JMC Announces 2015 Promising Scholars

To attract and retain the strongest journalism and mass communication students in the nation, JMC established the Promising Scholar Awards, a financial award program, in 2014. The Promising Scholar Awards provide a $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 annual scholarship, renewable for up to four years, to the highest achieving incoming freshmen drawn from JMC’s undergraduate degree programs: advertising, digital media production, journalism and public relations. The Promising Scholar Awards are funded through the generosity of private donors. Meet our entire class of Promising Scholars, including our six new 2015 Promising Scholars.


McKenna Corson

Corson is a multimedia journalism major and recipient of the JMC Promising Scholar Award. Corson is originally from Pueblo, Colorado, but moved numerous times before ending up in a Cleveland suburb, where her family currently resides. Corson is 2015 graduate of Kirtland High School. In school, Corson gained an immense love for reading and writing, which helped her decide to major in multimedia journalism at Kent State. Corson aspires to be a journalist and hopes to travel in the future.

She is also a member of the Honors College and is looking forward to the challenges that will ultimately help her succeed in her career field.


Eryn Gebacz

Gebacz is a multimedia journalism major and recipient of the Anne E. Hoskin Promising Scholar Award. Gebacz is a 2015 graduate from Tallmadge High School in Tallmadge, Ohio. In high school, Gebacz spent two years writing for her school’s newspaper and served as editor-in-chief of her school’s yearbook. In addition to working part-time at an assisted living facility and serving as a captain on Tallmadge’s soccer team for two years, she was also an active member of Leaders in Actions, Senior Mentors and Relay for Life. Gebacz decided to attend Kent State because, not only does her brother go here, both of her parents are alumni of the university. Gebacz looks forward to getting involved with student media and the Relay for Life organization.


Carrie George

George is a photojournalism major and recipient of the Wallace J. Hagedorn Promising Scholar Award. George is a 2015 graduate of Bel Air Senior High School, which is located in Bel Air, Maryland. In her time at Kent State, George plans to join the staff of Kent’s literary magazine Luna Negra and LGBTQ magazine Fusion. She also looks forward to will to attending FocalPoint meetings to receive feedback and critique about her photography and spend time with photojournalism peers who share similar interests. 

In addition, George lives in the CCI Commons, where she plans to study with other JMC students, volunteer in the community and take small trips to learn more about her major and career field.


Anna Huntsman

Huntsman is a broadcast journalism major and recipient of the Ralph C. Darrow Promising Scholar Award. Huntsman is a 2015 graduate of Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio. Huntsman was a proud member of her high school’s speech and debate team and even competed in this summer’s National Speech and Debate Association tournament for original oratory in Dallas, Texas. She also wrote and anchored for Perry’s broadcast journalism program. Huntsman plans to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism in hopes of having a career in news reporting. Huntsman says she is thrilled to be a part of student media, the Honors College and the CCI Commons. In her spare time, Huntsman enjoys writing, researching and participating in musical theater, choir and student leadership.


Arkayla Tenney-Howard

Tenney-Howard is a public relations major and recipient of the Ralph C. Darrow Promising Scholar Award. She graduated from Belleville East High School located southern Illinois. In addition to working two jobs in high school, Tenney-Howard worked with non-profit organization Racial Harmony, which focuses on discussing issues that plagued students, especially those concerning race. Over the past few years, Tenney-Howard ventured into the world of communication by competing at the Indiana High School Association’s Journalism Conferences, representing her school at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference and attending the Race and Power Summit in Detroit. In her time at Kent State, Tenney-Howard plans to pursue a degree in public relations with the hopes of working for a non-profit organization dedicated to providing equal opportunities for students of color.


Megan Winiarski

Winiarski is a broadcast journalism major and recipient of the John Butte & Ana Luisa Sanchez Promising Scholar Award. Winiarski is a 2015 graduate of Steele High School, located in Amherst, Ohio. During high school, Winiarski was an active member of the marching band, theater and choir. Winiarski plans to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism in hopes of someday working in the news industry as a producer or editor. Winiarski also looks forward to finding her place at Kent State by working with all of the different clubs and organizations on campus.





Jacob Brown

Brown is a broadcast journalism major and recipient of the Cynthia Vrsansky Schulz Promising Scholar Award. Brown is a broadcast journalism major in his sophomore year at Kent State. Brown spent his first year proudly working for The Kent Stater as a general assignment writer and for TV2 as an anchor. He is a member of the Honors College, The Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement and serves as the co-officer for service and social justice in Kent State’s Catholic Student Association. Jacob also earned his title as an Eagle Scout. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys cycling, backpacking and making connections with people.


