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End of the Year Awards - Communication Department

Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement

    Emily Werness

This award is given to that graduating senior who demonstrates the strongest academic performance in Communication.

Emily is a graduating senior in Communication who comes to UMD from Rosemount, Minnesota. She is the graduate with the highest cumulative GPA among graduating seniors. She plans to spend the first six months after graduation volunteering her time on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and Wind River Ranch in Colorado. Emily says: "I want to say thank you to the Communication Department for giving me this award; I was not expecting anything like it. I feel very honored and can't say enough how much I have LOVED being a part of this department and I have learned so much from all the professors I have had. My experience learning about Communication is something I can and have translated to every area of my life, both personal and professional; Communication is embedded into our lives, in many ways, and we might not even realize it. Moreover, a liberal arts education has provided me with many skills that are going to prove helpful throughout my life, such as critical and analytical thinking, and has strengthened my ability creatively and intelligently to express my thoughts and ideas.

Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research and Scholarship

 Jacqueline Borrett

This award is given to that junior or senior who both demonstrates an outstanding academic record and significantly advances the research mission of the Department of Communication.

Jacqueline is a graduating senior, who comes to Duluth from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Upon completion of her degree in Communication, she will be attending graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study mass communication. Jacqueline wishes to say: "I am exceedingly grateful to have had the opportunities and experiences that helped me earn this award. Being a Communication major is unlike anything else. The things I have learned here I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Award for Outstanding Service

   Nahom Abegaze

This award is given to that graduating senior who has performed service within the department, the college, the University and/or the community that goes above and beyond expectations.

Nahom is a senior in Communication who plans to graduate at the end of the Fall 2012 term. Born and raised in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia; Nahom's family currently resides in Burnsville, Minnesota. After graduating in December, he hopes to delve into many extensions of media architecture with IR Media House, a media firm based out of the Twin Cities specializing in film production, photography, graphic design, etc. Nahom is also considering enrolling in a masters program or taking the LSAT for law school preparation. He says: "I'm honored to be a recipient of this award and look forward to participating in additional service projects, especially projects that enrich the environment of UMD and the wider community. I recently added my Communication major and have enjoyed the variety of courses available on this branch of study. I look forward to my schedule for Fall of 2012, as I'll have the ability to meet other professors and instructors in the department. The value of a liberal arts education is immense in my book; it has introduced me to a multitude of historical contexts, all relevant in their own respective ways."

Virginia T. Katz Scholarship

    Melissa Odden

The Virginia T. Katz Scholarship is given in honor of our friend and colleague, Ginny Katz, who retired from UMD in 2003. This award honors that junior who best combines a solid academic performance with both a broad commitment to service and strong interpersonal skill.

Melissa is a junior majoring in Communication, and comes to UMD from Blaine, Minnesota. Melissa wishes to say: "It is an honor to have received the Katz Award and be part of such an amazing Communication Department. I plan to use this award as motivation to work very hard my last year at UMD, as I continue to do more research and further my knowledge in Communication. Being a Communication major has been a highly influential part of my life these past three years and I feel very fortunate to learn from the experts within the field that teach in the department. A liberal arts education has opened my eyes and ears to the real world and given me the tools to inspire, create, and change."

John Ness Memorial Award

     Holly Nelson         Elizabeth Wicklund

John Ness was a beloved member of the Communication Faculty for 23 years. Each spring the award is given to the senior graduating in Communication who has demonstrated both outstanding academic achievement and distinguished service to the University.

Holly comes to UMD from Onalaska, Wisconsin. Completing a double major in Communication and Spanish, Holly will be working as an Oscar Mayer Brand Ambassador driving the Wienermobile around the United States for the next year. Holly wishes to say: "I am so honored and grateful to have received this prestigious award along with my friend Libby. This award will be incredibly helpful in paying for my academic expenses here in Duluth. I am honestly so grateful for all of the wonderful things I have learned from my Communication studies which I have found I use in all aspects of my life. I believe that a liberal education is a crucial component to any young adult's development and should be incorporated in every college student's time at the university."

Elizabeth (Libby) comes to UMD from Crystal, Minnesota. Upon completing her undergraduate degree in Communication, Libby will be attending Colorado State University to pursue an master's degree in Communication. Libby wishes to say: "I feel deeply honored to have received this award from a department for which I have so much respect and appreciation. Being a part of the Communication Department has helped shape me as an individual and has given me the tools successfully to move on from my time as an undergrad. If I could go back to being a senior in high school, there is no doubt that I would again choose to pursue a liberal education, because it has already helped me in numerous aspects of my life and I have yet to graduate. Thanks!"

WestmorelandFlint Scholarship

  Stephanie Nelson

WestmorelandFlint is making this gift in recognition of the quality education UMD offers students. This scholarship is intended to help support students pursue their dreams of higher education. These students use their knowledge in incredible ways, and WestmorelandFlint is proud to have hired several graduates throughout the years. It is the agency’s hope to continue this tradition.

Stephanie is a junior with a major in Communication at UMD, who comes from Osceola, Wisconsin. She expresses that she is both humbled and honored to receive the WestmorelandFlint Award. Stephanie wishes to say: "I plan to use this award to pay for tuition costs next year and get the most out of my education experience as a senior by continuing my efforts with the Communication Club, setting high standards for my academic achievements, and networking with this great community of professionals. The educational experience that I have had at UMD so far has been second to none: my Communication major has taught me real world insight, taught me to challenge the norm, and ultimately started a path for my quest for knowledge - you can't put a price tag on that. The value of my liberal arts education has inspired me to learn from other viewpoints and celebrate diversity among others."

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