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May 10, 2012
By Bob Felten
Sixty students received scholarships totaling more than $103,000 at the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism's annual Savitt Awards Banquet this spring. Another 12 students were recognized and presented cash awards for outstanding work in their specific areas of study.
"The event was very inspiring," Dean Al Stavitsky said. "The sense of community among the students, donors and faculty underlined what a very special place our school is. It was also an impressive demonstration of the diverse talents of our students."
It was Stavitsky's first Savitt Banquet since assuming his position as dean of the school on April 1. At the dinner, he presented Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director Todd Felts the Nevada Semenza Christian Award, recognizing teaching excellence.
Additionally, 10 students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, an honor society recognizing academic excellence in journalism and mass communications. The inductees included Jessica Fagundes, Andrew Church, Gianna Cruet, Nicole Rose Dion, Aleesah Herup, Audrey Hill, Tiffany Moore, Catherine Stokes, Brita Voris and Laura Brigham.
Church also received the Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Award, Dion took home the award for outstanding advertising student, and Moore was recognized as the outstanding new media student.
Other students receiving outstanding undergraduate awards were Madison Corney in broadcast, Stephen Ward in news, Richard De La Rosa in public relations, Michael Schembri in visual journalism and Nick Claus in strategic communications. Dana Sullivan Kilroy was recognized as the outstanding graduate student.
Casey O'Lear received the Lerude First Amendment Award. Amanda Horn received the Steve Martarano Best Published Article Award, and Jade Sheldon was recognized for her service to the Journalism School with the Nita Spanger Service Award.
Stavitsky greeted each scholarship recipient, while Academic Chair Rosemary McCarthy gave a brief summary of the history behind the each scholarship.
"This tradition speaks so eloquently to the strong connection between our school, our alumni and the professions," Stavitsky said. "It was simply a wonderful event."
An endowment established by Sol and Ella Savitt many years ago underwrites the banquet. Ella Savitt regularly attended until her death at the age of 101 in 2004. In recent years, the Rev. Jacqueline Leonard has also generously supported the event.
For more information about the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, go to journalism.unr.edu.