Student excellence celebrated at School of Communications awards ceremony

Twenty-eight students were recognized at the end-of-the-year celebration, including the inaugural recipient of the Christopher Edwards II ’18 Award for Sports Journalism, honoring a graduating senior who has established a record of academic success and demonstrated mastery within sports journalism.

Following the School of Communications awards ceremony and the presentation of the inaugural Christopher Edwards II ’18 Award for Sports Journalism, family members and friends of the late Christopher Edwards II gathered for a photo in Snow Family Grand Atrium. The award’s recipient, Chase Williams ’23, is in the middle of the group.

The School of Communications hosted its annual awards ceremony on April 20 in Turner Theatre, recognizing high achievement from students during the past academic year. The end-of-the-year ceremony featured several heartfelt moments, with anecdotes highlighting the strong connections between students, professors and mentors.

Twenty-eight outstanding students were selected from among nearly 1,500 School of Communications students to be honored for their exceptional contributions in and out of the classroom. Those honored meet the highest academic standards, have been active in on-campus media and student organizations, and have achieved great success in challenging internships.

Additionally, Chase Williams ’23 was presented with the inaugural Christopher Edwards II ’18 Award for Sports Journalism. The award recognizes the work of a graduating senior who has established a record of academic success, demonstrated mastery within sports journalism, and made significant contributions to their major. Several members of the Edwards family were in attendance, including Dr. Christopher Edwards P’18, who recently established two Elon Engagement scholarships.

Max Negin, assistant professor of cinema and television arts, presented the inaugural award, highlighting Williams’ many contributions to the school and campus life. This includes serving as WSOE sports director, working as on-air talent for Elon Sports Vision and Learfield Sports, and producing “Elon Phoenix Weekly.”

Negin became visibly emotional as he compared Williams to the award’s namesake, who passed away in 2019. With a quivering voice, Negin explained, “The beauty of presenting this award and talking about Chase is that I am also describing Chris Edwards, during his time at Elon and beyond.”

Negin noted how Edwards and Williams were both joyful, hard working, dependable and “filled with a spirit that inspires his fellow students.”

Prior to Negin’s remarks, Adam Seidman ’18 G’20, Edwards’ close friend, said a few words and a brief video tribute was also shared with attendees.

Ceremony photos are available on the school’s Flickr page.

At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, the school acknowledged the outstanding contributions of several faculty and staff members, and bid farewell to retiring colleagues Glenn Scott and Jeff James.

Recipients of the Outstanding Senior Awards gather following the ceremony. Pictured (from left) are Morgan Chisholm ’23 (Strategic Communications), Taylor Truitt ’23 (Communication Design), Megan Curling ’23 (Journalism), Olivia Lovell ’23 (Sport Management), Emily Prins ’23 (Cinema and Television Arts) and Lindsay Bennett ’23 (Media Analytics).

Outstanding Senior Award recipients

These six 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 School of Communications and the major.

  • Emily Prins, Cinema and Television Arts Award. Presented by Nicole Triche.
  • Taylor Truitt, Communication Design Award. Presented by Ben Hannam.
  • Megan Curling, Journalism Award. Presented by Glenn Scott.
  • Lindsay Bennett, Media Analytics Award. Presented by Byung Lee.
  • Olivia Lovell, Sport Management Award. Presented by Shaina Dabbs.
  • Morgan Chisholm, Strategic Communications Award. Presented by Michele Lashley.

Student Scholarships

Times-News Publishing Co., Inc. Scholarship
Ryan Kupperman

Awarded to one journalism student in the School of Communications who is planning on a career in print journalism and has demonstrated leadership, scholarship, service to the community, and exemplary character traits. Presented by Kelly Furnas.

William S. E. Neff Elon Experiences Scholarship
Allison Rikard

Awarded to students with outstanding merit within the School of Communications to complete an Elon experience through study abroad, internship, leadership, service or undergraduate research. Presented by Alison Doherty.

Don Bolden School of Communications Dean’s Scholarship Fund
Jenna Rudolph

This award was created to fund experiences for Elon students to understand the links between learning in the classroom and applying that knowledge to explore and report on the world around them. Presented by Julie Lellis.

During the presentation of the James F. Hurley Legacy Scholarship, Madison Powers ’25 looks on as Professor Anthony Hatcher offers remarks on her behalf.

