WJA Foundation Launches Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Media and Communications Scholarship

The new scholarship aims to support aspiring media and communications professionals pursuing careers in journalism, PR, communications and media
Late Hedda Schupak-Baum
Late Hedda Schupak-Baum

The Women's Jewellery Association (WJA) Foundation announces the establishment of the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Journalism Scholarship in honour of the late Hedda Schupak-Baum, a leader and legend in the jewellery industry. With her remarkable contributions as a journalist, Hedda left an indelible mark, captivating audiences with her insightful articles and unwavering dedication to storytelling. Hedda, aged 62, passed away on October 3rd, 2023, due to complications from lung cancer, leaving behind a legacy of love and dedication that touched countless lives. As a tribute to her legacy, WJA is launching a memorial scholarship, coinciding with Women’s History Month, in honour of a member who broke barriers and was both recording and making history.

The new scholarship aims to support aspiring journalists, media professionals, content creators, and communicators. Eligible candidates will be encouraged to apply their skills in the fine jewellery and watch industries, infusing fresh talent and expertise into the field. "As we launch this scholarship in her memory, we are reminded of Hedda's invaluable contributions to our industry, her unwavering commitment to storytelling, and her enduring impact on the lives she touched….in honouring Hedda's memory, we honour the power of storytelling to inspire, inform, and connect us all," says Nikia Levesque, VP of Marketing for Day’s Jewellers and WJA Foundation Vice President.

Hedda's influence extended beyond her roles as the longtime editor-in-chief of JCK magazine and later The Centurion newsletter. Colleagues remember her style, yet it was her warmth, wit, and spirit that endeared her to many. Beyond her undeniable charm, Hedda possessed an insatiable curiosity about jewels. She championed young designers and tirelessly worked to elevate the industry through her writing and advocacy. Her integrity was unwavering, earning her respect and admiration from her peers.

The namesake scholarship, funded for $25,000 over a five-year period, is made possible through the generous contributions of sponsors who share a commitment to nurturing talent and fostering diversity within the industry. Sponsors will have the opportunity to participate in the selection process, ensuring that recipients embody Hedda's spirit of excellence and dedication. Contributors include: Instore, Jim Baum, Howard and Patti Hauben, Elias World Media, JCK, Cliq Jewellery, Jewellers of America, National Jeweller, FIT Alumni Association, Jewellers Collective, Russell Shor, and Bill Boyajian. “We are proud to establish the Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Journalism Scholarship, honouring a trailblazer whose passion for storytelling enriched the jewellery industry," said Gena Alulis, CEO of Cliq Jewellery. "Hedda's exemplary career and commitment to women's empowerment serve as an inspiration to future generations of journalists and communicators.”

Reflecting on Hedda's profound impact, Linda Orlick, Co-Founder of WJA, remarked, “Hedda Schupak was one of the very first journalists I met early on in my over 40-year career in the fine jewellery industry. Hedda’s passion and love for the industry was inspiring to all who crossed her path. I will cherish the friendship that grew over the years. Her journalistic influence in the world of fine jewellery was far-reaching and continues.”

Jim Baum, Hedda's husband, expressed gratitude, stating, "Hedda was a journalist whose coverage of the jewellery industry educated and informed a generation of retailers and designers. She was passionate about this industry and proud of the role that women leaders played in its success. WJA was near and dear to Hedda’s heart and to know that her legacy will live on through this scholarship would have meant the world to her as it does to me.”

Hedda Schupak-Baum left behind a legacy of warmth, wit, and dedication to her craft. As a journalist and editor, she earned numerous accolades and was inducted into the Women's Jewellery Association's Hall of Fame in 2006. The Hedda Schupak-Baum Memorial Journalism Scholarship will continue Hedda's legacy of excellence and serve as a beacon of inspiration for future generations of journalists and communicators in the jewellery and watch industries.

Diamond World