Student 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 and 2017. 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. 

Bateman Case Study Competition

Honorable Mention, 2017

For the fourth time in five years, Kent State 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 

GOLD, 2016

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.

College Media Association

Kent State Student Media earned national recognition across all categories in the 2016-17 competition. 

Pinnacle Awards (First place), 2017

  • Newspaper of the Year, The Kent Stater
  • Best Promo Video/PSA

National Recognition

  • 2nd place for Best Newscast and Best Sportscast: TV2
  • Honorable Mention for Website of the Year:

Collegiate Effie Competition

Second Place, 2016

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 several times since 2013, when they began entering the competition.

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent)

National Recognition, 2017

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

  • Gold Key Award: Charleah Trombitas, '18
  • National President’s Citation: Latisha Ellison, '18
  • Star Chapter Award
  • Teahan Award for Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Michele Ewing



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 Mark of Excellence, 2017

  • The Burr Magazine, Best Magazine in Nation

Finalist, National Mark of Excellence, 2017

  • General News Photography: Clint Datchuk, ’17,  for his submission “Day 4 of Cleveland RNC”
  • Breaking News Reporting: KentWired staff, for its coverage of the Kesterson lawsuit.    

First Place, National Mark of Excellence, 2016

  • 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.

William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards

Known as the “Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” the Hearst Foundation honors both individuals and programs. JMC ranked among the top 20 programs in the nation (first in Ohio) when combining all categories, also earning the following national distinction:

  • Photojournalism (intercollegiate): 10th place
  • Broadcast journalism (individual): 9th place (Benjamin Orner, '18)
  • Personality profile/writing (individual): 10th place (Nick Buzzelli, a graduate student)
  • Photojournalism II / Picture Story/Series (individual): 12th place (Eslah Attar, ’17) and 17th place (Andrea Noall, ’17)
  • Multimedia (individual): 12th place (Ian Flickinger, ’16) and 18th place (Kiana Duncan, ’18)