Alumni, friends, and the campus community are invited to remember alumna Alicia Parlette at a ‘celebration of life’ Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m., in the Reynolds School of Journalism atrium. Parlette died April 22 following a four-year battle with alveolar soft part sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. She was 28.
Parlette is among the nearly two dozen alumni award winners to be honored at the 2010 Homecoming Gala Oct. 7 at the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom. She posthumously will receive the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year award from the Reynolds School.
“We scheduled our celebration of life for Alicia during Homecoming when alumni return to the journalism school to celebrate the academic accomplishments and friendships that made their University experience meaningful,” said Jerry Ceppos, dean. “While the loss of Alicia is keenly felt, we will come together as a journalism school family to celebrate her exuberance, positive spirit, and professional contributions that she made to journalism.”
Parlette was named Outstanding Print Student in May 2003 and was graduated summa cum laude in 2004 from the Reynolds School.
After earning a prestigious Hearst Fellowship, Parlette became a copy editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with cancer and shared her story with the newspaper’s readers.
Reader demand sparked the Chronicle to publish a 17-part series and it was among the newspaper’s most popular.
Alicia began a blog about the odyssey of her disease, treatment, family and faith. Her story also was featured on NPR and ABC News.
After her death, Parlette’s work was adapted and published a book titled “Alicia’s Story: Cancer, Despair, Hope and Faith,” by the San Francisco Chronicle Press.
Parlette’s wish to acknowledge the journalism school and the importance of internships in her professional development has led to the establishment of the Alicia Parlette Fund for Aspiring Journalists, which will provide support for students who pursue internships.
“Alicia worked as an unpaid intern in Philadelphia and credited the experience – and her journalism classes – with making her the journalist she had become,” Ceppos said. “Alicia did not want a lack of resources to deter other students from pursuing their dreams.”
Contributions to the fund may be sent the Alicia Parlette Fund for Aspiring Journalists at the Reynolds School of Journalism, Mail Stop 0310, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno NV 89557.