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Students and professors recognized at annual Honors Reception

Betsy Drazner '12 JOURN
4/4/2011  12:00 pm

On April 2, 2011, the University of Illinois Alice Campbell Alumni Center on the Urbana campus filled with proud students, parents, and teachers. The College of Media hosted its annual Honors Reception to present awards and scholarships to students to recognize their leadership and creativity.

In her opening speech, Jan Slater, interim dean of the College of Media, reminded audience members that the Honors Reception is a wonderful way for the College of Media to recognize and celebrate the successes of its students.

“This is about scholarship and scholarship is not about grades. Scholarship is about a love of learning and a lifetime of learning,” she said. Slater thanked the parents for their support and motivation.

Award recipients were chosen because they “went above and beyond without expecting any award or recognition,” said Slater. Besides student award winners, the reception also recognized College of Media professors for excellence in teaching, College of Media Student Ambassadors, and the College of Media Student Advisory Council.

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Lynn Holley, academic programs coordinator in the Department of Journalism, said media has a responsibility to shape others’ opinions.

“In most aspects of society the media are leading the way,” Holley said.

Jason Houze ’11 ADV was chosen as a student speaker. He said students at the College of Media are setting the curve for others in media.

Kelsey LeFevour ’11 MEDIA STUDIES, another student speaker, referred to appreciating moments in life and those who made it possible.

“There are so many individuals and aspects that are accredited with making this University so spectacular. With the countless individuals I have met who have served as role models, advisors, professors, coaches, teammates, classmates, and friends, it’s impossible to not be overwhelmed with gratitude,” LeFevour said.

A third student speaker, Jarron Farmby ’11 JOURN, told the inspirational story about when he was unsure he could continue his college education due to financial issues. He said his prayers were answered with a College of Media scholarship.

“It feels great to know that there are those individuals who you never actually know are watching your every move and are prepared to assist whenever they can. The College of Media proves to be that entity for every student within it,” Farmby said.

He said he has become a better rounded journalist and individual thanks to the College of Media.

Melissa Silverberg ’11 JOURN was awarded a Joe Sutton Honorary Scholarship in Print Journalism for a promise of success in journalism.

“It feels good,” said Silverberg. “It’s nice to be recognized for all my hard work over the last couple years.”

Silverberg said her parents were excited to see her win the same award two years in a row.

“They were proud. They were glad I got a scholarship. They were happy that I worked so hard with school and the Daily Illini,” she said.

Emily Bayci ’12 JOURN won the Raymond Clamage Award for journalism students on the Daily Illini staff.

“I’m pretty excited about it because a lot of my college experience has been dedicated to the Daily Illini, and it’s just nice to be recognized and show that I’m noticed for what I’ve done for it,” Bayci said.

Her mother, Anna Bayci, was excited for her daughter.

“It’s nice that she’s being recognized for all the hard work she’s put in at the Daily Illini,” she said.

Rachel Havey ’11 JOURN received a Lulu Kelly Nadine Award, a scholarship for excellence in writing.

“This is my first time to have a journalism award here so it’s pretty cool. It’s fun to be acknowledged for your work and see that somebody noticed it,” Havey said. “It’s a huge honor.”

Havey’s parents traveled to Champaign to attend the ceremony.

“It’s fun for me to be able to bring them to things like this to show I do work hard and I’m not wasting their money,” Havey said.

Dean Slater summed up the event with a thank you to donors and supporters of the College of Media, reminding students and their parents that the scholarships and awards listed at the Honors Reception were made possible by $460,000 received this year in alumni donations.

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