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JCOM department honors its best & brightest, announces scholarships

April 14th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

LOGAN—The Department of Journalism & Communication at Utah State University has named its top students for 2013-2014, and awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships for the coming academic year.


OUSTANDING! JCOM A-TV News seniors, Emily Landeen, Kelton Wells and Karlie Liechty display their awards at end-of-year dinner.

During the department’s annual awards banquet in the Taggart Student Center Skyroom, JCOM faculty honored its Class of 2013 graduates, named its top seniors and juniors in each of the department’s concentration areas.

Broadcast journalism student Emily Landeen was named the department’s outstanding graduating senior in recognition of her academic record, her work as a reporter, news anchor and producer with A-TV News, and her professional internships, including one last summer with KSL-TV than turned into stringer work for the station through the year.

The other top 2013 graduates are Sarah Hatch in Agricultural Communication & Journalism; Dani Hayes in print journalism; and Kara Rindlisbacher in public relations.

Outgoing JCOM Department Head Ted Pease—assisted by his replacement, Tom Terry of Idaho State University, who will join the faculty July 1—distributed the annual JCOM scholarships to 18 students.

“This is our annual celebration of another great school year,” Pease said. “The faculty are very proud of you, our best and brightest, for your work and accomplishments this year, and look forward to all you’ll do next year.”

Pease said he also is proud of the growth of JCOM scholarship endowments, which have generated more than $31,000 in awards to JCOM students in the 2013-2014 school year.

“Choosing scholarship winners is always hard—we have such great students,” he said. “We always wish there was more support. We’re working on it.”


The Rusty Spike Award

Pease himself also was surprised with an award in his honor, created by the members of the newly revived Northern Utah chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

“Officially, it’s the Ted Pease Award, but we’re informally calling it the Ted Pease Award for Curmudgeonly Service To Journalism,” said assistant professor Matthew LaPlante, the SPJ chapter adviser, in presenting the award. “In years to come, we hope to give the award to those who don’t really give a damn what people think about them, so long as they’re doing what’s right on behalf of journalism and journalists.”

The award—a rusty railroad spike—was created through contributions from students, faculty and alumni, and will be presented annually to journalists and others who also support service to journalism and journalism education.

Pease, who has taught at USU since 1994, steps down as the university’s longest serving department head at the end of this semester, but will continue to teach half-time.

Saying he was touched by the award, Pease noted that the spike was, “Rusty but still sharp—which is a good metaphor for me. I hope.”

JCOM 2013 AWARDS • Department of Journalism & Communication


Emily Landeen, Broadcast/Video Journalism


Sarah Hatch, Agricultural Communication & Journalism

Dani Hayes, Print/Journalistic Writing

Kara Rindlisbacher, Public Relations


Agricultural Communication & Journalism

Skylar Christensen

Broadcast/Video Journalism

Kelton Wells • Romina Nedakovic • Brianna Bodily • Katrina Warburton • Kelsey Keller • Courtney Robinson • Karlie Liechty

Print Journalism

D. Whitney Smith • Katie Swain • Emily Johnson • Alexandra Jeppson • Steven Kent • Rhett Wilkinson • Lis Stewart • Tavin Stucki

Public Relations

Drew Van Dyke • Samantha Gregson • Caitlin Moffitt • Jaron Dunford • Dannielle Parker • Lauren Gould • Colby Bair • Deidre Quire


Agricultural Communication & Journalism

Dawn Otterby

Broadcast/Video Journalism

Mackinzie Hamilton • Tmera Bradley • Marie Titze

Print Journalism

Sarah Menlove • Danielle Manley

Public Relations

Betsy Blanchard • Rachel Wabel • Joy Brisighella


The 2013-2014 Josey Barnes Wayman Scholarship for Women in Broadcast Journalism

Brianna Bodily

The 2013-2014 Deseret Book Scholarship

Betsy Blanchard

The 2013-2014 Deseret News Scholarship

Tavin Stucki

The 2013-2014 Deseret Digital Scholarship

Aaron Griffiths

The 2013-2014 KSL Scholarship

Mackinzie Hamilton

The 2013-2014 Jay W. Glasmann Family Scholarships

Alexandra Jeppson • Danielle Manley • Lis Stewart

The 2013-2014 Ogden Standard-Examiner Scholarship

Katie Swain

The 2013-2014 Salt Lake Tribune Scholarships

Paul Christiansen • Sarah Menlove

The 2013-2014 Estel & Leah Wright Scholarships

Joy Brisighella • Seth Merrill • Marie Titze • Rachel Wabel

The 2013-2014 Wilford D. Porter Scholarship

Dawn Otterby

The 2013-2014 Palmer & Hays Scholarships

Rebecca Wheatley


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