts and assists someone as eager and ambitious as Casey.

"We need people like her in journalism to help tell the stories that need to be told," he said. "She certainly did that and I think this will help deserving students in the future to do the same."

Those interested in contributing can do so online, or get more information by calling 902-422-1271 ext. 128.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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