By Ronald Hanaki
As part of their 37th anniversary celebration, ESU’s Department of Communication Studies held their 20th annual Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Shawnee Inn Golf Resort last Saturday.
Dr. Cem Zeytinoglu served as the evening’s master of ceremonies for the gala event. He introduced ESU’s Provost, Dr. Joanne Bruno.
“The communication studies major ranks number six in the country, and it shows how obviously important it is as a major but also what it means for the world that we live in,” Bruno said.
“I am so impressed by the students who are being honored today. I can’t wait to hear the many successes that you have in the field,” said Bruno.
Department chair Dr. Robert McKenzie was the next to speak. Before introducing the evening’s keynote speaker, he invited the audience to remember what the Roman rhetorician Quintilian said.
Quoting Quintilian, McKenzie said, “You couldn’t be a good speaker unless you are a good person as well.”
The keynote address was delivered by Katya Fitzpatrick, News Director at BRCTV13. She was also the news director for ESU’s WESS radio station and a broadcasting major.
Among the many things that she said, Fitzpatrick told the students in attendance to never give up on their dreams.
Dr. Andrea McClanahan presented the first award of the evening. Juniors Louis Wein and Jillian Deiley were awarded the Department of Communication Endowed Scholarship.
McClanahan called Wein “persistent in terms of his academic endeavors.”
“He [Wein] is exceptional, and that’s one of the reasons we are awarding him this,” said McClanahan.
Before awarding the next scholarship, Zeytinoglu took a moment to honor the late Dr. Joseph Ashcroft. Ashcroft was a Distinguished Professor at ESU who passed away last August. Zeytinoglu called Ashcroft a brilliant educator who would be missed by the department.
The Performance Award Scholarship was awarded to WESS station manager Jillian Deiley.
“When I first got to college, I always said that if I did one thing right, it was choosing communication studies as a major,” said Deiley.
“I’ve never doubted it. I’ve never thought twice about it. And with all the people in this room, professors as well as students around me and my parents who have always supported me, it has opened so many doors for me that I didn’t think would be open,” said Deiley.
Junior Mackenzie Mathna was not there to accept her scholarship award, but she was praised by Zeytinoglu as being one of the outstanding students in the department.
The Colleen Fleming Memorial Endowed Scholarship was awarded to Theresa Chey. Zeytinoglu praised the dual-major as a hard worker who always has a smile on her face.
McClanahan presented the Journal Award for the most promising junior for graduate school to Pedro Zayas.
“Pedro is always eager to help others, and that is a key quality to have,” said McClanahan.
In accepting the award, Zayas said, “ESU professors are really the hidden gem in the education system in all of Pennsylvania–I feel.”
“My first introduction to communication studies was Dr. McClanahan, and she really confirmed my belief that I found a home,” said Zayas.
Zayas aspires to be a college professor, and Zeytinoglu said, “I am going to hold you to that.”
The Dale Snow Endowed Scholarship for the outstanding junior in film studies went to Shana O’Hara.
“She is an excellent writer, and I really enjoy having you in my class,” said Zeytinoglu.
Dr. Wenjie Yan presented “Academic Excellence Certificates” to Brooke Bostic, Jasmine Amro and Natalie Keller. These students were the runner-ups for the scholarship awards.
Anja Whitehead and Samantha Washington were recognized by Dr. Patricia Kennedy as the best minors in the department.
Dr. Charles Warner presented the “Academic Recognition Certificates” to the department’s majors having a GPA of 3.75 or better.
The WESS & Broadcasting Scholarships were presented by McKenzie.
Zeytinoglu recognized the officers from ESU’s chapter of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America).
It was announced that Kelley Bahata, President of PRSSA, will be the student commencement speaker at graduation in May.
Finally, new members of Lambda Pi Eta were inducted by McClanahan. Lambda Pi Eta is the National Communication Association’s official honor society.
This year’s new inductees who attended the ceremony were the following: Alisha Rohrer, Louis Wein, Abby Krueger, Jillian Deiley, Theresa Chey, Kelley Bahata, Anthony Mazzella, Jasmine Amro and Natalie Keller.
Email Ronald at: