JMC Awards and Accolades | Kent State University

JMC Awards and Accolades

One measure of the strength of a school – and its student body – is competitive evaluation by practitioners and peers in award competitions.

By this measure, JMC’s performance is outstanding, as demonstrated by achievements in 2016. Our impressive standings in national and international competitions demonstrate JMC’s commitment to building media and communication leaders. 

The skill and work ethic of JMC students are well-matched by the commitment, coaching and competitive spirit of JMC faculty advisors and alumni practitioners, who help students achieve the winning edge in competitions like these:

Students in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) have produced award-winning work for years. In the past year, the School has earned top-10 honors in the Hearst Awards program (often called the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism), the Public Relations Student Society of America’s top diversity award, second place in the Collegiate Effie
Competition and gold in the Cinema in Industry Awards, just to name a few.

Bateman Case Study Competition

Honorable Mention

For the third time in four years, a team of public relations students placed nationally in the Bateman Case Study Competition. The competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), calls for teams of public relations students to research, develop, implement and evaluate a public relations campaign. This year’s competition called for increasing awareness and understanding of Student Veterans of America (SVA). The team was one of 16 entrants out of 70 that earned an honorable mention. In 2013, a Kent State team placed second nationally.

Cinema in Industry (CINDY) Award 


Kent State University Independent Films (KSUIF) earned distinction among professional production companies for its music video “Freaky Love.” KSUIF is one of only a few college-level organizations nationwide that allows students to create full-length feature films. The group also produces web series, short films, music videos, documentaries and TV shows.

Collegiate Effie Competition

Second Place

Advertising majors Ellie Schering, ’17, Emily Wahl, ’16, and Matt Varga, ’16, traveled to the Campbell Soup Company headquarters in New Jersey to present their integrated marketing communications plan in front of brand executives after being named national finalists. This was the program’s first trip to the finals, but teams of Kent State advertising students have been named semifinalists each year since 2013, when they began entering the competition.

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent)

National Recognition

PRSSA Kent competes with more than 300 chapters nationwide for its awards. This year, the organization and its members received the following top honors:

  • Teahan Award for Diversity
  • Gold Key Award: Gabrielle Woodard, ’17
  • National President’s Citation: Hanna Moore, ’17, and Brenna Parker, ’17
  • Star Chapter Award



Clint Datchuk, ’17, earned the top prize in the general news category in the College Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by Nikon. Datchuk, who covered the 2016 presidential race from start to finish, took the award-winning photo at a Donald Trump rally in Akron, Ohio.


Vivian Feke, ’16, earned one of three national student Murrow Awards for her story “Making a Difference” in 2016. The award is presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association. Feke accepted the award at a reception in New York City.

Society of Professional Journalists

First Place, National

JMC students earned two national Mark of Excellence Awards (first place) from the Society of Professional Journalists:

  • General News Photography: Jacob Byk, ’15, for “The Last Shot,” depicting Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner who was killed by a police choke-hold in a scuffle with four officers, during a Staten Island protest.
  • Television Breaking News: Alexa Maslowski, ’16, for her story on the November 2015 Akron plane crash that killed nine.

FIRST PLACE, regional

TV2, the student-run television station, and The Kent Stater, the student newspaper that is published three times per week, were both named best in class in the Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania region.

William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards

Known as the “Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” the Hearst Foundation honors both individuals and programs. JMC ranked 12th in the nation (first in Ohio) when combining all categories, also earning the following distinction:

  •  Fifth nationally in photojournalism
  •  Ninth nationally in broadcast journalism

The following students were also named national finalists and semifinalists (top 20 in the nation):

  • Photojournalism: Jacob Byk, ’15, Jenna Watson, ’16, Erin McLaughlin, ’16
  • Multimedia News: Emily Mills, ’16
  • Sportswriting: Richard Mulhall, ’16, Stephen Means, ’16
  • Broadcast journalism: Alexa Maslowski, ’16