Communications students
win honors and scholarships


The faculty and administrators of Elon's School of Communications hosted the institution's annual awards ceremony in McEwen Studio B May 1. Ten 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.

Outstanding Senior Awards

These four awards recognize outstanding personal and professional achievements by graduating seniors who have demonstrated through consistent performance extraordinary knowledge and ability in their areas of specialization, and have made significant contributions to the department and the major.

Michelle Niland, Broadcast Communications Award. In addition to her outstanding work in the classroom, Michelle was a leader at Elon Student Television, where she created and produced the award-winning program "Win Stuff." The presenter was Dr. David Copeland.

Katie Cutler, Corporate Communications Award. Katie, a standout student, conducted a research project on area high school students' smoking habits and the effect of anti-smoking ads they see on television; area school officials are studying the research to determine ways to help deter teen smoking. The presenter was Professor Gerald Gibson.

Ryan Notch, Film Award. A recipient of numerous awards for his film "Timescape Sydney," Notch spent a semester in Australia working for Fox. He has appeared in roles as an actor on television shows such as "The West Wing," and in three films. He was also a columnist for Elon University's student newspaper, The Pendulum. The presenter was Professor Ray Johnson.

Jennifer Guarino, Journalism Award. Guarino worked as editor of The Pendulum her senior year. She also taught the journalism class at Western High School and presented a journalism research project at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications Southeast Colloquium. The presenter was Dr. David Copeland. At a separate all-campus ceremony earlier in the day, Guarino was named as winner of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. One of the top awards at Elon University, it is given to a student who demonstrates fine spiritual qualities in her daily life and relationship with peers. Guarino was honored for her contributions to the campus community in leadership roles and as a journalist. The award was presented by Smith Jackson, Elon's Dean of Student Life.

The Mary Ellen Priestley Award

Presented to the student majoring in Journalism whose published writing in newspapers or magazines has been of the most consistently high quality. The award is named for the late Dr. Mary Ellen Priestley, former Professor of English and Journalism at Elon College and adviser to The Pendulum during its first eight years. This year's winner is Katie Beaver, managing editor for The Pendulum. Katie has also worked in internships and as a stringer for The Salisbury Post, The Alamance News and the Winston-Salem Journal. The presenter of this award was Professor Janna Anderson.

The Mary Ellen Priestley Scholarship

This scholarship will assist a female student who is a rising sophomore, junior, or senior majoring in print journalism and preparing for a career as a writer for public circulation newspapers and magazines. The scholarship was established by the late Dr. Mary Ellen Priestley, former Professor of English and Journalism at Elon College and adviser to The Pendulum during its first eight years. This scholarship is awarded to Erin Cunningham. The former news editor for The Pendulum, Erin has worked in internships at several area newspapers, including the Greensboro News & Record. The presenter of this scholarship was Dr. Harlen Makemson.

The A.J. Fletcher Award

This award recognizes the achievements of an outstanding undergraduate Corporate, Broadcast, or Film major who reflects a wide-ranging interest within the field, has a GPA above 2.75, has demonstrated leadership in campus or personal life, and has been involved in some area of community service. This year's recipient is Christian Brescia. Known for his excellent web-building skills, Christian has been a mainstay in Elon's ELITE student-technology program and has taught hundreds of Elon students how to use software such as Dreamweaver. He served as president of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honors society, and was also elected Elon's Homecoming King for 2002. Dean Paul Parsons announced the award.

James F. Hurley Legacy Scholarship

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 as publishers of The Salisbury Post. The scholarship is awarded to a junior, with preference given to Communications students with priority to Journalism majors. Due to the early graduation of a current Hurley recipient, two scholarships were awarded at the 2003 awards ceremony. The two student recipients are Lindsay Porter and Alyssa Martin. Porter is news editor at The Pendulum. Martin spent fall semester 2002 working on a film documentary project in Scotland. The presenter of these scholarships was Associate Dean Brad Hamm, a friend of the Hurleys.

Times-News Scholarship

This scholarship will provide financial aid for a student of print journalism in the School of Communications who has demonstrated leadership, scholarship, service to the community and exemplary character traits. This scholarship is awarded to Colin Donohue, a rising junior communications student and the Pendulum editor for 2003. The presenter of this scholarship was Professor Michael Skube.



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School of Communications 
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Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
Last Modified:  5/01/03
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