Student Awards

  • Award Recipient with Dr. Mark
  • Award Recipients with Dr. Mark


The USA Department of Communication awards recognize the achievements and accomplishments undergraduate and graduate students have made academically, departmentally, scholarly and creatively.

Distinguished Achievement Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes outstanding academic achievement, and is given to undergraduate students who have earned a cumulative GPA between 3.75 and 4.0, and who have also completed 45 percent of their course work at USA.
2014-2015 Recipients
Samantha R. Andrews
Destinee E. Bliss
Mariel D. Devaughan
Kendall A. Goldman
Robin A. Johns
Kelsey M. Mille
Sarah B. Schelfo
Stuart G. Sox
Outstanding Communication Major Award
The Outstanding Communication Major Award are recipients chosen by each communication concentration from undergraduate students. For eligibility, students have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and at least 3.0 in major course work, and have completed 45 percent of their coursework at USA.
2015-2016 Recipients

Maya Constantine
Deidre Molin
Bryan Hoang

2014-2015 Recipients
Travis M. Adkins
Sydney B. Bataller
Jennifer N. Bazzel
Sharisma N. Bell
Paige T. Billington
Timothy R. Borland
Tyler G. Brantley
Alexandra C. Breeden
Brandon C. Bridge
Karen L. Buckalew
Megan A. Coakley
Kandace M. Cox
James W. Denny
Kelli K. Dickson
Hayley B. Garth
Dallas L. Gibbons
Dennis L. Granberry Jr.
Jacklyn R. LeBatard
Aliyah Nobles
Kaley N. Rector
Steven G. Spears
Kaleb W. Sargel
Ticauris S. Stockes
Raven S. Thomas
Lauren M. Walston
Whitney N. Welch
Anthony M. Wheeler
Victoria C. Wheeler
Outstanding Communication Concentration Award
The Outstanding Communication Concentration Award is an undergraduate student chosen by each communication concentration. These students have exhibited excellence in their track of study.
2015-2016 Recipients

Broadcast Journalism
D’Ambro Chatman
Jordan Westmoreland

 Digital Cinema / Television
Erin Weninegar
Jeremiah Cain

Maya Constantine
Kathryn Beauchamp

Multi-Media Journalism
William Kahalley

 Strategic Communication, Advertising and Public Relations
Jarrod Paz
Cristina Werner
Emily Magyar
Bryan Hoang

2014-2015 Recipients
Interpersonal Rhetoric
Paige T. Billington
Kaley N. Rector
Public Relations
Destinee E. Bliss
Broadcast Journalism
Charles L. Wingard Jr.
Digital Cinema and Television
Stuart G. Sox
Print Journalism
Samantha R. Andrews
Exceptional Departmental Service Award
The Exceptional Departmental Service Award honors an undergraduate student in recognition of his or her exceptional service to the department. The student has a proven record of accomplishment in being actively involved in service and leadership and the university and the community.
Kendall Goldman, 2014-2015
Daniel Moran, 2013-2014
Jessica Head, 2011-2012
Samantha Slover, 2010-2011
Exceptional Graduate Teaching Award
The Exceptional Graduate Teaching Award honors a graduate assistant for his or her dedication to teaching, departmental and student comments and level of responsibility 
Brooke Riddle, 2015-2016
Mary Beth Lursen, 2015-2016
Marti Normand, 2014-2015
Brittney Roberts, 2013-2014
Samantha Slover, 2012-2013
Marty Vignes, 2011-2012
Robert Byrd, 2010-2011
Erin Looney, 2010-2011
Exceptional Internship Award
The Exceptional Intern Award honors an undergraduate student in recognition of his or her own exceptional service to the internship program. The student has a proven record of accomplishments and demonstrates leadership and excellence through the internship. The student's internship supervisor consistently scored the intern high in performance, behavior and administration qualities. For eligibility, students must have completed an internship through the department's program.
Skylar Lewis, 2015-2016
Kendall Goldman, 2014-2015
Kaleb Stergel, 2014-2015
Samantha Slover, 2012-2013
Jeremy Fain, 2013-2014
Andi Sowers, 2012-2013
Heidi Harmon, 2011-2012
Hermanson Research Award
The Hermanson Research Award honors an undergraduate or graduate student who has conducted significant research in the area of history, law or ethics and has a high overall GPA among graduating students. The award honors the memory of Dr. Louise Hermanson, professor of communication, a beloved and respected professor from 1990 until her passing in 2002.

