Alumni Awards Ceremony and 80th Anniversary Celebration Set for Sept. 22

Celebrate our History and Alumni

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017. The school will mark the occasion with its annual alumni and friends award ceremony, held in conjunction with the opening of the newly renovated Taylor Hall, on Friday, Sept. 22.

Though JMC made the move into the newly renovated Franklin Hall in 2007, much of its history is rooted in Taylor, which now houses the College of Communication and Information’s (CCI) Schools of Communication Studies and Visual Communication Design.

The Friday celebration will kick off at 4 p.m. with the 80th Anniversary All-Alumni Social Hour, Open House and Networking in Franklin Hall. The Alumni and Friends Awards Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in FirstEnergy Auditorium.

The most prestigious alumni award, the William D. Taylor Award, will be given to Laura Gordon, ’87. In addition to her professional success, as a student Gordon co-founded the Chestnut Burr Magazine, which eventually became known as The Burr Magazine. This magazine was recently named the best student magazine in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

Gordon is a general manager at the global communications marketing firm Edelman, based in Washington D.C. She oversees Edelman’s health, federal government and employee engagement sectors. She gives back to JMC through the Beverly and Ralph Buterbaugh Promising Scholar Award, created in honor of her parents. The award is provides high-achieving high school senior with a four-year scholarship and mentorship.

“I love being able to support someone who is so dedicated and energetic, embarking on his or her own career,” Gordon said. “It’s an exciting place to be.”

The Fast-Track Award is given to young alumni for early and significant career achievements. This year’s recipient, Brianne Kimmel, ’11, works with global startups, including Uber and Airbnb, at Zendesk in San Francisco.

Kimmel spent her first four years after graduation in Sydney, Australia. Despite receiving offers from advertising and public relations agencies in Boston and New York City, Kimmel decided to take the risk and move overseas. Her career path has led her to understand the importance of blending creativity and analytics.

“People will oftentimes say you’re either creative or analytical, but it turns out in tech you need to be both,” said Kimmel, who was an advertising major in JMC.

In addition to her day-job, Kimmel advises tech start-ups worldwide. She recently launched an ongoing “tech world tour” in Sydney, Vienna and Paris.

Each year, JMC also recognizes a friend of the School with the Sharon Marquis Friends of JMC Award. Edwige Winans, associate research director at Marcus Thomas LLC, has given guest lectures about market research to students in the Public Relations Case Studies course since 2014. She focuses on making market research come alive by showing students how researchers pinpoint connections between products and everyday consumer lives.

“I like exposure to young minds and different challenges,” Winans said. “I really like the interaction with students… I always come out refreshed after these discussions.”

These events are part of the College of Communication and Information's celebration of Taylor Hall's reopening, Sept. 21 - 23, 2017. The celebration kicks off with the 13th annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop, featuring keynote speaker David Folkenflik of NPR.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 2:38pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 2:38pm
Arkayla Tenney-Howard, '19