The department of journalism and mass communication inducted three students this spring into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism and mass communication honor society. Senior Reese Gwin and juniors Laura Corral and Jessica Clark joined senior existing members Allison Brown and Jonathan Ward.
In addition, Ward, Brown and senior Emily Gerlach were named University Scholars by ACU, and Brown also was named Honor Woman at May Commencement.
Students have done the department proud once again this year, earning awards across the nation in news writing, advertising, public relations, video, photo, broadcast design and film awards.
Junior Erika Bolado was a national winner in feature photography in the national Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards for work covering May Commencement in 2016. Bolado has been awarded a travel scholarship from National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) to attend a national conference in September in Anaheim, California. Junior Lydia Lawson was named a national finalist in general news photography for her coverage of an Abilene fire last spring; and sophomore Lauren Franco was awarded national finalist recognition in sports photography. Those awards will be given out at SPJ’s annual convention in Anaheim, California, this fall. Four other students were regional winners in general news reporting and editorial writing, and three were regional finalists.
At the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention in the spring, students won 36 awards including nine first places, beating out students from all other universities in the state: Junior Haley Remenar in feature writing; Franco in photo illustration; juniors Jonathan Raitz and Savanah Silva in newscast; sophomore Max Preston in sportscast; junior Aaron Pokluda in radio production; Ward in live PR release writing and live PR crisis management; Raitz in live TV newswriting; Brown in live magazine design; senior Abbey Bowling in print advertising; and Best in Show among weekly newspapers for The Optimist.
Junior Bethany Jones won gold at the annual American Advertising Awards – Abilene Chapter in the print magazine ad category. In addition, senior Madelyn Bane won silver in print magazine ad and senior Madelyn Wischmeyer won silver for packaging design.
Also in the spring, Remenar placed 13th nationally in the Hearst Journalism Award for radio broadcast for her work at KACU.