Student Award for Diversity

The Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity

This award honors Robert G. McGruder, a 1963 Kent State graduate and leader in the area of diversity in journalism, and recognizes work published or broadcast in print or online in a Student Media outlet, other professional media outlets such as an internship, or as part of a MDJ classroom assignment. The award is not discipline specific.

The number of winners to be recognized will be chosen by members of the School of Media and Journalism Diversity & Globalization committee each year.

This award is open to undergraduates and graduate students working in a Media and Journalism class, internship or student media outlet for work done during the contest period. The entrant must have done the majority of the work on the project to be considered.

Nominations are ongoing. Submissions must meet these criteria:

  • Any MDJ student, faculty or staff member may nominate 
  • Work must be completed between Sept. 1, 2022, and Aug. 31, 2023
  • Student(s) must be in good academic standing
  • Work must be created as part of an MDJ class, MDJ student group, including student media, or MDJ internship that was “published” in some way. For example, it might include: 
    • Published student media work
    • Group work made public or available to audiences outside of MDJ
    • Internship work primarily produced by the student that is shared beyond the organization/business
    • Work that is part of a competition judged by people outside MDJ

Winners will be chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Work must illustrate a positive impact on diversity, equity, inclusion, or belonging as it supports the diversity mission of the School of Media and Journalism
  • Work must demonstrate excellence in advertising, digital media production, journalism, or public relations
  • Work should be novel in some way, provide a unique perspective, be relevant and timely, or demonstrate takeaways for the reader regarding DEI&B topics
  • Work with reach or impact beyond the walls of MDJ is especially welcome  

Submit a Nomination

Student Award for Diversity Winners

Winners from the last five years, and nominees from the most recent year, are listed on this page.

2022 Winners

2022 Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity Nominees
2021 Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity Winners
  • First Place Winner - Looking forward to a Queer-friendly future, written by Angela Molina, illustrated by Livia Kirasic, published in A Magazine, Spring 2021, in collaboration with Fusion Magazine
  • Special Recognition -  Akron Civic Duty, Yulani Rodgers, Khalil Thompson, Amber Cocchiola, Olivia Brown, Ashley Johnson, published as part of the joint Emerging Media Technology and Design Innovation class "Reframing Experience"
2020 Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity Winners
  • First Place Winner - I Spin Birdsong into Story, Words: Valerie Royzman, Designer: Maryrose Ceccarelli, published in A Magazine, 2019
  • Special Recognition -  #BlackAtKentState: A look at racism on college campuses, Tramaine Burton, Sara Crawford, Maria McGinnis, Connor Steffen, published on Kent Wired, July, 13, 2020
2019 Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity Winners
  • First Place Winner - The State of Hate Roadtrip, Brandon Bounds, News21
  • Special Recognition - POP!, A short film written and directed by Ben Kemper, a DMP senior, and produced by KSUIF, published to YouTube in 2018
2018 Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity Winners
  • First Place Winner - "Are You Ok?," #ItIsOkToAsk, Blue Team: Holly Disch, Brittney Prather, Kristin Slomiany, Charleah Trombitas, Nicole Zahn, PRSSA Bateman Competition casebook, published in spring 2017
  • Special Recognition - an american utopia, Samantha Ickes, published in The Burr Magazine, spring 2017