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2007 awards presented at Scripps College Celebration

May 4, 2007

2007 awards presented at Scripps College celebration

ATHENS, Ohio (May 4, 2007)—Dean Greg Shepherd noted the power of communication as he welcomed a crowd of students, faculty, alumni and friends to the 2007 Scripps College of Communication Awards and Recognition Celebration Thursday, May 3.

“Life itself is created in communication,” he said. “Tonight we celebrate a year in the life of the Scripps College. I am very, very proud not just to be one of you, but one with you in the Scripps College of Communication.”

After a short video highlighting student and organization achievements was shown to the crowd of more than 125 in Baker Center Ballroom, Shepherd added, “We’re very proud of our students and you can see why.”

The year’s awards were presented following a 7 p.m. dessert reception.

Giving credit where credit is due
Provost Krendl was an honored guest at the celebration and helped to present the Scripps College’s employee awards. Andy Snow, director of the J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunications Systems, said this year’s Employee of the Year, Barbara Moran is “quintessential” to the school’s success.

The Student Employee of the Year was named by Jason Koma, news assignment editor at WOUB Center for Public Media. He called Andrea Walla, a senior telecommunications student, the “backbone” of the WOUB news organization, where Walla has worked throughout her college career.

Moran received a $1000 prize, while Walla received $500.

Honoring those who give others wings
Tom Hodson, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, presented his personal mentor and “ultimate teacher,” Dr. Ralph Izard, former school director and Ohio University professor, with the $1500 L.J. Hortin Faculty Mentor Award. As a retired faculty member, Izard will choose the Scripps College program or initiative he’d like the money to support.

Tom Kuby, BSJ ’55, created the award in 2000 to honor his mentor, Loren Joseph Hortin, an OHIO journalism professor from 1947 to 1967. Hodson asserted that Izard embodied his definition of a mentor. “After 40 years, I and journalists from around the world know all they have to do is pick up a phone and call Ralph to find a friendly voice, a great listener, and someone with wonderful words of wisdom,” he said.

“You know, I’m not sure I know what a mentor is,” Izard said after receiving the honor. “But I think it may have something to do with whatever your job, your first responsibility is with your students---with being there to celebrate when students succeed and to weep with them when they don’t.”

In closing, Izard encouraged students to contact professors and mentors who have impacted them. “You’ll make someone’s day,” he said. “Tonight you’ve made my day.”

Recognizing journalists who uncover difficult truths
Charles Forelle, James Bandler, Mark Maremont, and Steve Stecklow of The Wall Street Journal received the 2007 Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting. Although the team was unable to attend the ceremony, a video clip featured their 100-story exposé of corporate executive fraud in stock-option practices. Their reporting resulted not only in public awareness, but criminal investigations and the firings of 70 executives.

Maremont accepted the $25,000 award on behalf of the team from Ohio University President Roderick McDavis at the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards on April 21, in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by Ursula and Dr. Gilbert Farfel, the honor includes visiting professional posts for the team in the Scripps College of Communication.

Bestowing lasting honor on an accomplished alumnus
The final award of the evening increased the membership of the Ohio Communication Hall of Fame, established at Ohio University in 1993. “There is no higher honor that the college bestows on anyone,” said Dean Shepherd before President McDavis inducted Perry A. Sook, BSC ’80. Sook joined others who have attained lifetime achievement in the field of communication and who have a tie to the state of Ohio or Ohio University.

“I’m deeply honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Sook. “It’s the second best thing that’s ever happened to me at Ohio University, and it would not have been possible without the first.” The first? Sandra, his wife, he said. The pair, who celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary next month, live with their three children in Texas.

Sook said his enthusiasm for broadcasting began when he was asked read Little League scores over his local radio station when he was 12, joking it was the first of many “non-paid internships.” Now, he owns and operates Nextar Broadcasting Group, Inc., which runs medium-sized television stations throughout the United States. The stations are watched in one in 12 households, he said.

“Do with your life that which you are passionate about and to go about the doing with passion,” advised Sook as he closed. “I think the one common thread that unites us is a passion for what we do.”

During the evening, Shepherd also recognized Mary Elizabeth Myers, a longtime friend of the Scripps College; Snow, who has chosen to return to teaching after five years as ITS director; and Carolyn Bailey Lewis, director of the WOUB Center for Public Media, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation earlier in the day.