School of Mass Communication delivers awards for outstanding students

The School of Mass Comm’s interim Director Tim Edwards (left) with keynote speaker Patrick Rhode. Photo: Ryan Bourgoin/Forum

The School of Mass Communication recognized outstanding achievements from students and faculty alike during the 2017-2018 school year at its annual awards banquet in Ledbetter Hall.

Among those recognized was alumnus Patrick Rhode, who served as special assistant to President George W. Bush. Rhode left the School with only three credit hours left to complete but returned 23 years later to finish his degree after a conversation with his young daughter.

Rhode served as the event’s keynote speaker, recounting the rocky beginning of his career and telling the audience that in college he never could have imagined that he would go on to work in the White House. Rhode encouraged students to stay committed to their goals, citing his own story as proof that success is possible even when the circumstances seem not to permit it.

Award recipients include:

  • Brittany Desmuke, Outstanding Graduating M.A. Student Award
  • Joseph Fisher, Outstanding Graduating Senior Award
  • Cheryl Helman, Meritorious Service Award
  • Eric Holsomback, UALR TV Spotlight Award, Outstanding Graduating Senior Award
  • Margaret Keafy-Machella, Outstanding Graduating M.A. Student Award
  • Thu Nguyen, Lab Manager Award
  • Nicholas Popowitch, Clifton O. Lawhorne Memorial Award
  • Christine Rivera-Kemper, Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar Award
  • Kolton Rutherford, Judy Antaya Danielak Memorial Award

Rhode himself was presented with a Capitol Citation from Arkansas’ Secretary of State, a Certificate of Recognition from the State of Arkansas, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Mass Communication.



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