The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication recognized top students at the 2016 Honors & Awards Ceremony held on Sunday, June 12.

Congratulations to all of our award winners.

Honors program

The third cohort of SOJC Honors students was recognized and awarded honors cords to wear at commencement. Honors students take several classes in a writing- and discussion-based format with a cohort of peers from all areas of the SOJC. Honors students also complete a thesis that investigates an area of media inquiry of their choice.

The 2015 SOJC Honors students are:

Jon M. Bach
Olivia Stewart Bartruff
Karly Elizabeth Dewees
Samantha Lyn Edge
Kelsey Clark Fuson
Michaela Nicole Giunchigliani
Alexandria Jane Hardy
Molly Patricia Marie Hover
Angelica Marie Luchini
Negina Pirzad
Haley Jane Rivet
Andrew C. Rogers
Mackenzie Leigh Smith
Jesse A. Summers
Shannon Lyn Turner
Tiffany Wan Hoi Nga
Thomas Christopher Woods

Kappa Tau Alpha

Kappa Tau Alpha is a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. Each year, the SOJC offers membership to the top 10 percent of the graduating class. The 28 new members of Kappa Tau Alpha are:

Doctor of Philosophy: 
Jeremy Swartz
Thomas Schmidt

Master of Arts or Sciences: 
Lucila Epple
Rachel Fleenor
Stephanie Essin

Bachelor of Journalism:
Jessica Ballestrazze
Cindy Barnes
Quinn Blackwolf
Erin Coates
Samantha Coffaro
Julia Comnes
Delaney DiGiovanni
Samantha Lyn Edge
Emily Foster
Emily Garcia
Hannah Giardina
Alexandria Hardy
Grace Hashiguchi
Sarah Hovet
Kenneth Jacoby
Hannah Lewman
Michaela Marans
Michelle Miller
Benjamin Neal
Alisa O’Neal
Grace Shum
Rachel Struxness
Laura Trent

Each year two students are recognized as Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholars. The Top Scholar Award is presented by each chapter to the graduating senior and graduate student with the highest grade point average. This year’s top graduate student was Rachel Smith, and the top undergraduate student was Jessica Ballestrazze.


Phi Beta Kappa

The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences and is widely considered the nation’s most prestigious honor society. Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote and advocate for excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and to induct the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at American colleges and universities.

This year, the UO chapter selected two SOJC students to be inducted:

Hannah Giardina, journalism major
Benjamin McBee, journalism major

Latin honors

Eligibility for the three categories of Latin honors is based on the cumulative grade point average for all undergraduate work completed at UO. Twenty-one SOJC students earned Latin honors:

Cum Laude — students with a GPA of 3.79-3.9 (top 10 percent):
Olivia Stewart Bartruff, Kyra Rose Smallman Buckley, Lisa M. Donato, Samantha Lyn Edge, Jessica Marie Foster, Julia Catherine Hawkes, Chloe Oneonta Huckins, Courtney Marie King, Paulina Liang, Benjamin Mitchell McBee, Anna Janell Ohm, Catherina Alyse Savattere

Magna Cum Laude — students with a GPA of 3.91-3.99 (top 5 percent):
Hannah Marie Golden, Jocelyn Keely Parker, Andrew C. Rogers, Mackenzie Leigh Smith, Erica Lee Hawley, Sinead Pauline Nelson, Gabrielle Robertson, Ryan A. Rouillard

Summa Cu Laude — students with a GPA of 4.00 or higher (top 2 percent):
Molly Patricia Marie Hover

SOJC Commencement Standard Bearer

The SOJC Standard Bearer leads the processional during the SOJC Commencement Ceremony and carries the standard during the annual Duck Walk and through the UO Commencement Ceremony.

The standard bearer is “a student who has consistently demonstrated their creativity and, during the course of their studies, gained expertise, maturity and confidence, virtually guaranteeing a very bright future in their chosen field.”

The 2016 Standard Bearer is Tevin Tavares. Tavares, who majored in advertising, is known as a leader who produces inspiring, award-winning work while always helping, motivating and working with other students to improve and create their own amazing work.

School of Journalism and Communication awards

The Phyllis Van Kimmell Bell Leadership Award: Courtney Anne Mains
William Gurney Outstanding Student Memorial Award: Andrew C. Rogers
Janice E. Rianda Outstanding Student Award: Molly Patricia Marie Hover

Advertising area awards

Willis Winter Award for Outstanding Scholastic and Professional Service in the Field of Advertising: Christopher Anthony Puma
Roy Paul Nelson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advertising Design: Lisa M. Donato
W.L. Thompson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advertising Copywriting: Katharine Anne Rohrich and Guy Edward Olson
Maxwell Award for Creative Strategy: Madison Dillard Cameron

Journalism area awards

Academic Excellence: Jon M. Bach
Leadership: Samantha Lyn Edge
Outstanding Journalism: Dahlia Hasna Bazzaz

Public Relations area awards

Liz Cawood Public Service Award: Maritza Rendon
Jack Ewan Award for Outstanding Public Relations Graduate: Sophie Catherine Lair
Public Relations Duck Award: Andrew C. Rogers

Media Studies Best Essay Award

James Cross

Price Award for Outstanding Journalistic History Paper

Elizabeth Seelinger

Graduate Student Awards

Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award: Jeremy David Swartz
Outstanding Master’s Student Teaching Award: James David Swerzenski
T. Neil Taylor Award for Outstanding Master’s Thesis: Aleah Tierney Kiley
Outstanding Strategic Communication Project: Ellen Margaret Payne