Left to right: Priya Dayananda, Joe Stender, Ben Burrows, Lyndsey Hewitt, Kaitlyn Dolinish and President Barbara B. Dixon. Laura Kucsan was at a job interview.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Outstanding Lock Haven University students in Communication Media received awards at the 2011Rebecca F. Gross Awards Day ceremony on April 29. The event also featured a keynote address by an outstanding LHU Communication Media graduate.
Dr. Karen Kline, professor and chair of the Communication Media department, gave welcoming remarks. She recognized Bob Rolley, publisher of the Lock Haven Express, and thanked him for his collegiality and support of the LHU Communication program.
LHU President Barbara B. Dixon congratulated the award recipients on their achievements and commented on the important role played by journalists. She said that it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information that we get from all sorts of media, and stressed the need to separate fact from opinion, speculation and conjecture. She urged the students always to practice “responsible journalism.”
Professor Kline presented the Rebecca Gross Award for the Outstanding Senior in Communication to Joseph A. Stender III of Northumberland, Pa. This award is based on three criteria: grade-point average, service to the student media, and other media activities. Stender has been a member of the Eagle Eye student newspaper for four years, has participated in the university honors program, has written a student blog for the university admissions office, and participated in a service learning project helping in the post-Katrina rebuilding of a community in Mississippi. Professor Kline described Stender as “a quiet leader who inspires others to follow.”
Professor Kline announced the recipients of the Saundra K. Hybels Memorial Scholarships. This award is given each year to three students majoring in a media-related track or concentration within the Communication program. .
This year’s Saundra K. Hybels Memorial Scholarship recipients are sophomore Benjamin Burrows of Williamsport, junior Lyndsey Hewitt of Lock Haven and senior Laura Kucsan of Bethlehem. Professor Kline lauded the three recipients for their hard work, their leadership and their passion.
The Margaret Ann Brown Communication Scholarship, given each year to the junior in the Communication program with the highest GPA, was presented to Kaitlyn Dolinish of Moscow, Pa. Professor Kline noted that Dolinish has been building her professional portfolio since she was editor of her high school newspaper.
The keynote speaker and recipient of this year’s outstanding Communication Graduate Award was Priya Dayananda, a 1992 graduate of the program. In describing her path to success, Ms. Dayananda stressed the need to be flexible and to “keep moving forward.” She said she is thankful for the wonderful foundation she received from her parents, from her Lock Haven University education, and from her good fortune in being born and raised in the town of Lock Haven. She said that she is also grateful for all the things she did not get, as these were an important part of her growing experience. She said that not getting an internship at CNN led her to Washington, where she is now the Director of Federal Government Affairs for KPMG LLP, the world’s largest accounting firm.
An emotional highlight of the ceremony was the recognition of Dr. Douglas Spencer Campbell, professor of communication, who is retiring at the end of the semester after 31 years of teaching at Lock Haven University. Professor Kline noted that he was “instrumental in shaping the Communication program” and that the program “just won’t be the same without Dr. Campbell.”
The Rebecca F. Gross Awards Day honors one of Pennsylvania’s most distinguished journalists and public servants. A 1928 graduate of Penn State University, Gross served as managing editor of the Lock Haven Express, founding member and president of the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association; president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and the Pennsylvania Associated Press; Commander in the U.S. Navy; Nieman Fellow at Harvard University; and member of the Lock haven University Board of Trustees, the Board of State Colleges and Universities Directors, and the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Professor Kline described her as “a pioneer of the press and a friend of Lock Haven University.”