Graduating communication students received academic honors during the 2011 undergraduate graduation ceremony, held May 15 at the Annenberg Center’s Zellerbach Theatre.
Rachel Rose Thomas was the recipient of the Communication and Public Service (Eisenhower) Award, given to a graduating senior who is part of the Communication and Public Service (ComPS) program. Thomas served as editor-in-chief of PoliComm Journal, the undergraduate political communication journal, she was a member of the board of the Penn Political Review, she was a research assistant for the National Annenberg Election Survey, and she served as an intern in the White House during the summer of 2010.
Jaclyn Beth Gurwin and Lisa Diane Barnett are co-recipients of the George Gerbner Award, which honors the School’s former Dean (1964 to 1989) and is presented to graduating senior or seniors for the honors thesis that best demonstrates an original and comprehensive application of both research skills and a thorough understanding of communication leadership. Both students are Phi Beta Kappa honor society members.
Gurwin produced a documentary, titled I Am Not My Body, an in-depth look at the reasons why individuals alter their physical appearance through body piercings, tattoos, or other means. The film, which was screened at a graduate-level film conference at the University of Maryland, provides an understanding behind the reasons for body modifications. Barnett’s graduating thesis is an analysis of iPod use within the running community. She conducted in-depth interviews with runners and joggers and a textual analysis of running-related literature, blogs, and online reader comments to examine how runners use and value the iPod across different contexts and spaces.
Barnett also received the Kathleen Hall Jamieson Award, given to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average in the major. Barnett finished with a perfect 4.0.
Andrea Noelle Beatrice C. Canivel is the recipient of the Charles Morris Price Prize, which is presented to an outstanding graduating senior in the Communication major who, in the view of departmental faculty, has most distinguished him or herself through a combination of academic excellence, research accomplishments, and/or other achievements contributing to the department’s academic objectives. Canivel worked extensively with the Annenberg School’s Center for Global Communication Studies, assisting with the new book Measuring Press Freedom and Media Contribution to Development.
Fashina Mira Adale is the recipient of the C. Nicole Dickerson Award, given in memory of undergraduate adviser C. Nicole Dickerson and given to a graduating communication major who has made a significant contribution to our neighbors in the West Philadelphia community. Adale worked as an on air host for “Just the Facts,” a program of FactCheck.org. She was a program coordinator for “After School Arts at Penn,” where she organized workshops in music, theater, and dance for middle school children, and she has been a tutor with the Penn Reading Initiative.
Melissa Siegel is the recipient of the Honorable Walter H. Annenberg Award, which is granted to the student who has strengthened and improved the University of Pennsylvania’s student community through his or her communication service activities. Siegel is a member of the John Marshall Pre-Law Honor Society, she is a research assistant with the Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archeology, and she is a research assistant with the Young Driver Research Initiative at Children’s Hospital.
Naomi Jagoda is the recipient of the Phyllis C. Kaniss Award, a new honor, named in memory of the former assistant dean and adjunct faculty member at Annenberg. It is presented to a graduating communication major who has demonstrated a commitment to civic participation. Involvement in organized community programs, cultural programs, government activities, volunteer work, or being a reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian all are examples of civic participation. Jagoda worked for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a number of roles (reporter, feature writer, editorial writer, to name a few), and she was an intern with the Philadelphia Daily News, USA Today, MTV Networks, and for radio station WRTN. Her nominator said she is “passionate about civic involvement and issues centered around politics.”