Student Awards Convocation honors the School of Journalism's brightest stars

Dr. Lucinda Davenport presents MSU School of Journalism student Maxwell Evans with an award.
Dr. Lucinda Davenport presents MSU School of Journalism student Tamia Evans with an award.
Dr. Lucinda Davenport presents MSU School of Journalism student Christine Kanerva with an award.
Dr. Lucinda Davenport presents MSU School of Journalism student Ian Gilmour with an award.
Dr. Lucinda Davenport presents MSU School of Journalism student Kayla Effner with an award.

The brightest stars in Michigan State University's School of Journalism were honored at the Student Awards Convocation at the Kellogg Center.

School of Journalism Director Dr. Lucinda Davenport hosted the April 14 ceremony, and kicked off the event by stating the convocation celebrates "the best journalism program on the globe."

Dr. Davenport also introduced the incoming Director of the School of Journalism, Dr. Tim Vos. who will take over in June. Dr. Davenport moves to a professor role after 10 years as director.

Several major awards were announced at the convocation. 

Eli Pales earned the Outstanding Senior Award. Pales, who was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, will attend Yale Law School in the fall.

Dr. Howard Bossen spoke on behalf of Pales, who was unable to attend the event.

"Eli has built an intense belief in the need to protect the First Amendment," Bossen said. "I have no doubt Eli will excel at the Yale Law School."

Pales prepared a written statement that Bossen read: "I am forever grateful to my parents who came to America as refugees. Their hard work assured that I would have opportunities they never had. I grew up with a deep appreciation for democracy and our rights. Integral to that is the freedom of the press. The School of Journalism has given me a great appreciation for the state of journalism as a whole."

Gloria Nzeka and Andrew Blok were named Outstanding Master's students.

Dr. Eric Freedman presented the award, praising Nzeka's work for the Capital News Service, The Food Fix, and Focal Point.

Nzeka thanked the School of Journalism faculty for their support.

"I lost my dad in my first semester here which made my journey here really rough, but they made sure I stayed on track and now I am here today," Nzeka said. "Adjusting to academic life again was a challenge, and I remember in Capital News Service, AP (Associated Press) style took a while to understand. It took up until mid-semester and one comment Eric made, 'always follow AP style.' By the end the only thing I could remember was that critique!"

Blok is a reporter for the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, where he has written stories on topics as diverse as the DNA of baby's breath to the semantic implications to naming a national park.

Professor David Poulson introduced Blok, and let him know the bar was is high for previous winners named Andrew.

"There have been three other winners of this award named Andrew, and they all have great jobs," Poulson said. "So the pressure is on!"

"I have already learned so much here, and I still have so much to learn," Blok said. "I have realized that I don't feel like I am done with this community of learning just yet."

The Outstanding Doctoral Student award was given to Apoorva Joshi. Dr. Bruno Takahashi introduced Joshi, whose passion is telling the stories of wildlife conservation.

"I have been lucky to work with Apoorva, one of the hardest working students I have ever had the pleasure of working with," Takahashi said. "I don't think she sleeps, but she is always working and she is certainly the most deserving student this year."

Joshi thanked the School of Journalism faculty and her friends and family back home in India.

"They are so uplifting and I am very grateful for their constant support and encouragement," Joshi said. " I am grateful for every single moment with you guys."

The following awards were presented:

Albert Applegate Scholarship: Tony Black

Edward A. Augenstein Memorial Scholarship: Angela Mulka

Andrew Roth Len Barnes AAA Michigan Fund Scholarship: Claire Moore

Investigative Journalism Scholarship in Memory of CBS News Correspondent Ed Bradley       Johnny Supan

Bonnie Bucqueroux Scholarship: Kaitlyn Kelley

Ellen L. and Clyde L. Burton Scholarship: Weiyue Chen, Zhao Peng, Linda White

Don Caldwell Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Journalism: Andrew Blok, Apoorva Joshi, Angela Mulka

Capital News Service Connections Awards: Anthony Cepak, Maxwell Evans, Kaley Fech, Nick Kipper, Zaria Phillips, Jeremy Wahr

Rachael Carson for Outstanding Graduate Student in Environmental Journalism Award: Andrew Blok

Jane J. Carter Endowed Scholarship: Joe Freihofer

Michael A. and Sandra S. Clark: Kalea Hall

William E. Costabile Scholarship: Helen Korneffel, Chloe Peter

Mickie L. Edwardson Endowed Scholarship: Apoorva Joshi

Joe Falls Scholarship: Lucas Saccone

Winthrop Faulkner Scholarship: Alexis Groce

Gannett Foundation Hispanics in Journalism: Amandha Silva

Mary Adelaide Gardner Scholarship: Kayleigh Garrison, Sylvia Jarrus, Kaitlyn Kelley, Anna Nichols, Madison O'Connor, Matt Schmucker

Mary Adelaide Gardner Recognition Scholarship: David Greenberg

Mary Adelaide Gardner Study in Mexico or Latin America: Ri'An Jackson

Mary Adelaide Top Scholar Scholarship: Helen Korneffel, Chloe Peter

Mary Gardner Scholars: Kendall Ashman, Ben Clemens, Hannah Holliday, Christine Kanerva, John Lavaccare, Emily Lovasz, Steven Maier, Gina Navaroli, Taylor Skelton, Zimo Wang

Robert E. Godfrey: Ian Gilmour

Wanda J. Herndon Scholarship: Imani Patterson, Dajheonna Perry

Walter S. and Syrena M. Howell Essay Scholarship: Sadie Layher

Kyle C. Kerbawy Graduate Scholarship: Gloria Nzeka

Knight Center for Environmental Journalism Service Award: William Grimm

John Krieg Scholarship: Claire Moore, Julian Mitchell

Larry Lee Overseas Study Scholarship: Annaleigh Barker

Marion Tuttle Marzolf : Mikayla Temple

Edward J. Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism: Kaley Fech

Cameron Meyers Scholarship: Katherine White

Outstanding Doctoral Student: Apoorva Joshi

Outstanding Master's Students: Andrew Blok, Gloria Nzeka

Outstanding Senior: Eli Pales

Robert Popa Scholarship: Soo Young Shin, Carin Tunney

Gordon A. Sabine Endowed Journalism Scholarship: Tamia Boyd

Susan L. Silk Journalism Study Abroad Award: Haley Sinclair

Stan Soffin Scholarship: Sydney Naseef

Victor G. and Eleanor F. Spaniolo Scholarship: Nic Antaya

Stone Boyd Student Opportunity Scholarship: Payton Wells