The James F. Hurley Legacy Scholarship
Madison Powers

Awarded to high achieving students enrolled in the School of Communications with preference to journalism majors. Presented by Anthony Hatcher.

DuBois Legacy Scholarship
Matt Newberry

Awarded to rising juniors or seniors in the School of Communications who demonstrate a consistent commitment to their course of study and who show great promise through their participation in study abroad programs and internships. Presented by Shannon Zenner.

Anthony and Olga Duke Communications Scholarship
Ryan Lee

Awarded to students pursuing majors in the School of Communications on the basis of merit. Presented by Nita Wrenn.

Stanley Albright Cook and Grace Lillian Lane Cook Endowed Scholarship
Chloe Franklin

Awarded to students majoring in journalism who demonstrate outstanding scholarly work. Presented by Rich Landesberg.

Laker Figueroa ’25 smiles while listening to Associate Professor David Bockino during the presentation of the Brad Hamm International Communications Scholarship.

Brad Hamm International Communications Scholarship
Laker Figueroa

Awarded to one rising junior or senior student enrolled in the School of Communications, who is either an international student or has demonstrated strong international interest. Presented by David Bockino.

James Michael Elzar Foreman Endowment
Samantha Katz

This award honors the most promising rising senior focusing on television production to be used to fund an Elon Experience related to the student’s major. Presented by Amber Moser.

Maity Interiano Annual Scholarship
Leslie Aviles Mendoza

This award is to be used to support a student’s educational experience, with preference given to a student who identifies as Hispanic/Latinx with an academic major within the School of Communications. Presented by Karen Lindsey.

James Wesley Willard II Memorial Scholarship
Caroline Putman

Awarded to one student enrolled in the School of Communications on the basis of merit. Presented by David Bockino.

D’Angelo Family Scholarship in Honor of Bill and Kappy Leonard
Naomi Washington

Awarded to one outstanding rising senior majoring in journalism and preparing to enter the field of broadcast journalism. Presented by Rich Landesberg.

Sport Management Endowed Scholarship
Chase Augustus & Caleigh Lawlor

Awarded to declared sport management majors who have a record of contributions to the department and exhibit significant potential for professional success. Presented by Mark Cryan and David Bockino.

A.J. Fletcher Award
Alexa Morrissey & Abby Reed

This award honors outstanding students majoring in strategic or broadcast communications who demonstrate a wide-ranging interest in the field, service to the community, and leadership on campus or in their lives. Presented by Kenn Gaither.

Dean Emeritus Paul Parsons is flanked by Becca Chase ’24 (left) and Jessi Jennings ’24, recipients of the School of Communications Founding Dean Scholarship Endowment.

School of Communications Founding Dean Scholarship Endowment
Becca Chase & Jessi Jennings

Awarded to rising seniors with strong academic records in one of the majors offered by the School of Communications who are emerging as leaders in student media or student organizations in the school. Presented by Paul Parsons.

Christopher Edwards ’18 Award for Sports Journalism
Chase Williams

This award recognizes the work of a graduating senior who has established a record of academic success, demonstrated mastery within sports journalism, and made significant contributions to their major. The recipient will be highly involved in the Elon campus community as a leader. They will excel in the classroom, through extracurricular activities as a sports journalist. This award will honor quality sports journalism in Chris’ name, serving as an annual reminder to students and alumni of Chris’ contributions to the School of Communications and specifically sports journalism. Presented by Max Negin.

Special recognitions

To kick off the ceremony, Kenn Gaither, interim dean of the School of Communications, recognized the school’s second class of Kappa Tau Alpha, the college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.

Gabriella Sable ’23 (from left), Nathan Moskowitz ’23 and Ciara Mulvihill ’23 stand while being recognized as inductees in the school’s second class of Kappa Tau Alpha.

Nathan Moskowitz, Ciara Mulvihill and Gabriella Sable are the fourth, fifth and sixth inductees into the school’s chapter. Members must rank in the top 10 percent of their class and hold at least a 3.0 GPA.

Kappa Tau Alpha, or KTA, is the seventh oldest honor society in the nation and one a few that specifically recognizes the achievements and academic performance of our nation’s burgeoning journalists.

“Today, it has never been more important to value, encourage and recognize those embarking into this profession who will seek out truth,” Gaither said. “Our inductees today represent the best and brightest of our journalism students and will help to ensure the industry stays vibrant and successful for many years to come.”