Photo Courtesy of Viking Athletics

Students received scholarships, recognitions and were inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, during the School of Comunnication’s first awards ceremony March 2.


March 29, 2016

School of Communication hosts award ceremony

By Leah Hammond

Cleveland State University communication students received top scholar awards, scholarships and were inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society when the School of Communication held its first honors award ceremony on March 2.

Gary Pettey, Ph.D., director of the School of Communication, said he was pleased with the turnout considering it was the first year the communication department organized an honors award ceremony.

“Students showed a lot of enthusiasm leading up to the ceremony,” Pettey said. “It was also nice to see parents, loved ones and friends attend the ceremony to support the students recognized.”

Andrew Koscianski, Madison Scagnetti and Stewart Tracy received recognition as outstanding students in the Communication major, which was presented by Guowei Jian, Ph.D., who also presented Dennessa Gooden the outstanding student award in the Communication Management major.

In the Journalism and Promotional Communication Division, awards went to Carissa Woytach for journalism and Ashley Trefero for promotional communication.

Two students, Joseph Gould and Rebecca McLemore, received recognition for their outstanding work in the Film & Television and Interactive Media Major.

The Mihaley Zan Cinematography Award for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 went to Nicholas Storm and Michael Shorts respectively.

Approximately 30 students received scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Funding for the awards come from six separate sources: the Queenie Bray Scholarship; the Cleveland Jewish News Max Axelrod Scholarship; the Raymond Dorsey Scholarship; the Donald Marcus Scholarship; the Jana Stone Scholarship; and the W.O. and Naomi E. Walker Scholarship.

Jeffrey Bolt, Ph.D., adviser of the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, inducted 47 students during the award ceremony — the largest induction in Cleveland State history.

“Normally, we maybe have two or three people that apply to Lambda Pi Eta right before graduation,” Bolt said. “This year, we’ve inducted a rather large number so now we have a strong base and large inducting class.”

Lambda Pi Eta is the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). As a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), Lambda Pi Eta has more than 400 active chapters at four-year colleges and universities worldwide.

Bolt said Lambda Pi Eta has always been an active organization at Cleveland State, but it has never been an organization that actually met and did anything.

“The hope now is that these members can get together and make this become the chapter that takes all of the opportunities Lambda Pi Eta has to offer such as speaking engagements, networking and improving knowledge in communication studies,” Bolt said.

Lachen Parks, a senior studying journalism and promotional communication, was among the students inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society and was also awarded two unique scholarships.

Parks said she remembers receiving the email about Lambda Pi Eta, but didn’t know much about it until she and her friends did research.

“After we researched Lambda Pi Eta and realized that a world of networking opportunities could open up for us if we became members, we applied,” Parks said.

Parks said she hopes to gain more connections within her field and attend yearly conferences to network.
Parks also expressed her excitement for being honored with two scholarships this year.

“Since being at CSU [Cleveland State], I have applied every year for the continuing student scholarship and never received one,” Parks said.

Dennessa Gooden, a communication management student, who was inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society and nominated the top scholar in the field of communication management, said, “My experience [at Cleveland State] has been great. I have learned a lot about communication and the many styles of communication, and I’ve had many great teachers along the way.”

Similar to Parks, Gooden said she hopes to further her communication skills, especially in writing, through the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society. She said she also hopes the communication program continues to hold award ceremonies in the future.

“The award ceremony was great, and I feel that the School of Communication should keep having these award ceremonies to encourage communication students because it was truly a wonderful experience,” Gooden said.

“We [the communication faculty and staff] were very excited about the turn out and how it all worked out – hopefully this will become a yearly thing,” Bolt said. “We have some great students that go here and it was nice to recognize some of their accomplishments.”

Pettey said George Ray, Ph.D., a professor at Cleveland State and former director of the School of Communication, proposed the idea for an awards ceremony a couple of years ago.

“It wasn’t until this spring semester that Professor Bolt and Professor Patricia Burant took the initiative to organize the ceremony and contact all participants,” Pettey said.

Pettey also recognized the work of Office Coordinator Rashelle Baker and Administrative Secretary Sandra Thorp put into organizing the ceremony.

“I intend on this becoming a yearly event,” Pettey said. “I noticed students talking about it even weeks after the ceremony was over ¬— there was a lot of excitement surrounding it.”

For a complete list of scholarship winners and members of Lambda Pi Eta, visit the online edition of The Cleveland Stater at


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