JMC alums honored at Gutenberg dinner

Posted October 14, 2011

Three successful Abilene Christian University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication alumni were honored Thursday at the 18th annual Gutenberg Dinner.

Ken Smalling ('87), Mimi Barnard ('81), and Tasha French ('00) were honored during the dinner that has kicked off ACU's Homecoming every year since 1993.

Smalling is vice president of global communications at Kimberly-Clark in Irving. Barnard is the former vice president for professional development and research at the Council for Christian Colleges. French is director of The Contributor newspaper in Nashville, Tenn.

"These three distinguished alumni have pursued different paths, but have each have used their journalism and mass communication education from ACU to accomplish much in their professional lives and in their communities," says Cheryl Bacon, journalism and mass communication department chairwoman.

The Gutenberg Award recognizes distinguished professional achievement in the field of journalism and mass communications as selected by the department faculty. To be eligible for the award, recipients must have been alumni for at least 10 years.

Bacon says the faculty recognizes that it is necessary for students to not only be good writers but to operate in print, online and in broadcast media.

"As a result, our alums are getting jobs," she said. "We know that the industry is changing but students who have excellent writing skills and are able to function in more than one platform will do well."

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Photo by Daniel J. Gomez/Optimist