College of Communication and Information Students Honored by Akron Press Club

Eight College of Communication and Information students received scholarships from the Akron Press Club and John S. Knight Memorial Scholarship Fund in April, totaling $40,000 in awards.

The Akron Press Club awards local students every year in memory of individuals who impacted the journalism field.

"Journalism and Mass Communication students have done extremely well over the years in winning these competitive scholarships," said Jeff Fruit, professor and interim director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. "The Akron Press Club also has substantively increased both the number and amounts of the scholarships over time, so we are appreciative of its philanthropic support."

Jenna Borthwick, Ian Kreider, Madison Patterson and Valerie Royzman, all journalism majors, along with Ariel Stahler, a communications studies major, received the John S. Knight Scholarship.

Multiple faculty members attended the luncheon in support and to introduce the student winners.

Associate Professor Jacqueline Marino introduced Ms. Royzman at the luncheon.

“I've been involved in Student Media at Kent State since freshman year, working as a reporter and editor, and I can't tell you how good it feels to be recognized for my work. I have so many professors to thank for pushing me through the years because it really did make me better. Hearing such kind words from Jacquie was special,” said Ms. Royzman, who is currently serving as the editor-in-chief of The Kent Stater.

Ms. Patterson has also worked with student media as a part of A Magazine.

“The John S. Knight Scholarship will be instrumental to the success of my undergraduate career. Thanks to the scholarship, I will be able to focus on my academics and student media and rise to the level of excellence CCI expects from its students and leaders,” said Ms. Patterson.

Kent State students won eight of the nine awards given by the Akron Press Club this year.

“The scholarship is important to me because it is awarded on journalism merit.  It is an incredible honor to receive this scholarship and I am very grateful. This scholarship is going to help me immensely for the rest of my undergraduate career. I am a senior, and it is nice to know this scholarship will help cover my tuition for my final year,” said Ms. Stahler.

This is the second scholarship Ms. Stahler has received from the Akron Press Club, having won the Russ Pry Scholarship in 2018.

Ms. Borthwick, who serves as a reporter, anchor and producer for Kent State’s television station, TV2 News, will use her scholarship to support her trip abroad.

“I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy, during the fall semester, allowing me to gain a new, diverse perspective of the world. Finances typically cause a great deal of stress for college students, and this incredible amount of money will relieve some of the financial burden,” she said.

Public Relations major Alexa Marco was given the title of Sauvageot Scholar, along with a $5,000 scholarship.

“The luncheon was an amazing opportunity to see all the hard work that Kent State students put into each semester. It was such an honor to be recognized amongst my talented peers,” said Ms. Marco, who works as an assigning editor for The Kent Stater and as a public relations intern for Kent State’s Flash Communications office.

Rachel Hale and Sophia Iannelli, both public relations majors, were presented as Thong scholars and given a scholarship award as well.

“This scholarship means the world to me. It is an amazing feeling to have the hard work I’ve put in be recognized by such a renowned organization,” Ms. Iannelli said. She will be serving as the 2019-2020 president of PRSSA Kent.

Ms. Hale, who no longer has to commute in the fall thanks to the generous scholarship award, works as the general assignment editor at The Kent Stater.  

“As a senior who is graduating next semester, it helps so much because I won't have to pay for tuition in the fall and add to my debt. Receiving this scholarship gives me the motivation to work even harder during my fall semester,” said Ms. Hale.

Associate Professor Stefanie Moore presented Ms. Iannelli with her award at the luncheon.

“It is a rewarding moment for students to be honored by the Akron Press Club and the John S. Knight Memorial Fund, and it provides everyone a chance to honor and remember influential leaders for whom the scholarships were created,” said Professor Moore.

Students were given their awards at a luncheon on April 26 at Greystone Hall in Akron, sponsored by the Akron Press Club.