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Seven top students honored for their work

The faculty and administrators of Elon's School of Communications hosted the institution's annual awards ceremony in McEwen Studio B May 2. Seven outstanding students were selected from among more than 800 communications and journalism majors to be honored for their outstanding contributions in and out of the classroom. Those honored meet the highest academic standards, have been active in on-campus media organizations and have achieved great success in challenging internships.

The A.J. Fletcher Award

This honor is awarded annually to an upperclassman major in communications. The student may be taking courses in broadcast, corporate communications or film. The Fletcher Award is based on a combination of high academic achievement, high involvement and leadership in campus media and the School of Communications and quality internship experience. Fletcher was a leader in broadcast communications in North Carolina. The A.J. Fletcher Endowed Chair, Dr. David Copeland, presented the award to Jessica Vitak, a graduating senior who has been station manager at WSOE Radio and managing editor of The Pendulum in addition to owning the top GPA among seniors in the School of Communications.

The Mary Ellen Priestley Award

This award is given annually to an outstanding journalism student, with priority to those actively involved at The Pendulum, the Elon student newspaper. Historically, the Priestley Award has been given to the editor or managing editor of the newspaper. Priestley taught English and journalism at Elon and was the first faculty adviser of the Pendulum. Faculty member and Pendulum adviser Janna Anderson presented the award to Jennifer Guarino, editor of The Pendulum. Guarino has also distinguished herself as a journalist with work at theWinston-Salem Journal, the Burlington Times-News and in Elon's University Relations office.

The James F. Hurley Legacy Scholarship

This new addition to Elon's program is awarded annually to a rising junior at Elon University, with priority to those majoring in journalism. This endowed scholarship is named in memory of James F. Hurley Sr. and James F. Hurley Jr. and in honor of James F. Hurley III. All three were influential in North Carolina journalism as publishers of The Salisbury Post from 1912 to 1997. Associate Dean Brad Hamm presented the scholarship to Katie Beaver, a communications fellow and veteran of news internships with the Salisbury Post, Alamance News and High Point Enterprise. Beaver is also the chief copy editor for The Pendulum, and she works in Elon's University Relations Office.

Outstanding Seniors

The Outstanding Senior Awards are given annually to seniors who are graduating in May of the current year. The awards are based on high academic achievement, involvement and leadership in campus media and the School of Communications and quality internship experiences. Students who complete their academic requirements in December or January are eligible for consideration.

The outstanding senior in broadcast communications is Tim Archibald, a former station manager and longtime student leader in Elon Television who also has been working doing part-time production work with CBS Sports for the past several years. One memorable experience for Tim during that time was his work at the Master's golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., where he got to put on the traditional green jacket (to set up a TV shot) just before the tournament winner, Tiger Woods. Archibald also served an internship with ABC-TV's "The View." ETV adviser Jay McMerty presented the award.

The outstanding senior in journalism is Jessica Rivelli, who has been working nearly full-time as an assignment editor (with a little producing on the side) at WFMY-TV, the CBS affiliate in Greensboro, in addition to attending Elon as a full-time student. Rivelli, the station manager of Elon Student Television, is also a former managing editor of The Pendulum. Leah Kessler, director of internships and special projects, presented the award.

The outstanding senior in film is Ashley Igdalsky-Mattioli. She came to Elon with her focus set on a career doing sports television and documentary work. She has completed a number of NASCAR internships, including two at Pocono Raceway and has already landed a full-time post-graduation job doing production work at NASCAR races. She was director/producer of "The Art of Snowboarding," a top entry in Elon's Student Film Competition. Faculty member and Cinelon adviser John Duvall presented the award.

The outstanding senior in corporate communications is Erica Stanley. Stanley has worked in a summer position as a press aide in former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt's office and in an internship at the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. She is currently working with the Erskine Bowles Senate campaign in North Carolina. She has been instrumental in planning and executing a number of major School of Communications events. Faculty member Jessica Gisclair presented the award.

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