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, the School of Media and Journalism's performance is outstanding, as demonstrated by achievements in recent years. Our impressive standings in national and international competitions demonstrate our commitment to building media and communication leaders. This page includes a listing of awards from the last five years (2019-2023).

Journalism and Student Media 

Advertising and Public Relations 

Digital Media Production


Hearst Journalism Awards

Known as the "Pulitzer Prize of Collegiate Journalism," Kent State students have placed among the top 20 students in the nation across multiple categories

  • 18th place, News Feature - Alexandria Manthey, '23 (2023)
  • 20th place, Hard News - Gabby Jonas, '23 (2023)
  • 12th place, Sports Writing - Isabella Schreck, '25 (2023)
  • 15th place, Multimedia II - Maddy Haberberger, '22 (2023)
  • 16th Place, Broadcast Journalism - Marz Anderson, '22 (2022)
  • 18th Place, Television News - Jiovanni Lieggi, '20 (2021)
  • 19th Place, Television News - Connor Steffen, '22 (2021)
  • 10th Place, Television Features - Gianna DaPra, '21 (2021)
  • 12th Place, Photo News & Features - Mikey Indriolo, '20 (2021)
  • Top 6 (Finalist), Photojournalism, Nathaniel Bailey, '20 (2020)
  • 17th Place Photojournalism, Carter Eugene Adams (2020)
  • 8th Place, Television News: Jiovanni Lieggi, '20 (2020)

AEJMC Student Magazine Contest (2020)

  • First Place, Articles - People: Alexandra Sobczak for “Meet Kent State's Rebel Mastermind”

College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press

Pinnacle Award 

  • Second Place, Website of the Year: KentWired (2022)
  • First Place, Advertising Campaign: Kent State Student Media (2022)
  • First Place, Online Ad: Kent State Student Media (2022)
  • Third Place, Video Sportscast: TV2 (2022)
  • Finalist: TV2 (2019)

Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award 

  • The Kent Stater (2019)

Individual Associated Collegiate Press Awards 

College Media Association Awards 

  • First Place, TV Special Event Coverage: TV2 KSU (2019)
  • Second Place, Breaking News Coverage: (2019)
  • Second Place, House Ad: Kent State Student Media, Jaron Puszakowski, '19 (2019)
  • Third Place, Sports Game Story: Henry Palattella, '19 (2019)
  • More 2019 Awards

College Media Business and Advertising Managers Awards (2023)

  • Media Company of the Year | 3rd Place
  • Best Sales Promotional Materials | 1st Place
  • Best Video Underwriting Ad | 1st Place
  • Best Sponsored Content or Native Advertising | 1st Place
  • Best Paid Design Product | 2nd Place
  • Best Animated Display Ad | 2nd Place
  • Best Self-Promotion Audio Ad | 2nd Place
  • Best Self-Branded Promotional Giveaway | 2nd Place
  • Best New Idea (Innovation) | 3rd Place
  • Best Non-Traditional Revenue-Generating Operation | 3rd Place

Society of Professional Journalists

National Mark of Excellence

Regional Mark of Excellence

  • First Place, Breaking News Reporting: Zachary Blosser Arraignment by Melissa Meyers, '21 (2022)
  • First Place, Student Magazine: Fusion (2022)
  • Finalist: General Column Writing, Lyndsey Brennan (2022)
  • Finalst: TV Newscast (2022)
  • First Place, Online News Reporting: The Rock series by KentWired Staff (Sept.  2Sept. 7Sept. 10Sept. 11) - 2020
  • First Place, Online/Digital News Videography: Black at Kent State by KentWired Staff - 2020
  • Finalists for Best All-Around in Division (2019): 
    • The Kent Stater (Student Newspaper, Large University)
    • Fusion Magazine (Student Magazine)
    • Uhuru (Student Magazine)
    • KentWired (Affiliated Website)
    • TV2 (All-Around Newscast, single show)
  • Additional 2019 Individual Finalist Honors: Student Journalists Earn Recognition For Coverage Of National Issues

Photojournalism Honors

Ohio News Photographers Association (ONPA) College Photographer of the Year

  • Nathaniel Bailey, '21

White House News Photographers Association

  • Runner-Up, Student Photographer of the Year: Nathaniel Bailey, '21

Advertising and Public Relations

American Advertising Federation

Most Promising Multicultural Students

Bateman Case Study Competition

Second Place, 2018 and 2013; Honorable Mention, 2016-2023, 2014

In nine of the last 10 years, Kent State public relations students have 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 charged students with creating a campaign for the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent)

PRSSA Kent competes with more than 300 chapters nationwide for its awards. Read a story about the organization's most recent honors

Organizational Honors

Individual Honors

  • Gold Key Award (last five years): Highest individual honor from PRSSA
    • 2023: Kayla Polansky, '23
    • 2022: Zach Zdanowicz, '22
    • 2021: Jada Miles, '21, Samantha Farland, '21
    • 2020: Jill Golden
    • 2019: Vanessa Gresley

Effie Collegiate Competition

Second Place, 2019, 2016
Semi-Finalist: 2021, 2020

Advertising, public relations, visual communication design and communication studies students compete annually in the Effie Collegiate Competition, which gives students the chance to work to create marketing communications plans for well-known brands like Subaru, Bose and V8.

Digital Media Production

Film Festival: Short. Sweet. Film Festival (2023)

  • Selections: Professional Category

    • Cyrus Adkins, ’23: “The Beauty of Violence” (Senior Capstone Project)
    • Elizabeth Juhasz, ’18, and Sarah Smith: “Behind Closed Doors”
    • Alex George, ’22: “The Man With the Cough” (Senior Capstone Project)
    • Zachery Arthur Gosen, ’19: “What’s Best”
    • Jake Marzulf, ’22, and Andrew Chope: “Closer”
  • Student Filmmaker Category

    • Sam Michael, ’22: “Dead and Gone” (Senior Capstone Project)
    • Jacob Marzluf, ’22: “The Cellist” (Senior Capstone Project)
    • Michael Stockwell, ’24: “Half Nelson” (Production I project)
    • Madison Ledyard-King, ’22: “Dreams” (Senior Capstone Project)

Film Festivals: Montreal Independent Film Festial, Women's Film Festival, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival - 2021

Selection: "I Am" - Female Filmmakers Initiative

  • Ailene Joven, '21 - Director of Photography for "I Am"
  • Hana LeBrew, '22 - Director and Managing Director for "I Am"
  • Addy Birkes, '22, Creative Director for FFI


Film Festival: Independent Short Awards (2019)


  • Bronze, Best Student Short, 2019 Independent Short Awards: "Forgive Me" - Senior Project by Alyssa Standen, '18
  • Bronze, Best Cinematography, 2019 Independent Short Awards: "Forgive Me" - Senior Project by Dane Etto, '19