School of Communications celebrates student achievement

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

(Top left) Justin Hite, Ben DeLoose, Mitch Pittman and Eugene Daniel (Middle left) Kristen Kennedy, Ashley Barnas, Bethany Swanson and Katherine Dodson (Bottom left) Olivia Hubert-Allen, Shelley Russell and Emily Romans

Ten outstanding students were selected from among more than 800communications and journalism majors to be honored for their outstandingcontributions in and out of the classroom. Those honored meet the highestacademic standards, have been active in on-campus media organizations and haveachieved great success in challenging internships.

Outstanding Senior Awards

These four awards recognize outstanding personal and professionalachievements by graduating seniors who have demonstrated through consistentperformance extraordinary knowledge and ability in their areas ofspecialization, and have made significant contributions to the School ofCommunications and the major.

KRISTEN KENNEDY, Broadcast Communications Award. In addition to heroutstanding work in the classroom, Kristin, an Elon University Fellow, was aleader at Elon Student Television and Phoenix14News from her freshman days atthe university. She is right now a senior reporter for Phoenix14, but Dr. RichLandesberg, who presented the award, said she’s willing to take on any task forthe good of the organization.

EMILY ROMANS, Corporate Communications Award. Emily, a standoutstudent, was the first director of Live Oak Communications, the professionalagency in the School of Communications. Recently, Live Oak won the “CommunityFriends” award from Earth Share of North Carolina in large part because ofEmily’s leadership.. The award presenter was Professor Lee Bush.

BEN DeLOOSE, Film Award. An active participant in broadcast and film activities at Elon, Ben has produced some of the best research in cinema theorythat Dr. Michael Frontani, the award presenter, has ever read. He recentlydelivered his SURF presentation, “Historical Context in Film: A Case Study ofthe James Bond Series.”

JUSTIN HITE, Journalism Award. Justin has freelanced for theBurlington (N.C.) Times-News for more than two years, where has covered theCarolina Panthers and ACC basketball. He was also one of nine studentsnationwide to be selected for a Scripps Howard Foundation journalism study tripto Japan and South Korea. He has also served as managing editor at ThePendulum. The presenter was Dr. Anthony Hatcher.

The Mary Ellen Priestley Award

Presented to the student majoring in Journalism whose published writing innewspapers or magazines has been of the most consistently high quality, theaward is named for the late Dr. Mary Ellen Priestley, former Professor ofEnglish and Journalism at Elon College and adviser to The Pendulum during itsfirst eight years. This year’s winner is Olivia Hubert-Allen, editor inchief for The Pendulum. Olivia has also worked part-time for the Elon Universitynews bureau, and she was recently chosen as a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern.The presenter of this award was Professor Janna Anderson. Earlier in the day, Hubert-Allenwas honored with the university’s overall Media Award, awarded by the MediaBoard to the student who best serves the university as a student leader instudent-media organizations.

The A.J. Fletcher Award

This award recognizes the achievements of an outstanding undergraduatecorporate, broadcast or film major who reflects a wide-ranging interest withinthe field, has a GPA above 2.75, has demonstrated leadership in campus orpersonal life, and has been involved in some area of community service. Thisyear’s recipient is Katherine Dodson, a member of PRSSA. Katherine wasthe driving force behind PRSSA’s “The PR Amazing Race,” which spotlightedinternational communications. Dr. David Copeland announced the award.

James F. Hurley Legacy Scholarship

This endowed scholarship is named in memory of James F. Hurley Sr. and JamesF. Hurley Jr. and in honor of James F. Hurley III. All three were influentialas publishers of The Salisbury (N.C.) Post. The scholarship is awarded to ajunior, with preference given to communications students with priority tojournalism majors, and it carries through to the student’s senior year if thestudent remains at Elon for four years. This year’s rising-junior recipient is AshleyBarnas, news editor of The Pendulum. Barnas will work this summer at Elon’sUniversity Relations office. This year’s rising-senior recipient is Shelley Russell, the special featureseditor at The Pendulum. Russell is also an environmental studies major, who hasworked for The Alamance News. The presenter of these scholarships was Dr. GlennScott.

Times-News Scholarship

This scholarship will provide financial aid for a participant in journalismat Elon University who has demonstrated leadership, scholarship, service to thecommunity and exemplary character traits. This scholarship is awarded to BethanySwanson, a rising senior who works as the managing editor at The Pendulum.Swanson has participated in several internships, and this summer she will workat the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. The presenter of this scholarshipwas Professor Colin Donohue.

Foreman Scholarship

This scholarship, awarded to a promising student in television production,is named in memory of James Michael Elzar Foreman, a student in the School ofCommunications who died in 2007. The recipient of the first Foreman Scholarshipis Eugene Daniel, a broadcast major and exemplary student who serves asco-anchor of the Elon Phoenix Weekly and who produced the first traditionalnews package for The Pendulum Web site. The presenter of the award was Dr. VicCostello.

D’AngeloFamily Scholarship in Honor of Bill Leonard

Established by Drs. Lawrence and Dolores D’Angelo (P ’02), the D’AngeloFamily Scholarship in honor of Bill Leonard recognizes the achievements of anoutstanding rising senior in the field of broadcast communication. The lateBill Leonard, former president of CBS News, was influential in the creation of “60Minutes,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and a host of other landmark news programs. Therecipient of this year’s D’Angelo Scholarship is Mitch Pittman, the sportsdirector of Phoenix14News. Pittman has won a media event sponsored by the ACCin which he produced a broadcast piece about Kay Yow, the North Carolina Statewomen’s basketball coach who has cancer. The presenter of the award was DeanPaul Parsons.