School of Communication celebrates student, faculty achievements

Outstanding undergraduate students
Left to right: Monica Levitan, the Dean's Scholar for media studies, and the sophomore and junior outstanding students Julianna Stanley, Peyton Mills and Dylan Lepore.

During the annual awards ceremony, the School of Communication (SOC) honored students and faculty on April 13 in the Bonnie Auditorium.

The ceremony was the official end to Communication Week, a week dedicated to the field of communication. During the week, local professionals, alumni and faculty of the SOC spoke and worked with students at the event.

The SOC has partnered with the Institut des Strategies et Techniques de Communication, located in northeast France, for a student exchange program. In fall 2018, Gabrielle Dickerson, Bennett Greene and Tala Rhodes will represent the SOC, while Alexis Smith and Jazmin Maten will represent the SOC in spring 2019.

Two degrees are conferred by the SOC: a communication degree and a media studies degree. Awards for students in each degree program were presented at the awards ceremony. The outstanding sophomore in communication is Peyton Mills.

Students in the Strategic Event Planning course.

Students in the Strategic Event Planning course.

Instructor Kim Herbert wrote that “Peyton not only is an exceptional student, but she is also well-rounded and involved in numerous clubs and organizations.”

The outstanding sophomore in media studies is Dylan Lepore, who was recognized for his academic work in the classroom and his activities outside the classroom.

Julianna Stanley, the outstanding junior in communication, received the award for her academic achievements and for her involvement as president of the Student Government Association at Radford University.

Graduate students received their awards
Graduate students received their awards. Left to right: Breyuana Smith, Stefani Szkalak, Lauren Sledd and Emily Armstrong.

The outstanding media studies junior is Riley Minnich, who received the award for his academic involvement and achievements.

The College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences honors graduating seniors with the Dean’s Scholars awards each spring. This year, McKeever Henley, the Dean’s Scholar in communication, and Monica Levitan, the Dean’s Scholar in media studies, received the honors.

Four graduate students were honored during the awards ceremony:

  • Emily Armstrong, outstanding graduate teaching fellow award
  • Breyuana Smith, outstanding graduate research award
  • Lauren Sledd, outstanding graduate student award
  • Stefani Szkalak, outstanding graduate student award

Instructor Mark Birschbach and Associate Professor Courtney Bosworth were honored for their service to the SOC during the ceremony. The students in the Strategic Event Planning course – who organized COMS Week – honored their instructor Kathleen Degnon at the end of the ceremony.

COMS Week hosted Campaign-a-Thon, a new event this year. The event allowed students to create a public relations campaign from start to finish in the span of a few hours. The campaigns were presented at the conclusion of the event.

“It’s a great way to apply the knowledge we learned in the classroom,” Szkalak said.

On April 10, Virginia Del. Chris Hurst spoke at the keynote event about his path from journalism to politics. He said that “the people who find the best story will be the most successful. Just go out and start talking to people. Is it something that you’d like to tell your friends or talk about with your parents? That’s the barometer of a good story.”

Apr 18, 2018
Max Esterhuizen