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School of Mass Communication Honors Outstanding Students

Students from the School of Mass Communication receive the Academic Achievement Award.
Students from the School of Mass Communication receive the Academic Achievement Award.

The UA Little Rock School of Mass Communication celebrated its outstanding students and community partners during an awards ceremony on April 13.

Daniel Breen, a 2018 graduate of UA Little Rock and award-winning reporter and news anchor for UA Little Rock Public Radio, served as the keynote speaker.

“My journey from a student at UA Little Rock to newsroom leader has taken me a long way, and I am grateful to be where I am today,” Breen said. “My mentors here at UA Little Rock gave me the space to breathe and learn and ensured that I had the strongest foundation possible for growth.”

Dr. Tim Edwards, interim chair of the School of Mass Communication, and Professor Sonny Rhodes presented the Meritorious Service Award to Arkansas Press Association/Arkansas Newspaper Foundation and the Arkansas Broadcasters Association for their invaluable support to mass communication students at UA Little Rock.

Six students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. These students include undergraduate students Jesse Cain, Allison Risius, Olivia Hicks, and Ahmed Elkhattabi as well as graduate students Abigail Carlson and Daniela Dehaghani. Cain also received the Top Scholar Award.

Students who received the Academic Achievement Award for being on the Chancellor’s List and/or Dean’s List include Shalonda Nelson, Allison Risius, Jaelyn Tucker, Kayla Woods, Adrian Rogers, Emily Wells, Ahmed Elkhattabi, Jesse Cain, Kate Benne, Kristin Divino, Olivia Hicks, Braden Rainey, and Miles Miller.

Mass communication students who received additional awards include:

  • Outstanding/Top Graduating Senior Award – Jesse Cain and Allison Risius
  • Outstanding/Top Graduating Graduate Student Award – Franca Afolabi and Diana Denning
  • Clifton O. Lawhorne Memorial Award – Chloe McGehee – Awarded to journalism student/major who exemplifies outstanding leadership.
  • Director’s Award – Emily Wells – Presented to a student who demonstrates initiative, leadership, collaboration, and engagement both in and out of the classroom, and whose efforts contribute to the life of the School of Mass Communication.

The School of Mass Communication awarded nearly $100,000 in scholarships to students for the 2023-24 academic year. Mass communication students who received scholarships include:

  • The Dan and Johnnie Winn Memorial Scholarship – Matt Anderson, George Arthur, Andrew Bacon, Kevin Beckwith, Kiara Bradford, Arielle Fresh, John Reed, Adrian Rogers, and Kelle Watts
  • K.A. Engel Memorial Scholarship – Kate Benne, Kristin Divino, Ahmed Elkhattabi, Daniela Montero, John Reed, Kennedi Stephens, and Daneisha Whitaker
  • Golden Mike Award/Steve Stephens & Belinda Shults Endowed Scholarship – Matt Anderson
  • Arkansas Broadcasters Association Endowed Scholarship – Adrian Rogers
  • Scholarship – Daneisha Whitaker
  • Television Broadcasters of Arkansas Scholarship – Ahmed Elkhattabi
  • RD Doubleday Endowed Scholarship – Andrew Bacon
  • Roy Mitchell Scholarship – Ahmed Elkhattabi
  • Governor Orval E. Faubus Scholarship – Frankquetta Mallett
  • Jane and John Thompson Endowed Journalism Scholarship – Ebony Gurley
  • Herbert and Gertrude Latkin Scholarship Fund – Kate Benne
  • Jerol Garrison Endowed Journalism Scholarship – Kristin Divino
  • William K. Rutherford Freedom of Information Act Endowed Memorial Scholarship – Kate Benne
  • Jason Irby Scholarship – Kevin Beckwith
  • Harry Ashmore Award – Kristin Divino
  • Edith Woods Sweezy Memorial Scholarship in Journalism – Daniela Montero