JMC Announces Alumni Award Winners | School of Journalism & Mass Communication | Kent State University

JMC Announces Alumni Award Winners

Reception and Ceremony Scheduled for Homecoming Weekend

In conjunction with Kent State’s Homecoming weekend, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) will host a series of events to honor and celebrate JMC alumni, Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2016.

On Friday, Sept. 30, JMC will host its JMC Alumni and Friends Awards Ceremony and Reception in Franklin Hall’s FirstEnergy Auditorium (550 Hilltop Drive, Kent, OH 44242). The event will run from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in FirstEnergy Auditorium. The ceremony is open to the public, but RSVPs are appreciated

This year’s award recipients include Gary and LuEtt Hanson, winners of the Sharon Marquis Friends of JMC Award. This award is given to individuals who continuously show support for JMC’s mission and its students. Gary, professor of journalism, and LuEtt, associate dean of the College of Communication and Information, retired in June 2016 after nearly 50 years of combined service to Kent State.

Tyler Pina, ‘14, and Natalie Pasquarella, ‘04, are the winners of the 2016 Fast-Track Award, which honors alumni who have made significant strides early in their career.

Pina won two CINDY awards in 2015 for directing and editing the music video "Freaky Love," a project he worked on as a student with Kent State University Independent Films (KSUIF). He is currently a video director with The Verge, a Vox Media company that covers technology and lifestyle news, in San Francisco. In this job, Pina has covered high-profile projects related to technology including Aston Martin, Volkswagen and NASA. Now, he is working on a series called “Climate Hackers,” which will show how researchers and scientists are working to slow down global warming.

Pasquarella is an anchor for NBC 4 News, New York City. Originally, she was hired as a weekend anchor, but quickly transitioned to anchoring the station’s 4 p.m. weekly newscast and co-anchoring the 6 p.m. news. She recently hosted the station’s Olympics special, “The Olympic Zone.” Pasquarella has hoped to work in New York since she interned at New York One during her senior year at Kent.

The William D. Taylor Award is the highest distinction given by JMC and is presented annually to an alumna or alumnus who is nationally and/or internationally recognized for preeminent contributions to their profession. This year’s recipient is author, journalist, editor, internet-content writer and political campaign worker Diane Laney Fitzpatrick, ‘81.

Fitzpatrick most recently released her second book, "Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near.” She also writes a popular blog titled “Just Humor Me,” which examines her childhood in the 60s and 70s, parenting and other elements of life through a comical lens. While managing her career, Fitzpatrick has continuously given back to Kent State and JMC. During the summer, she helped financially support journalism senior Jimmy Miller’s participation in the News21 reporting program. She has even opened her home in San Francisco to Golden Flash alumni for receptions. In addition, she is involved in the establishment of a soon-to-be official Kent State alumni chapter for Bay Area residents.

Additional JMC Homecoming events

Following the Alumni and Friends ceremony on Sept. 30, Kent State's chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA-Kent) will begin its annual auction with items generously donated by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Signet Jewelers, FirstEnergy Co., the Akron Symphony Orchestra and many more. Donations for this auction are used exclusively to benefit students in sending them to a PRSSA National Conference, as well as supporting other PRSSA programming. The conference will be held in Indianapolis, where members will be able to attend academic workshops and network with professionals to enhance their public relations and communications knowledge. 

On Oct. 1, the College of Communication and Information (CCI) will host a hospitality tent at the corner of Lincoln and Main Streets beginning at 9:30 a.m. Immediately following the parade, JMC alumni and friends are invited back to Franklin Hall's first floor lobby for lunch and a continuation of the PRSSA-Kent auction.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 1:56pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 26, 2016 - 11:43am
Arkayla Tenney-Howard, '19