Kiana Duncan

Duncan is a broadcast journalism major and recipient of the Kathleen Schmatz Promising Scholar Award. Duncan is part of the Honors College and serves as president of the academic fraternity Alpha Lambda Delta. Last year, Brown was a cast member of KSUniverse on TV2 and wrote published articles for The Burr, Fusion and Uhuru.

This year, she plans to try out again for a spot on TV2 and write or blog for The Burr.



Latisha Ellison

Ellison is a public relations major and recipient of the Marcus Thomas Promising Scholar Award. Ellison is a native of Butler, Pennsylvania. Last year, Ellison served as the public relations director of Olson Hall Council and is now a part of the National Residence Hall Honorary. She is an active and involved member of Kent’s PRSSA chapter and serves as the promotions assistant for The Burr. In the future, Ellison hopes to pursue a public relations career involving entertainment, fashion or empowering young girls and women.



Caroline Meyer

Meyer is the recipient of The Marge McNab Block Promising Scholar Award. Meyer continues her education at Kent State with a photojournalism major and a minor in political science. Meyer is originally from Cincinnati and attended Mother of Mercy High School. After high school, Meyer took a year off to do service work as a part of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, where she performed over 1,700 hours of service working with various non-profit organizations in California, Oregon and Nevada. When she joined Kent State in 2014, Meyer became a member of the Washington Program National Issues 2016. With this, she will live, intern and study in Washington D.C. during the spring 2016 semester.


Ava Moss

Moss is the recipient of the Tom and Kathy Welsh Promising Scholar Award. Moss returns to Kent State as a sophomore public relations major with a minor in conflict management. This year, Moss is most looking forward to serving as a resident assistant and developing a community among the residents on her floor. She is also excited to get involved with Kent’s PRSSA chapter in order to network among business professionals and meet new people.




Benjamin Orner

Orner is a broadcast journalism major and recipient of the Mark and Paula Nylander Promising Scholar Award. Orner is originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He served as a sports reporter for The Kent Stater, a correspondent and anchor for TV2 sports and news shows and an employee at TeleProductions. During the summer, Orner wrote sports articles for his local newspaper and interned in the sports department at ABC27-WHTM in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.



Kelly Powell

Powell is a magazine journalism major and recipient of The Ralph C. Darrow Promising Scholar Award. Powell is interested in pursuing a visual communication design minor. She is originally from Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Powell remains an active writer for The Burr and The Kent Stater. She also participates in H2O Church, specifically filling roles as a member of the worship, special events and stories teams. Powell also participates in Kent State's International Justice Mission Chapter. In addition, she currently holds a job as a clerical student and headshot photographer at University Communications and Marketing.

Keri Richmond

Richmond is a public relations major and recipient of The Ralph C. Darrow Promising Scholar Award. Richmond serves as the director of student advancement for the Kent State Undergraduate Student Government, the vice president of philanthropy and community service for the Panhellenic Council, the community service chair for Order of Omega and the director of social events for Delta Gamma. She also works in Kent State’s Center for Student Involvement and will be interning on U.S Senator Rob Portman's re-election campaign. After spending this past summer interning in Washington D.C with U.S Senator Rob Portman and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Richmond found a passion for being an advocate for foster youth, which she plans to continue in her future career.


Kurt Spaetzel

Spaetzel is a recipient of the Arnold and Dorothy Danes Promising Scholar Award. Spaetzel returns to Kent State in 2015 as a sophomore broadcast journalism major with a minor in sports administration.  Spaetzel is an Avon, Ohio native and graduated from Elyria Catholic High School in 2014. Spaetzel is an active member of TV2, the Catholic Student Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also serves as a “sophomore sensei” in Olson Hall, where he helps incoming freshman by answering any questions they may have. In the future,  Spaetzel plans to pursue a career in the sports news industry with the hopes of one day working for ESPN as an anchor.


Rachel Stevenson

Stevenson is a public relations major and recipient of the Elizabeth Z. Bartz Promising Scholar Award. In her first year, Stevenson studied photojournalism and worked at TV2 and as a photographer for The Burr. Since then, she decided to change her major to public relations and plans to become a member of Kent’s PRSSA chapter. This year, Stevenson also looks forward to exploring her creativity and passions in her career path with the help and guidance of JMC. Stevenson serves as a student success leader though the Office of Student Success programs, a member of the honors fraternity Alpha Lambda Delta, a member and fundraising chair assistant of the sorority Alpha Xi Delta and is also a member of the Xi Team, an internal committee in charge of coordinating events related to the sorority’s philanthropy.


POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 3:05pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 3:03pm
Julianne Calapa