Jessica Taylor, “Integrity, Service, and Excellence: What a United States Officer Can Learn from Past Rhetoricians” and “Timing is Everything: A Rhetorical Analysis of the film ‘A Time To Kill,’" 2015-2016
Barbs Rogers, "Portugal and Extremist Survivalists on Cable TV," 2014-2015
Kendra day, "Clarifying Threats: Development to the Apex of Standardization," 2012-2014
Garrett Cain, "Gardasil: A case study in public relations ethics," 2011-2012
Heather Stanley, "From the Right or the Left: Generation Y and their views on piracy, copyright and file sharing," 2010-2011

Outstanding Scholarly Paper Award
The Outstanding Scholarly Paper Award honors an undergraduate or graduate communication student who authored a scholarly paper and submitted it to a publication or conference in the communication discipline. Student papers are singly authored by the student.

Becka Sasser, “The Other Side of the Ball: An Analysis of the Need for Public Relations and Crisis Management in Sports” presented at the International Conference on Business and Economic Development, 2015-2016

Mary Beth Lursen, “A Virtual Ethnography of Pottermore: Blending the Harry Potter books, movies, and fandom, into one site.””

Sara Frye-Sobolewski, "Comment Connection" presented at the National Communication Association, 2013-2014
Nancy Jo Maples, "What Losing a daily Newspaper Means: An Upclose and Personal Look at the Death of the Daily Delivery" received "Best Student Paper" at the Southern States Communication Association, 2013-2014 

Samantha Slover, "Tactics to Touchdown" received "Top Student Paper" at the Southern States Communication Association, 2012-2013
Melissa Looney, "Conan O'Brien Tonight Show Farewell: Paving the way for Team CoCo," 2011-2012
Robert Byrd, "From Outsider to Martyr: The Advocate's Coverage of Harvey Milk from 1977-1979," 2010-2011
Erin Looney, "Cheering, Jeering, and Showing Your Sign: The First Amendment and Fans' Rights to Wave Banners at Sporting Events," 2010-2011
Creative Arts Award
The Creative Arts Award honors an undergraduate or graduate student for his or her creative excellence in visual communication, multi-media, print journalism, film, television, advertising, public relations or any other field in the art of communication.
2015-2016 Recipients

Torie Bembry, co-producer of documentary, “Strippers”
Gary Youngblood, Flashback, wrote script and conceptualized the television spot for The Shape campaign
Anne-Byron Goslin, Finish What You Start, wrote script and conceptualized the radio spot for The Shape campaign
Alexus-Ann Singletary, The Logo, created and conceptualized the logo for The Shape campaign
Benjamin Crew, Screenwriting Style for “The Haunted”
Chelsea Doswell, Print Publications
Holly McKinley; Cristina Werner; Caitlin Huber, Account Services
David Imber, Creative Services
Kaitlyn Wiggins, Visual Communicatio
Rhett Flowers, Radio, Creative Programming for Soul Sunday and All Things Current
Teddie Taylor, Radio, Performance for Vinyl Vault
Colin Rains, Michael Turner, Copy and Feature Writing

2014-2015 Recipients
Print Journalism
Samantha Andrews, Due South website production and being the driving force behind the “JagMedia” branding effort
Broadcast Journalism
Steven Spears, his excellence in radio composition: His talk show, “Happy Hour with Steven Spears,” has been the highest rated show for two years
Sharisma Bell, "I am not my skin" documentary
Integrated Campaign
Genie McAleer and Hayley B. Garth, accomplished “Rock the Dock” with Mulherin Custodial Home
Brianne Wildman, accomplished a Wounded Warrior project
Kendall A. Goldman and Kaleb W. Stargel, editing and designing the USA College of Arts and Sciences Newsletter
Kayley N. Rector, strategic media plan in the National Media Scholars Competition