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School of Mass Communications Celebrates Outstanding Students

Joe Santana
Joe Santana received the Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar Award, which is presented by each chapter to the graduating senior or graduate student with the highest GPA.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Mass Communication celebrated its outstanding students and community partners during an awards ceremony honoring student accomplishments from the spring semester.

Tom Brannon, a UA Little Rock alumnus who is now the chief meteorologist at THV11, served as the keynote speaker.

“On April 1, I celebrated 25 years at THV11. I never would have had the opportunity to do that if I didn’t go to school here,” Brannon said. “UA Little Rock offered up many opportunities. You have access to local television and radio stations. The instructors that I had helped me back in the early 90s. I’m very thankful for the opportunities they provided me, and I’m very happy that you can provide the scholarships now for these young people.”

Mass communication students Joe Santana, Rito Smith, Jamie Oliver Moody, Alicia Dorn, and Nicole McGehee were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. Santana also received the Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar Award, which is presented by each chapter to the graduating senior or graduate student with the highest GPA.

Professor Chris Robinson presented the Meritorious Service Award to the Arkansas Cinema Society for its invaluable support to mass communication students at UA Little Rock. Kody Ford, director of outreach, programs, and education, and Dillon Garcia, director of hospitality, accepted the award on behalf of the Arkansas Cinema Society.

Robinson, who serves as resident curator for the Arkansas Cinema Society, said the Arkansas Cinema Society has “succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.”

“The Arkansas Cinema Society has created countless opportunities and connections for our students and our community,” Robinson said. “The society is a cinema society for all of Arkansas. I am proud to be working with these people.”

The School of Mass Communication awarded nearly $100,000 in scholarships to students for the 2024-25 academic year. Mass communication students who received scholarships include:

·  Jane and John Thompson Endowed Journalism Scholarship – Kate Benne

·  Herbert and Gertrude Latkin Scholarship – Karoline Putnam and Brock Sheets

·  Jerol Garrison Endowed Journalism Scholarship – Kristin Divino

·  William K. Rutherford Freedom of Information Act Endowed Memorial Scholarship – Braden Rainey

·  Harry Ashmore Awards – Braden Rainey and Brock Sheets

·  Edith Woods Sweezy Memorial Scholarship in Journalism – Zachary Farmer

·  K.A. Engel Memorial Scholarship – Kate Benne, Braden Rainey, and Karoline Putnam

·  Patrick and Leslie Rhode Scholarship – Samuel Nichol

·  Roy Mitchell Scholarship – Kate Benne

·  Governor Orval E. Faubus Scholarship – Kate Benne and Braden Rainey

·  Dan and Johnnie Winn Memorial Scholarship (Undergraduate winners) – Matthew Anerson, Allison Andreassen, Kristin Divino, Zachary Farmer, Hailey Grillo, Ebony Gurley, David Hernandez, Avianna Kagler, Samuel Nichol, Karoline Putnam, Adrian Rogers, Danielle Roundtree, Kennedi Stephens, and Hanna Tumbleson

·  Don and Johnnie Winn Memorial Scholarship (Graduate winners) – Nichole McGehee, Alicia Knott, Josephine Weathington, Zain Yunus, Ahmed Elkhattabi, Samrin Shaikh, Kelle Watts, and Theresa Okon

·  Jason Irby Scholarship – Josephine Weathington

·  Golden Mike Award – Hailey Grillo

·  Arkansas Broadcasters Association Endowed Scholarship – Sheranden Miller and Adrian Rogers

· Scholarships Project Endowment – Sheranden Miller and Daniesha Whitaker

·  Television Broadcasters of Arkansas Scholarship – Allison Andreassen and Danielle Roundtree

·  RD Doubleday Endowed Scholarship – Daniesha Whitaker