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 SOC Hosts its Honors Reception and Student Showcase

By Raven Icaza, SOC Reporter

The School of Communication Honors Reception and Student Showcase celebrated what Dean Donald Heider called students who “make the ordinary extraordinary.”  The annual celebration held on April 20 in Regents Hall, was the first of many events for Loyola’s Weekend of Excellence.  Students shared their work from inside and outside the classroom and awards were given to recognize the efforts of outstanding students and faculty.   

Senior Megan Sandilands, Advertising and Public Relations major, displayed her capstone project at the student showcase.  Interested in talent representation, Sandilands created an IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) campaign to re-launch Taylor Swift’s third album, “Speak Now.”  “The idea is to have fans speak now,” Sandilands explained.  Her concept would allow fans to interact with social media by voting for track names on Facebook, as well as win the opportunity to attend a CD release party. 

Junior Rianne Coale, Journalism major, set up a laptop to display the Loyola Student Dispatch’s website. Writing stories for the LSD news blog is part of Journalism Program Director John Slania’s reporting and writing class. Coale has had a number of articles featured on the blog. “I really love this class, and it has helped me develop my writing as a journalist,” she said.  She had her press pass ready for her next assignment, covering the Dalai Lama’s visit to Loyola.

Slania is also a member of the SoC’s honor’s committee. The committee determines the recipients of the Outstanding Major Awards, Jim Gibbons Broadcast Scholarship, Walkowicz Scholarship, IABC Outstanding Leadership, and Beta Rho Service and Social Justice Award. 

Every year juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply for the awards. Students can either nominate themselves or be nominated by faculty, submitting a letter, resume, samples of their work, and a letter of recommendation to the committee.  “Based on that, we meet and look at the materials.  We look for a student who has done outstanding work inside and outside the classroom,” Slania said. 

Slania presented the Outstanding Advertising and Public Relations major awards to Junior Angela Ruggeri and Senior Patricia Gawlas.  The committee was impressed with Ruggeri’s website, which she created to share her portfolio.  Gawlas was a Ricci Scholar, a member of Public Relations Student Society of America and is consistently a Dean’s List student. 

The Outstanding Communication Studies major awards went to Junior Lauren Lapinski and Senior Kelsey Ping.  A member of Beta Rho, Lapinski is a SoC ambassador, maintains a 4.0 in her major, and is currently abroad in the Czech Republic doing research.  Ping is also a SoC ambassador, as well as a deejay for Loyola’s student-run radio station, WLUW, and one of the founding members of Rambler Sports Locker sportscast. 

Junior Anna Heling and Senior Jessica Reynolds received the Outstanding Journalism major awards. Heling has already had two amazing internships, one at “O” Magazine and another on Dateline NBC.  Reynolds, the first editor for Loyola Student Dispatch, is a regular contributor to Inside Loyola, and interned with the Chicago Tribune. 

Other award recipients:

Jim Gibbons Broadcast Scholarship  Rianne Coale, Abigail Kleckler

Walkowicz Scholarship  Rebecca Susmarski

IABC Outstanding Leadership Cassandra Sheppard

Service & Social Justice Award*   Nicholas Passarelli, Victoria Tasch
*Presented by the Beta Rho Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta

Loyola Debate Society Awards
John Naughten Debate Key
Nick Locke, Elvis Veizi
Elaine Bruggemeier Debate Scholarships: Phillip Kraft, Grace Labriola, Andrea Schimdl, and John Wolf.                                                                                                         

Assistant Dean Shawna Cooper-Gibson, a member of the honors committee, called the turnout “very good.”  She said, “It is always really helpful to have outstanding students to recognize.”

SOC Honors Program 2012.pdf to see the SOC Honors Reception awards and recognitions.




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School of Communication · 820 N. Michigan Ave
Water Tower Campus · Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312.915.6548 · Fax: 312.915.6955
E-mail: LoyolaSOC@luc.edu

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